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9 of the Worlds Most Spectacular Gardens

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For some, gardening is more than a pastime; it is a science and an art. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Western gardening has its rootspun not intendedin ancient Egypt and was introduced to the European continent through the expansion of Roman rule about 4,000 years ago. It wasnt until the 16th century that gardening as a form of creative display, not just a means of growing useful herbs and plants, really took off. But gardening isnt and wasnt ever limited to Europe; East Asia, for example, has a rich history of gardening spanning thousands of years. To the untrained eye, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese gardens might all look pretty much the same in style, but East Asian garden designs vary significantly by place, purpose, and throughout history. East Asian garden design is greatly influenced by Eastern philosophical and religious traditions such as Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto. Islamic gardening, too, has its own history and underlying belief system. This list is a diverse sample of some of the most breathtaking, spectacular gardens all over the world, from Seoul, South Korea to Brooklyn, New York.

1. The Abbotsford Gardens, Scotland

Located on the border of Scotlands River Tweed, Abbotsford was completed in 1824 under the supervision of its owner, Sir Arthur Scott, a Scottish Romantic novelist and poet. Scott called the Abbotsford the Dahlia of [his] imagination; he adored the place, with its hand-painted wallpaper from China and vast library containing a copy of the Brothers Grimms first book of fairy tales. Today, Sir Arthur is long gone, but the Abbotsford is open to the public as a cultural center, museum, and wedding venue. Its not hard to see why someone would want to have their wedding there.

Apparently, Sir Arthur was an avid gardener and naturalist, and took delight in landscaping his estates three distinct walled gardens. As the Abbotsford website says: Across the three walled gardens Scott laid out the horticultural equivalent of one of his novels: a series of distinctive garden compartments or chapters blending the modern with the antiquarian, the picturesque with the functional. Abbotsford proprietors following Sir Arthur did not change the gardens much, which today largely retain his original design.

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