Garden tourism

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**Historical Development of Garden Tourism:**
– Garden tourism has a long history, with traditions in China, Japan, and Europe.
– Early garden tourists like Michel de Montaigne and John Evelyn recorded their impressions of gardens.
– Private gardens in China, such as the Classical Gardens of Suzhou, were opened to the public.
– European royal palace gardens had restricted areas accessible to the public based on dress code.
– Private Japanese gardens historically had limited public access.

**Literary and Touristic Influence on Garden Tourism:**
– Michel de Montaigne and John Evelyn were early garden tourists who documented their visits.
– Maggie Campbell-Culver wrote a biography of John Evelyn based on his garden experiences.
– Garden tours have been influenced by literature and travel accounts.
– Gardens have been a subject of interest for writers and travelers for centuries.
– Garden tourism has inspired various literary works.

**Organizations and Schemes Supporting Garden Tourism:**
– The National Gardens Scheme in England and Wales began in 1927.
– The Yellow Book served as a guide for garden tours in England and Wales, later renamed Gardens To Visit.
– Private gardens opened for charity under the National Gardens Scheme.
– The National Trust partnered with the National Gardens Scheme for garden tours.
– Boutique tour operators offer guided garden tours worldwide.

**Prominent Garden Tourism Destinations:**
– Sissinghurst Castle Garden and Stourhead in England, Versailles, Giverny, Villandry, and Rivau in France, Keukenhof in the Netherlands, Villa d’Este in Italy, Alhambra in Spain, Taj Mahal in India, Longwood Gardens in the US, and Ryōan-ji in Japan are renowned for their gardens.
– The Alhambra and the Taj Mahal received over two million visitors in 2000.

**Types, Benefits, Trends, and Future of Garden Tourism:**
– **Types:** Garden tours, festivals, botanical gardens, historic gardens, and garden shows.
– **Benefits:** Promotes environmental awareness, boosts local economies, preserves cultural heritage, enhances well-being, and supports conservation efforts.
– **Popular Destinations:** Keukenhof Gardens, Butchart Gardens, Kew Gardens, Gardens of Versailles, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
– **Trends:** Rise in eco-friendly gardens, popularity of garden photography, growth in garden-themed events, sustainable gardening practices, and unique garden experiences.
– **Future:** Integration of technology for virtual garden tours, expansion of community gardens, collaboration with local artists for garden exhibitions, development of educational garden programs, and promotion of garden tourism as a sustainable travel option.

Garden tourism (Wikipedia)

Garden tourism is a type of niche tourism involving visits to famous gardens and botanical gardens and places which are significant in the history of gardening. Garden tourists often travel individually in countries with which they are familiar but often prefer to join organized garden tours in countries where they might experience difficulties with language, travel or finding accommodation in the vicinity of the garden. In the year 2000 the Alhambra and the Taj Mahal both received over two million visitors. This poses problems for the landscape manager.

Tourists at the Keukenhof gardens

Probably the oldest traditions of garden tourism are those of China and Japan. In both countries some temples had famous gardens, and in China a private garden could be visited for a small charge by the 11th century. In India, many Mughal gardens around tombs and mosques could be visited, and throughout the Islamic world some gardens were in effect public parks, open to the public, while others remained strictly private.

In Early Modern Europe it was generally possible for the public, or at least those respectably dressed, to see large parts of royal palace gardens, at least some of the time, while other areas were a "privy garden" with tightly restricted access. At the same time botanic gardens were being founded, which had being a visitor attraction as an important part of their function. By the 18th century, the English "garden tour" of large country house gardens was well-established, with guide-books and maps of the garden, and special inns.

Many tourist visits are to gardens, as part of a broader itinerary or a one-off trip, but the amount of tourism dedicated to seeing a series of gardens is much smaller. Garden tourism of this sort remains a niche commercial enterprise. Throughout the world, there are a limited number of boutique tour operators offering guided tours to the public.

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