They say money can’t buy happiness. That may be true, but then there are moments when we just might beg to differ. Like most other abstract ideas, there is no single way to define happiness, anyway.
But gardens have always been a great source of joy for people. Biblical authors allude to the “Garden of Eden,” a luxuriant place of unimaginable beauty and contentment.
In Greek mythology, the Islands of the Blessed are a cluster of island-gardens reserved for the souls of great heroes.
While today’s gardens might pale in comparison to mythical landscapes, there are those who might find some consolation in the fact that it is not for a lack of trying!
People spend astounding amounts of money on gardens each year. The global gardening equipment market alone is set to exceed US$102 billion by 2025, according to new research.
Below are some of the world’s most expensive gardens – patches of earthly paradise, one might say – for your enjoyment, perusal, and inspiration.
The Ace of Diamonds Garden
The Ace of Diamonds Garden was an entry into the 2010 Chelsea Flower Show. The garden was a creation of the renowned landscape gardener, David Domoney, and was worth nearly $26 million.
The jewel-inspired garden featured a range of gems, crystals, and diamonds held within bell jars that dotted the plot. Domoney even hid some jewels among the paving and bushes.
The Leonardslee Gardens in the United Kingdom provide a truly unique experience, offering waterfalls and unique plant life in an English woodland setting. Forty wallabies call the gardens their home.
The wallabies became a popular feature for visitors, but the marsupials served a more practical purpose. They kept the gardens free of weeds.
The gardens had been open to the public for over a hundred years. But an anonymous buyer bought the plot for $6.4 million and chose to discontinue public access.
Kinabalu National Park Orchid Collection
The Kinabalu National Park in Malaysia is one of the few places on the planet where you’ll find the Gold of Kinabalu Orchid. This endangered flower is currently valued at around $,5,000 a stem. Each orchid may take as long as 15 years to flower.
Of course, the fenced-off collection of orchids in the garden is a cherished and well-protected plot.
The Chateau Gardens of Versailles
The most acclaimed example of formal French garden design, Versailles’ chateau gardens are famous for their geometrically aligned terraces, luxuriant tree-lined paths, quiet ponds, and canals.
The gardens boast 50 stunning fountains with 620 jets. Many of the fountains still use the same hydraulics commissioned by the French Royal Family.
In all, the Palace of Versailles employs around 600 people, including groundskeepers and gardeners. The palace has a consolidated annual budget of around US$ 111 million, a considerable chunk of which goes to the maintenance of the gardens.
Your Own Little Paradise
Gardening is a beautiful, simple way to enjoy life. The satisfaction you get from nurturing a seed to bloom or fruit is unmatched by any other hobby.
The experience of learning how to succeed at gardening is priceless, no matter how modest or humble your garden might be. The little backyard fountain, the small vegetable plot, the charming outdoor furniture form your own personal paradise – and it is unlike any other!
In the end, this uncomplicated, inexpensive hobby yields brilliant blooms for the yard or home and offers peace to the tired, stressed-out mind.
And that’s all that really matters.