Botanical Gardens

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Botanical Gardens have long been apart of our society as a picturesque spot of relaxation, culture, and study of nature. As a place that attracts hundreds of thousands of people, gardens have been a focal point in cultures that draw people in since ancient times.

History

Gardens have been apart of culture since ancient times, like the gardens around today. There were gardens created for beauty and could be in celebration of God, in the Christian monks’ case. While others were for the study of the medicinal abilities of plants as the Romans and Christian monks following in their footsteps would do. However, the first garden actually classified as a botanical garden appeared in Italy in the 16th and 17th centuries. At the University of Pisa, Luca Ghini created a physic garden in 1543, the beginning of the botanical garden trend. In the following four years, several other Italian universities created their own physic gardens. Eventually, these academic gardens spread throughout the rest of Europe in Prague, Cologne, and Oxford being the most notable places people would visit. During the same centuries, these gardens would add new additions to their varieties, as trade in tropical areas would bring in exotic finds to study. In 1735, a French botanical garden, Pamplemousse, was set up with the single purpose of cultivating the crops they had gotten from the tropics such as cloves, tea, coffee, palm oil, chocolate, etc. 52 years after the French established Pamplemousse, the English would create their own version in the Calcutta Botanical Gardens. Later on, the purpose for many of the gardens being created in the 19th and 20th centuries would change from academic to pleasure gardens for the enjoyment of the public. [1] [2]

National Interest

The United States was no exception to the trend that was enticing Europe. In the late 18th century, three of the Founding Fathers had the desire to create a garden of their own in their new country. It was established in 1820 in the Columbian Institute, however the proceedings came to a halt in 1837 and resumed in 1842. The garden resided there until 1933 when it was moved to a complex on Independence Ave. [3] While this was the first of the gardens, many were built over the years, some states having multiple gardens scattered across them. Some of the most noteworthy gardens in the U.S. are the New York Botanical Gardens, the Denver Botanical Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, Missouri Botanical Garden, San Francisco Botanical Garden, Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Florida, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Virginia, Desert Botanical Garden in Arizona, and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

Wisconsin Gardens

In the state of Wisconsin there are 15 gardens currently situated in Madison, Milwaukee, Marshfield, Green Bay, Appleton, Readstown, Chilton, La Crosse, Oshkosh, Janesville, and Stevens Point. Five of the best in the state are the Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, that features a Thai pavilion, the Boerner Botanical Gardens near Milwaukee, modeled after an English garden, the Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville, that show off several international themes within it, the Paine Art Center and Gardens in Oshkosh, styled in the times of King Henry VIII’s court, and the Green Bay Botanical Gardens in Green Bay, a four season garden for any time. These gardens bring a piece of the world close to home for those looking for it. [4] [5]

International Gardens

There are over 1,770 botanical gardens around the world in 148 countries with more either being planned or under construction right now. Each of these gardens display magnificent varieties of plant life from all corners of the globe and try to create a place of beauty that will out do the others out there. Some of the best gardens around the world for a traveler to visit are the Trauttmansdorff Castle in Merano Italy, centered around a medieval castle nestled by the mountains, Shalimar Garden in Lahore Pakistan, laid out like an oasis, the Lautaret Alpine Botanical Garden in Le Lautaret France, a garden that looks completely untouched by man; the Exotic Garden in Monaco, featuring African and Arabic flora; the Singapore Botanic Gardens, organized into four color zones of rainforests, lakes, orchards, etc for the public’s pleasure; and the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens in England, one of the most historic gardens out there and home to the “corpse flower”. [6] [7]

References

  1. "The History of Botanic Gardens." BGCI. Accessed May 03, 2018. https://www.bgci.org/resources/history/.
  2. Hill, Arthur W. "Missouri Botanical Garden." Https://www.jstor.org. Accessed May 3, 2018. https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/2990033.pdf?refreqid=excelsior:5feae01a9bedb1f14459994c7de1249d.
  3. "Brief History of the U.S. Botanic Garden." Brief History of the U.S. Botanic Garden | United States Botanic Garden. Accessed May 03, 2018. https://www.usbg.gov/brief-history-us-botanic-garden.
  4. "12 Best Botanical Gardens In The USA." US City Traveler. May 06, 2014. Accessed May 03, 2018. http://www.uscitytraveler.com/12-best-botanical-gardens-in-the-usa/.
  5. "Top 5 Botanical Gardens in WI | Travel Wisconsin." TravelWisconsin. Accessed May 03, 2018. https://www.travelwisconsin.com/article/science-and-nature-centers/science-and-nature-centerstop-5-botanical-gardens.
  6. "The Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens in the World." Travel Leisure. Accessed May 03, 2018. http://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/parks-gardens/beautiful-botanical-gardens.
  7. Ratliff, Laura. "The World's Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens." Condé Nast Traveler. March 20, 2015. Accessed May 03, 2018. https://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2014-03-22/photos-spring-botanic-gardens-arboretums.

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