Gardens from Around the World!

Salzburg and the beautiful Salzkammergut region of Austria

Salzburg is around 2 hours by train from Munich and less than 3 hours by train from Vienna. Most of us remember watching the Sound of Music filmed in beautiful Salzburg Austria. The beautiful Schloss Mirabell Gardens is where the Sound of Music “Do Re Mi” was filmed.

Mozart, the classical composer was also born in in Salzburg, Austria. You can visit Mozart birthplace and museum in Salzburg.

Salzburg Christkindlmarkt, Christmas Carols and Advent are beautiful traditions observed here during the Christmas season. The song “Silent Night” is Austrian after all.

Salzburg (salt fortress) became an important center due to the salt trade. The fortress Hohensalzburg overlooking Salzburg is majestic. Stroll around the old town center and soak in the beauty of this place.

But that is not all. The Salzkammergut region is beautiful with Alpine ranges and lakes. Enjoy the beauty of the Austrian countryside. Take a trip to Hallstatt, Austria. This is an amazing place of beauty with the beautiful Hallstatt village hugging the lake.

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Vienna, the city of palaces!

It is amazing how many beautiful buildings and palaces you can find in Vienna (Wien), Austria. The emperors kept building and building new palaces and beautiful buildings.

Flying to Vienna
You can fly into Vienna Airport (VIE) in Schwechat (in German Flughafen Wien-Schwechat). The airport is around 11 miles from Central Vienna and around 35 miles from Bratislava, Slovakia. In Slovak the airport is called Letisko Viedeň-Schwechat. Vienna International Airport makes a good hub to base your travel into the center of Europe.

Getting to Vienna by train
Take a train to Wien Mitte which is like 10 minutes walking distance to the stunning St. Stephen’s gothic cathedral (Domkirche St.Stephan or Steffl). Vienna has lovely pedestrian streets. From St. Stephen’s, you can stroll on the Graben to Kohlmarkt to Heldenplatz.

Heldenplatz
Once you get to the Heldenplatz, you can find your way around to see various magnificent buildings in this area. Check out the Hofburg, Neue Burg, Maria-Theresien-Platz and Albertina. There is also the Volksgarten and Burggarten (Castle Garden). You can also visit the Schmetterlinghaus (Palm Haus). There is really one fascinating building after the other.

Viennese Food
Take some time off to enjoy some good Viennese food. The emperors knew how to eat. You may wish to try Wiener Schnitzel (cutlet) and Tafelspitz (beef). Try some really good desserts such as Kaiserschmarrn (fluffy pancakes with apple sauce and powdered sugar), Viennese Apfelstrudel , and Sachertorte (chocolate cake) with your coffee (melange) at the local cafes. Cafe Demel is a famous bakery and chocolatier that you could visit.

Summer Palaces
You will need more time to visit the Summer Palaces of the Habsburg rulers located around the city. They are spectacular. Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens are really huge. You can also visit the magnificent Belvedere Baroque Palace and Gardens. You can see the great display of wealth of the emperors. This city is really a city of palaces!


Flowers for your English Cottage Gardens

The neat thing about travelling is you get to see, explore and learn more than one way of doing things, for an example gardening. I love the English way of gardening and their romantic herbaceous gardens. So here are some flower ideas you can add to your garden here in North America. Start with the Spring Flowers like Tulips, Crocus and Daffodils. It will sure cheer your mood from the Winter blahs and welcome Spring! Plant flowers like Iris, Roses, Peonies so they will bloom after your Spring flowers are done. So there is always some beautiful flower blooming throughout the year. Add Yarrow, Daisies, Cone Flowers, Echinacea, Sunflowers, Foxglove, Columbines, Hardy Geraniums, Hollyhocks and Rambling Roses to the mix. Heirloom Roses produce the most heavenly fragrance. Plant herbs like Lavender, Thyme, Oregano, Mint, Sage and Rosemary along the curvy paths you create with gravel or stepping stones. Consider adding flowers like Asters, Oxeye Sunflowers (blooming late Summer) that will flower till the last Frost. These flowers will attract hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators to your garden. Don’t forge the Evergreens! This will give structure to your garden so it will look pretty when in snows in Winter. Bring a little bit of English Cottage Garden feel to your back yard!

  • Allium
  • Kansas Peony
  • Iris
  • Miniature Roses

English Cottage Gardens for Americans

West Yorkshire England
West Yorkshire England

It is amazing how many of our New World American flowers made it into the English Cottage Gardens. Everything from the Yarrow to the Echinacea grace English Cottage Gardens.

Flowers of the United Kingdom
Flowers of the United Kingdom

It is always nice to bring home some of the ideas you pickup while you travel. The English Cottage Garden concept can be applied right here at home in the USA. Instead of just manicured green lawns you can create “garden rooms” with the English Cottage Garden theme, quite romantic really. It can bring the Old World charm right into your backyard. Curvy herbaceous pathways leading you to keep exploring, trying to find what is around the corner. You may not be in the Cotswolds or West Yorkshire, United Kingdom, but it may sure bring back the sweet memories.

Here are a few flowers that would look good in a English Cottage Garden. More flower ideas for English Cottage Gardens.

Foxglove
Foxglove flowers for English Cottage Gardens

US Wildflowers

It is amazing that when you visit a place, certain things in nature will grab your attention. Beautiful waterfalls like the ones in Yellowstone National Park will definitely be on the top of the list. But sometimes just a simple delicate flower growing above the tree line (Tundra in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado) or by the side of the road (Pacific Coast Highway California) or wildflowers (in the foreground of the Grand Tetons, Wyoming) will mesmerize you. You just have to stop and take photos and post it on Instagram or Facebook. You just cannot help yourself! It is truly something worth sharing with your friends.

Pacific Coast
Wildflowers Pacific Coast Highway California

Wildflowers Grand Tetons
Wildflowers Grand Tetons

Rocky Mountain National Park Tundra
Tundra Wildflowers Rocky Mountain National Park

Cameron Highlands Malaysia

The English developed the Rain Forest in the mountains where it is cooler into tea plantations with beautiful English Style houses. The famous Boh Tea Plantations below is worth the visit.

Boh Tea Plantation in Cameron Highlands

You can find green houses hugging the side of mountains filled with all sorts of flowers. The valleys are terraced and planted with rows of vegetables.

Cameron Lavender Garden Malaysia
Various flowers everywhere at Lavender Garden Cameron Highlands Malaysia
Cameron Highlands Strawberries Malaysia
Cameron Highlands Strawberries Malaysia

You can also get the best organic strawberries from different green houses in Cameron Highlands.

Take Time To Smell The Roses

Always take the time to stop and see the beautiful flowers in each place you visit. Depending on the season, it can be the best show in town. For an example, when I was in Amsterdam in Spring, Keukenhof Gardens was in full bloom with Spring flowers. I don’t think I have seen that many flowers all in one place! It is really hard to beat Spring.

Amsterdam
Amsterdam

And then there is Cameron Highlands in Malaysia where it is “eternal spring” in the mountains. A site to behold. Of course don’t forget the English Cottage Gardens, in Great Britain. The English Garden with the natural look, filled with flowers and herbaceous borders will make you come back again and again to England. And here in the USA, we have some of our own gardens to visit such as the Biltmore Gardens in Asheville, North Carolina and Old West Bury Gardens in New York.


English Cottage Gardens

It is hard to beat the beauty of English Cottage Gardens. You can see beautiful roses over the stone walls and flowers along curvy pathways leading you to keep exploring. You can see many perennial flowers such as hollyhocks, hardy geraniums, buttercups, daisies, asters, delphiniums and the beautiful foxgloves. Just think of Thomas Kinkade paintings of Cotswolds Cottages. Yes, this is for real and not just in a painting. Once such place is the Hidcote Gardens in the Cotswolds (started by an American horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston) and now under the care of the National Trust of United Kingdom. Why not visit a castle and the gardens at the same time like the one at Sissinghurst Castle (Kent)? If you are in the South of England, do take time to visit the Mottisfont Abbey Rose Garden in Hampshire.

West Yorkshire England
West Yorkshire England

English Cottage Gardens for Americans


Visit A Garden On Your Travels!

There is nothing like a beautiful garden that can feed your soul and rejuvenate you on your travels. You get see the beauty of God’s creation along with human design and cultivation.

Keukenhof (kitchen garden) is such a place. The Dutch have a knack for gardening for sure. You can spend hours in this place. I used my layover at the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to visit this beautiful place. It is only open during the Spring months as this is a Spring Garden. Spring is such a beautiful time of the year as the flowers bloom in the beautiful Spring Sun and cool Spring air.

If you have a chance to visit England, do take time to visit the English Cottage Gardens in the Summer months.

Keukenhof tulilp garden
Keukenhof flower garden Holland