It’s hard to think of anything as universally nice as a wildflower. From Monet paintings to romantic bouquets, it symbolises beauty and vitality and chimes perfectly with the restorative message that spring brings.
Here are some of the world’s most beautiful blooms that brighten the world in springtime, from lakeside lupins to an island of exotic plants.
Picture: Torism Western Australia
Wildflower Country, Western Australia
Did you know Australia is home to one of the largest flower shows on Earth? WA boasts 12,000 species of wildflower, with more than 60 per cent found there, and there alone! Each spring they burst into colour, decorating the landscape from coast to forest, and city to outback.
The flowers bloom over six months, giving you a wide window to take in the view, which is great, especially if you’re coming from outside WA. The colour starts in the north in June and July, contrasting with the pindan earth, rugged canyons and turquoise sea.
By September, it has moved south to Perth’s botanical gardens, nature reserves and national parks. October and November bring colour to the forests and coastal heaths of the south-west.
One great spot to view the spectacle is Coalseam Conservation Park, located in Wildflower Country, a four-hour drive north of Perth but there are many spots to take in the sights on the dedicated wildflower scenic drives and walking trails.
The Netherlands is renowned for its tulips, but they’re merely the appetiser at Keukenhof, a horticulturist’s heaven also known as the Garden of Europe. Part-garden, part-art installation, more than seven million bulbs are planted in Keukenhof each year, and its carefully curated rows of different coloured petals shine like horizontal rainbows.
Flanked by windmills, Keukenhof may not (quite) be the largest flower garden, but it has a good claim to being the most photogenic.
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Most of the world’s great floral spectacles serve up a roster of different coloured blooms, but Lake Tekapo has won admirers the world over with a dazzling single species display. Lupins are not native to New Zealand, and in some areas are subject to controls, but by Lake Tekapo, they spawn in such vast numbers that they draw in tourist figures to match.
Quite mesmerising as they sway gently in the wind, lupins show up in every shade of the purple palette, perfectly complementing the deep blue sheen of the lake beyond.
Carlsbad Flower Fields, USA
Colour is the word of the day at the Carlsbad Flower Fields in California, from brightest red and purest white to almost fluorescent pink. The fields contain 50 acres of perfectly arranged, densely packed wildflowers, ensnaring the senses through scent and sight.
A flower field that doesn’t take itself too seriously, extra entertainment comes from a hedge maze made from sweet peas, a giant greenhouse filled with orchids, and an enormous American flag formed from red, white and blue petunias.
Mainau Island, Germany
An island paradise in the middle of Lake Constance, Mainau was once owned by the Order of Teutonic Knights, and is now a family business striving to create an oasis of verdant tranquillity away from the hubbub of everyday life.
There are sculptures, fountains and pergolas, but the show is firmly stolen by the plant life, which varies from daffodils, forget-me-nots and hyacinths to more exotic treats such as cactuses and palms. Themed areas include the rhododendron slope, the Italian rose garden, the dahlia garden, and the hydrangea path.
Table Cape Tulip Farm, Tasmania
This farm prides itself on having the largest tulip fields open to visitors in the Southern Hemisphere. Perched atop dramatic cliffs that drop into the Bass Strait, this working farm bursts into colour from late-September to mid-October.
A large variety of tulips bloom to make a magical experience and a photographer’s delight. As well as the many hectares of tulips to wander among, there is also an impressive indoor display featuring floral arrangements, an art exhibition, refreshments available, information on growing your own bulbs, and a souvenir shop.
Ashikaga Flower Park, Japan
We could fill a whole other list with the horticultural hotspots of Japan. You probably know that it’s famed for its cherry blossoms, so we’re opting for the equally deserving Ashikaga Flower Park outside Tokyo.
The flagship wisteria flowers hang from a large network of trees, glinting demurely in the spring sun. One tree is said to be more than 100 years old, while others combine to form a gently shimmering tunnel of white, pink and blue.
Have you visited any of these beautiful places? Do you have any others to add to our list?
– With PA
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