1. The High Line (USA)
The High Line is a 1 mile linear park built on a 1.45 mile of elevated former New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line from the 1840’s. Today, it's redesigned and planted as an aerial greenway. Attractions include amazing views of the city and naturalized plantings, inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew on the abandoned tracks. A favourite gathering space amongst locals is the 23rd Street Lawn, which offers open green space for picnicking, sunbathing and people-watching.
2. The hobbit house (New Zealand)
The iconic hobbit house from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings offers an integrated lawn that has inspired fans across the globe to construct their own little lairs. The most famous ones, depicted in Peter Jackson’s movies, was built in Matamata, New Zealand and has helped boost the country’s tourism since the premiere of the first movie in 2001. The hobbit village was built one year before production to make it look like a natural, lived-in place, complete with real vegetable patches. Trusted sheep helped out with the natural look by grazing the area, adding an Oscar-winning touch.
3. Monet’s garden (France)
Claude Monet was a founder of the 19th century art movement impressionism. In 1883, the painter entered an ambitious period in Giverny (northern France), creating "series paintings” in which a subject was depicted in varying light and weather. The paintings sold well and Monet invested in a magnificent garden where he found inspiration for more than 20 years. “Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies” (1899) depicts the bridge in the photograph and can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The gardens welcome about 500,000 visitors annually.
4. Gardens by the Bay (Singapore)
Tristan Tan / Shutterstock.com
Gardens by the Bay is a 101 hectare park built on manmade land in Marina Bay, Singapore. The park consists of three spectacular waterfront gardens with scenic walks, two dramatically designed all-weather conservatories and these majestic “supertrees”. With heights between 25 and 50 meters, they are vertical gardens made to mimic the ecological function of trees – featuring unique and exotic ferns, vines, orchids, a vast collection of bromeliads and an elevated walkway.