Tropical Botanical Gardens | Salzburg, Rome, Vienna, Lisbon to the Bronx
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Botanical Interludes

Discovering a new city is all about exploration. We like to do as the locals do – find that in-the-know coffee spot, dine where the hot new chef is sizzling and soak up the encircling culture by wandering cobblestone streets and ducking into galleries and artisan shops.

But even the most dedicated city-slicker can be defeated by the metropolis. So, what to do? Seek out secret green spaces of inspiration which give you time and space to breathe, juxtapose the urban sprawl, engage with indigenous nature as well as discover curated landscapes influenced from afar.

We’ve picked out our favourite botanical wonders in some of the world’s best cities. Find that hidden horticulture gateway and enter a world of considered serenity, right in the heart of town.

Once inside these cool havens, you’ll see how they’ve been influenced by their historical environments. In Merano, the botanical garden curves around the dignified shape of the Trauttmansdorff’s Castle and its eighty gardens bloom with colours from around the world. In Zurich, a town of many botanical gardens, the greens spaces are punctuated with cultural references, like the centuries-old palm house in the Old Botanical Garden and the decorative portals showing lotus’ and dragons in the Chinese Garden. In Rome, the historical greenhouses of the Museo Orto Botanico span the centuries, each housing precious collections of palms, bamboo and medicinal plants.

Elsewhere in the world, botanical gardens are not just pretty faces – they are busy hubs of research. Originally created with seeds and plants carefully reintroduced from far off lands, they continue with seed libraries, conservation and education. Lisbon’s Jardim Botânico d'Ajuda was the first of its kind in Portugal, made up of seeds collected from gardens around the world and arranged in geographical order, and remains to this day as a serene space to enjoy a shady walk with its views of the city and river.

In Vienna, the botanical garden is attached to the University of Vienna, and this beautiful space is also home to important biodiversity research as seen in the orchids, succulents and Pannonian plants. The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) likens itself to a living museum and we can see why; with one million species, educational programs and an International Plant Science Centre, these guys know more than most about the importance and power of nature.

For many of us though, gardens simply present a much-needed respite from city life and offer a chance to connect with nature and wildlife. In Gothenburg’s 430 acres of botanical gardens and natural land, deer, elk and hares can be seen roaming the wild spaces, and Salzburg’s botanical garden is very proud of its collection of wild bees, attracted by the diversity of landscape.  Next time you’re on a city break, give that green space a go too.

Tropical Botanical Gardens | Salzburg, Rome, Vienna, Lisbon to the Bronx
Tropical Botanical Gardens | Salzburg, Rome, Vienna, Lisbon to the Bronx Tropical Botanical Gardens | Salzburg, Rome, Vienna, Lisbon to the Bronx


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