We've seen and learned from so many great gardens...

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January in Scotland at Kailzie Gardens in the South Borders. We'll always remember stepping outside the walled garden into fantasy -- into the company of ancient yews, 30 feet wide with many massive trunks. 

...public and private, that it's very hard to even list them all, let alone convey the special inspirational beauty of each.

We're going to try, however.

Begin. To begin is half the work.
- Ausonius -

We begin here with this baker's dozen. Then, as with our regular features in What's Up, we'll add to the collection over time. More and more gardens...


Kailzie Gardens near Peebles, in Scotland's South Borderlands. A place we could imagine making our own, venerable but embraceable and not too big... Except the incredible yews. (Below, left.) It's a place of mild, long fall,
where katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) does
its fall color change (with accompanying spicy cinnamon
scent) in January (below, right).

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The Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Harvard's arboretum, the oldest public arboretum in the country, has awesome trees so long in place that they're forest.


Attadale Gardens, Wester Ross, the Highlands, Scotland. Maybe it's the magic of the Highlands, or maybe this estate-turned-public-garden is truly enchanted. It felt that way to us. One of the photos most often requested for a print from Steven's library, Forest Seduction, was taken in Attadale Gardens.

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The Chinese Scholar Garden in Snug Harbor Botanical Garden on Staten Island, New York. Long ago, our friend and Super Moderator, Margaret Thele dubbed Janet "The Perfessor." Janet says if she is going to be assigned to an academic community, could it be one from China's past, when gardens such as these were designed as meditative retreats for deep thinkers?

Cranbrook Gardens, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Beautiful gardens that snagged Janet's soul when she was a student at Kingswood School, another part of the Cranbrook Educational Community. 20 years passed before she realized the soul of those gardens is volunteerism, and she signed on to help tend the gardens for several years. Once connected to the gardens and the gardeners -- there's no breaking those ties!


Dawyck Botanical Garden, near Peebles in the region of Scotland known as the Borders. It's one of the three Regional Gardens that are part of the Royal Botanical Garden, Edinburgh. Once a manor and estate, it's been planted with  collectors' jewels since the 1700's. While studying for her PhD in Scotland, our daughter Sonja visited here and sent us a photo of the manor with the note, "I found the house I want. Landscape this for me!" This photo is of the scene upstream from our favorite spot in this favorite garden, the Swiss Bridge. (To save you the chortles we heard when first asking directions to and within this garden, it's pronounced "Doik.")

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The Detroit Zoo. We volunteered at the beginning of the Adopt-a-Garden program and are still in it -- 23 years as of this writing. Hundreds of gardeners maintain hundreds of beds, every one a gem. Look for our own contributions in the southwest corner between kangaroo and bison, and near the Great Ape viewing area.


Dow Gardens, Midland, Michigan. So many places here are perfect for copying as-is and reproducing in one's own yard. That personal, approachable scale appealed to our children when they were young, so that they called this one of their favorite places "When we have to go with you to gardens!"


Ireland's gardens, great and small, cultivated and natural, public and private. Here we feature those we saw during a whirlwind spring trip: Dilllon's of Dublin, Powerscourt, Butterstream, the Burren, the roadsides and cottage gardens along the Ring of Kerry Road,  Ilnacullin on Garinesh Island, Larchwood B&B, and the Japanese Garden at the National Stud.





Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Such a variety of styles shown, from the formal topiary garden to the wild meadow, and full of unique places such as a fantasy-story tower in the woods. Always fun to figure out where the gardeners are working, to check what, how and why...








Michigan State University Horticulture Gardens. One of the most plant-rich and well designed campuses in the country, not only for its for its designated gardens but plantings throughout. The Horticulture Gardens have a special place in our hearts as the setting for our book Caring for Perennials. Take a little tour!


Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison, Wisconsin. A gem of a city garden, delightful all year but absolutely unbeatable in its fall and winter color. We are awed by the designers who made so many fine choices -- not just the usual fall foliage but berries, bark, twigs all selected and combined to showcase their charm.


Reaume-Coventry Garden, The Queen Elizabeth II Royal Sunken Gardens in Jackson Park, Dieppe Park and other jewels in the Windsor, Ontario park system. Visit early in the day and look for the gardeners who have a great deal of practical information and the cheer to share it.


The Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario. Rock garden, vine collection, perennial garden, rose collection, arboretum... 30 years we've been going there and still haven't seen it all.


Royal Botanical Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland. A beautiful place in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The alpines and rock garden conifer areas are our favorites. One shouldn't envy one's own child but our daughter did her PhD years at University of Edinburgh and so walked regularly through these grounds.


South Carolina Botanical Garden, of Clemson university. A friend and former co-gardener connects us to this great garden. We who volunteer in public gardens have a special appreciation for all that goes into the beautiful scenery.


University of California-Santa Cruz Arboretum. Talk about feeling like we'd stepped into another world. What a great way to take a walk in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand without leaving the continent.

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University of Mexico Botanical Gardens, Mexico City. Steven thought he'd seen every color, until he saw these gardens.


More and more gardens

This list will become too unwieldy for one page -- the more photos we add right here, the slower the page will load for you. So from here on out we'll list gardens and link you -- to the gardens' own sites, to start with. Eventually we'll add our photo collections from those gardens, with separate pages for each place. (We'll dedicate that addition to J.J., whose enthusiastic feedback to the launch of our site was "Wow, wow,wow. And now, more gardens, take us on tour!")

Cornell University Plantations, Ithaca, New York

Garden in the Woods, Framingham, Massachusetts

Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

Niagara Falls Botanical Gardens, Niagara Falls, Ontario

Master Gardener program demonstration and display gardens: Lapeer County, MI; Kent County, MI; Champaign, IL;

Toledo Botanical Garden, Toledo, Ohio