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Beautiful Botanical Gardens

Updated on February 23, 2015
Garden in the Holy Land
Garden in the Holy Land | Source

The Garden of Eden

The primordial garden of the Bible, the Garden of Eden is what I imagine as paradise, the unspoiled environment, pristine in its perfection as God planned it. We can only imagine its lushness, the complete exuberance of every plant and animal in creation in perfect harmony. The seed of our civilization filled with meaning and mysticism, the Garden of Eden symbolizes peace, beauty, safety, and the direct communication with the Divine.

Historians debate the location of the the Garden of Eden, thought by many to be in the area of Mesopotamia, now, more or less the northern Middle East, perhaps southern Turkey. And it's quite possible the Garden of Eden was located in a land now called Iraq, home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. How the winds have shifted... One of my dreams is to restore as much of the world as possible to its original perfection. The Garden of Eden is my favorite botanical garden because it holds all the possibilities in my dreams.

One day, I lost myself researching the Garden of Eden and encountered an interesting concept. That the Eden held the concept of freedom. In the biblical account, Adam and Eve were banished from the garden because of their disobedience. But the Garden of Eden was the first and last perfect garden where creatures could feel perfectly protected that required no... gardening! It was the only place on earth before and after that all of man's needs were provided for with no demands other than to not eat from a certain tree, the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. Philosophically, that is the price we have had to pay for knowing... paradise, lost.

There are increasingly fewer primordial gardens on earth. The decimation of the rain forests and any kind of intrusion in the natural state creates global consequences.

How important it is to preserve nature and to try to restore what's been lost. One of the great contributions of botanical gardens is maintaining plant species and creating an environment where we can feel like we have stepped into paradise.

Recreating Paradise

In a city that many associate with lush greenery, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden nevertheless brings about gasps of pleasure as one steps inside the welcome gates, a path leading to tranquility. Exploring subtly changing environments leads to a bright red footbridge into a Japanese garden of serenity.

Miami Beach Botanical Garden

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Actually, many trees. Years ago, I lived a few city blocks from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden adjacent to the magnificent Prospect Park and across the street from the Brooklyn Museum and the New York Public Library. Truly a majestic corner of the city canopied in greenery.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens

Wondering where to see a profusion of orchids in a natural setting, celebrate mango festivals, revel in a tropical paradise? Visitors to South Florida, who make a beeline to the beach might miss all this splendor in South Miami. The Fairchild Tropical Garden is paradise for obtaining exotic plants and flowers, throwing a wedding, exhibiting fine art or simply enjoying a day in the park.

Lichtenstein with a little Chihuly at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens

Chicago Botanic Garden

It's no mystery why some of the largest cities would have some of the most beautiful botanical gardens. The Chicago Botanic Garden is wondrous. Whether exploring the vast acreage of splendor or visiting the greenhouse, laden with species like cherry orchids, especially during Chicago's glacial winter, getting back to nature beckons.

Chicago Botanic Garden


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