Few would argue that a gorgeous garden can do wonders for the spirit. A leisurely stroll to explore the magnificence of spring blossoms is a treat for the senses. While we cannot have the full sensory experience right now, we can bring nature into our homes via the internet. Many botanical gardens have created video tours of their greenhouses, flowers, and trees, allowing virtual visitors to enjoy the beauty of nature from the safety of their homes. For your horticultural pleasure, we offer the following sites:
New York Botanical Garden - One can spend hours exploring this giant urban retreat in the Bronx via a large number of excellent videos, ranging from a 20-minute overview to short bursts (a minute or two) of spring walks among the daffodils, lilacs, tulips, peonies, and more. Videos are set to music and include narration by horticulturists and other plant experts.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden - Nothing says spring like cherry trees. The BBG is famous for its cherry blossoms and you’ll adore the virtual Cherry Esplanade Walk—20 minutes of peaceful breezes and colorful blossoms, minus the crowds, humidity, and mosquitoes—outstanding cinematography!
Longwood Gardens - This sprawling garden in Kennett Square, PA, has more than 1,000 acres of forests, meadows, and greenhouses. You’ll find an engaging set of videos entitled “Our Gardens, Your Home” where online visitors can view native flowers and a tulip display, and create a floral arrangement at home. If you are a hands-on kind of person, you can learn how to create a bonsai here.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden - This 50-acre park in Richmond, VA, has more than a dozen themed gardens, including a rose garden, a native plant area, and a cherry tree walk. Virtual visitors can take a guided tour of some of its large garden areas, and view shorter virtual tours of individual flower sections, many of which are bursting with color, such as the peonies and the azaleas displays.
Chicago Botanic Garden - The CBG is located on 385 acres around nine islands, with six miles of lake shoreline. The garden has a renowned bonsai collection and a virtual tour that features a lovely native plant garden. You’ll also find numerous gardening tips and other information to start your own garden.
California Native Plant Society - For gardens closer to home, check out the CNPS virtual tour site for cultivated native plants. The CNPS docent-led video tours are categorized by chapter and region. CPNS’ site also features its fifteenth annual “Bringing Back the Natives” tour with lots of helpful information on native plant care.