Top 5 Destinations For Beautiful Floral Displays
Spring time around the world brings incredible displays of flowers, from those growing in your own backyard to the beautiful displays at botanical gardens.
Here are a few destinations to visit for amazing floral experiences!
Cherry Blossoms in Japan
Springtime in Japan is famous world-wide for the cherry blossoms that bloom and make their way on a cross-country tour, beginning in mid-March in the south and lasting until early May in the north. As the timing of the blossoms changes yearly, there are forecasts available that estimate when the flowers will start to open and when is the best viewing time.
Did you know that there are over one hundred different varieties of cherry blossom trees? Most of the flowers have five petals, however, some varieties have more than twenty! The majority range in color from white to light pink. Hanami, which means “flower viewing,” is usually used in reference to viewing cherry blossoms. Whether taking a walk through the park, participating in a hanami party, or picnicking in a garden, this is an extremely popular tradition.
Viewing Locations around Japan
- Hirosaki Castle Park: located in northern Japan, there are more than 2,500 trees planted around the grounds
- Chureito Pagoda, Fujiyoshida: located to the south of Tokyo, there is an incredible view of the cherry blossoms with Mount Fuji in the background
- Mount Yoshino, Nara: there are more than 30,000 trees blooming at different times, some of which claim to be planted 1,300 years ago
- If you’re visiting the capital city of Tokyo, there are a plethora of places to enjoy the cherry blossoms, from Ueno Park (there are over 1,000 trees) to Chidorigafuchi (the moat and park near the Imperial Palace) to Shinjuku Gyoen.
Where to Find Cherry Blossoms in the US
- Washington, D.C.: the National Cherry Blossom Festival happens every spring where you can view more than 3,000 trees which were a gift from the Tokyo Mayor in 1912
- New York City: visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where Sakura Matsuri, an annual cherry blossom festival, is held
- Macon, Georgia: visit during the International Cherry Blossom Festival and see more than 350,000 trees in bloom
Lavender Fields in France
Each summer in the southern French province of Provence, you will find the famous lavender fields. The fields begin to bloom in June and generally reach the peak in early to mid-July. One thing to keep in mind is that the blooming dates vary slightly depending on the year and the region. The harvesting typically begins in mid-July and will be done by around mid-August. The distilleries in the area then take the essential oils and are bottled or used to make items such as soap or cream.
Take a drive through the Valensole Plateau or by the town of Sault for incredible views. If you’re in the area on August 15th, you’ll be able to visit the popular lavender festival held in Sault each year.
Tulips in the Netherlands
For the majority of spring in Holland, a blossoming of flowers take place. Crocuses bloom in March, trailed by daffodils and hyacinths. Then the world-famous tulips bloom in April and May. The tulip arrived here in the 16th century when they were imported from the Ottoman Empire. Today the flower is one of the most commonly associated symbols with the Netherlands.
In the capital city of Amsterdam, you can visit the only floating flower market in the world, the Bloemenmarkt. The market has been open since 1862, although today, the stalls are on fixed barges. Here you can find bulbs and other souvenirs in addition to flowers.
Dutch province of Flevoland is also home to fields of flower bulbs. Whether you choose to walk or bike through this gorgeous area, there are almost 5,000 acres of flowers growing here. During the annual Tulip Festival you can follow the “flower-bulb route.” This is a 100km route which winds through almost 2,500 acres and offers several stops along the way.
To the west of Amsterdam, you’ll find the Keukenhof: one of the most famous gardens to visit. This ~79-acre garden sees more than 7 million flowers bloom each year. The Keukenhof first opened to the public in the 1950s and celebrates a different theme each year. You can stroll through gardens, hop on a bike, or even glide along in a whisper boat. As you wander the grounds, you can explore the different themed gardens, including the Bulbs & Bike garden, the Tropical Beach garden, and the Cottage garden.
Lupins in New Zealand
Visit New Zealand’s South Island between November and December and you’ll find fields and fields of colorful lupins. While there are many locations where these interesting looking flowers grow, a popular one is Lake Tekapo in Mackenzie District. With snow capped mountains in the background, you’ll see multiple pops of color from the tall lupin. This flower has caused controversy for the way they’ve taken over in various areas as the flower is an invasive species to New Zealand.
Roses Around the World
A two-hour drive away from Muscat, Oman stands Jebel Akhdar, the “Green Mountain.” Part of the Al Hajar mountain range that extends through the eastern side of Oman and into the United Arab Emirates, this area is known for the roses that are grown here. Blooming between March until May, the Damask Roses are harvested and made into rose water. Once harvested, the rose petals are boiled with water then filtered slowly, a process which takes about two months. The rose water is then used for different purposes such as cooking or perfume.
The Aflaj irrigation systems that are in the area date back to 500 AD. There is archaeological evidence that irrigation systems may have been around for much longer, even as early as 2500 BC. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006.
Here are 3 other locations where roses are famous:
- Ecuador: one of the largest exporters of flowers (most of which are roses) in the world. Stay at Hacienda Zuleta and visit a nearby rose plantation.
- Bulgaria: one of the biggest producers of rose oil. Visit the Rose Valley in May or June and see the country’s national flower in bloom.
- Morocco: visit the Valley of Roses in May to experience the Rose Festival held in Kalaat M’Gouna.
Have you been to any of these destinations before?