Indulge in a colorful midwinter escape as horticultural experts lead a series of virtual visits that highlight the beauty of notable botanical gardens in settings as far-flung as Singapore, the United Kingdom, the eastern United States, and Japan. In vibrant visuals they explore how each garden has taken a unique approach to design and interpretation as they celebrate plant collections, conservation, education, and the distinctive environments and landscapes in which they bloom.
Please Note: Individual sessions are available for purchase.
February 5 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Eden Project
The name Kew Gardens conjures up thoughts of the world’s premiere botanical garden. It’s big, it’s historic, and houses some of the most important plant collections for research and education found anywhere. Botanical expeditions from Kew have reached the far corners of the world since the age of discovery, and many collections date back hundreds of years. Just outside of London, Kew has developed some of the finest historic conservatories and visitor amenities in public horticulture and is a global leader in the systemic study of plants, biodiversity conservation, and climate change.
Nestled in the hills of Cornwall, the Eden Project is one of the newest gardens in the UK. Developed on the site of a former clay mine, Eden is devoted to a level of sustainability rarely found in any major attraction. Some of the world’s largest conservatories are housed in stunning interlinked geodesic domes built into adjacent hillsides, making Eden unique. A series of beautiful outside gardens completes the space to create one of the world’s most innovation horticultural wonders.
Presenter Keith Tomlinson, has worked as a naturalist and public garden administrator for 25 years, visiting wilderness areas and botanical gardens around the world. He is the author of numerous articles on plant conservation, botanical garden travel, and environmental education.
February 12 Singapore Botanic Garden and Norfolk Botanical Gardens
Singapore’s vision of a city in a garden has been realized over the past few decades. Explore one of the gems of a city now brimming with some of the most spectacular gardens in the world, Singapore Botanic Gardens. As an important botanical institute and the first and only tropical botanic garden on the UNESCO’s World Heritage site, the Gardens play a key role in Singapore’s Garden City program through continual introduction of plants of horticultural and botanical interest. The virtual visit explores a variety of tropical landscapes and native plants of the region.
Off the coast of Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk Botanical Garden reflects the diversity of landscape of Virginia. This coastal hub is continuously growing and expanding to support the needs of the community. Take an online tour of 60 themed gardens that overlook the bay, discover the many kinds of transportation that weave through this large site, and find some inspiration in the curious Children’s Garden. The Norfolk Botanical Garden immerses visitors in a world of beauty where surprising garden pockets wait around every turn.
Presenter Chelsea Mahaffey is manager of the Kemper Center at Missouri Botanical Gardens in St Louis. She is an advocate for horticulture as a career and passionate about the importance of plants in our lives.
February 19 Temple Gardens of Kyoto, Japan
Kyoto is home to many Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines that include some of the most exquisite temple gardens in the world. Through the symbolic depiction of nature, their spiritual purpose is to invite the viewer to enter a state of meditative stillness. Often these gardens include a karensui, a dry garden created with rock and gravel, quiet streams and ponds, moss gardens, and bridges. The program spotlights three of the finest of these gardens—Tofukuji, Ryoanji, and Kiyomizu—and examines their meaning as well as their care.
Presenter Holly Shimizu is a nationally recognized horticulturist, consultant, and educator with a rich background in all aspects of public gardens and extensive experience leading garden tours and workshops.