This blog post was updated on May 3, 2023.
Does your mom have a green thumb? Does she love landscape architecture? If you answered yes, you’ve come to the right place! Because a visit to a botanic garden and a lunch at a lovely restaurant makes a perfect outing for you and Mom. No matter which area of the globe you plan on visiting, there are stunning botanical gardens to visit for Mother’s Day, and you’ll be sure to find one that suits you and the whole family.
Gardens by the Bay — Singapore
Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay is a paradise of tall trees and beautiful flowers in the heart of one of the busiest metropolises in the world. Gardens by the Bay spans over 250 acres and cost upwards of $1 billion to construct. The Gardens are the centerpiece of Singapore’s efforts to improve quality of life in the city.
Gardens by the Bay is home to several conservatories and preserves. But, its best known for the Flower Dome, the largest greenhouse in the world. The Flower Dome covers multiple acres and boasts several distinct gardens. The Dome is focused on plant life from cool-dry Mediterranean climates. Also of note is the Cloud Forest, which is home to plants found in tropical mountain regions and one of the largest indoor waterfalls in the world. Lastly, check out Supertree Grove, a series of vertical gardens that double as elevated walkways.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden — New York City
The urban sanctuary that is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is immensely popular with residents and tourists alike, anyone really who’s looking for a nature escape in an otherwise overwhelming city. Take a free guided tour or stroll the grounds on your own. A visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden wouldn’t be complete without a stroll through its world-famous Japanese Hill and Pond Garden. Next, check out the Bluebell Wood, a wooded haven filled with blooming bluebells, as the name very well implies.
United States Botanic Garden — Washington, D.C.
The United States Botanic Garden is located near the Capitol on the National Mall, and it is truly a national treasure. Admission is free! And, there are a number of educational opportunities for both children and adults alike. Other must-see favorites include the Rose Garden, the Kitchen Garden, and the First Ladies Water Garden.
Desert Botanical Garden — Phoenix
The 55-acre Desert Botanical Garden is filled with, well, desert plants like cacti and succulents. An unusual aspect of the garden is its collection of hundreds of rare, endangered, and threatened plants. The Desert Botanical Garden is also known for its own music festival. You’ll love the annual spring concert series, also known as Music in the Garden.
You may also like: 10 Standout U.S. Gardens to Visit During Spring
Atlanta Botanical Garden — Atlanta
The Atlanta Botanical Garden has a lot to offer on top of its beautiful landscaping. Check out the orchid conservatory or one of the art exhibitions on display. Perhaps most impressive is the Kendeda Canopy Walk. When you visit, you’ll tour an urban forest from 40 feet in the air!
Chicago Botanic Garden
The expansive (385-acre) Chicago Botanic Garden is beloved by everyone from Windy City dwellers to visitors from other parts of the world. Therefore, you should certainly have it on your agenda if you’re in Chicago for Mother’s Day. The establishment features 28 display gardens and four native plant habitats. The vegetable gardens are particularly impressive. Besides, most of them are located on islands, which just adds to their loveliness. You’ll also find lots of classes, specialized tours, and other educational opportunities for learners of all ages.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden — Cape Town, South Africa
Next to Cape Town’s fabled Table Mountain lies Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, one of the grandest botanical gardens in the world. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden spans across a massive 1,300 acres. Tours of Kirstenbosch focus on the region’s fynbos heathland, an area rich in the scrubby vegetation that supports a wide array of local birdlife. The park is home to over 1,500 varieties of fynbos, many of which are flowering plants that are used in everything from food to medicine.
Also of note at Kirstenbosch is the magnificent Afromontane forest, a woodland preserve of evergreen trees that hug the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Trails take visitors into the heart of the Afromontane forest. Additionally, overhead walkways allow guests a chance to see the forest from the canopy.
Jardim Botanical — Rio de Janeiro
Jardim Botanical, also known as Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden, rests in the shadow of both the statue of Christ the Redeemer and Mount Corcovado, two of the most iconic destinations in Rio de Janeiro. Jardim Botanical was established in 1808. The botanic garden features a healthy mix of cultivated gardens and native fauna: only 40 percent of the park’s 345 acres are cultivated gardens and conservatories.
The remainder of the space in Jardim Botanical is a lush nature reserve that maintains the area’s indigenous plant and tree life found on the slopes of Corcovado. The Avenue of Royal Palms is among the most well-known attractions at Jardim Botanical is. You’ll find a line of 134 palm trees that lead to the heart of the garden. Major collections display the more exotic members of the plant kingdom: many varieties of carnivorous plants call the garden home, as do over 600 species of orchid. Walking around the site also gives visitors a chance to meet Jardim Botanical’s animal residents, including small monkeys and colorful toucans.
Montreal Botanical Garden
Visitors can see plant life from around the world at Montreal Botanical Garden, one of the most diverse botanic gardens in North America. Montreal Botanical Garden stands at an impressive 185 acres and is home to over 20,000 different species of plants cultivated in 10 greenhouses and 20 outdoor gardens. Part of the garden’s mission is to show how gardens and plant life reflect culture. To that end, the organization has established three cultural gardens that reflect the values of Chinese, First Nation, and Japanese traditions. Along with plant life, these gardens also include examples of the art and architecture of these cultures.
Meanwhile, the Frédéric Back Tree Pavilion puts the focus on the tallest members of the plant kingdom. Visitors to the garden’s Tree Pavilion learn the role trees play in the world’s wider ecosystem. The garden also shows how trees are used in unexpected ways in our everyday lives.
Do you know any other unmissable botanic gardens? Let us know in our comments section below!