At the risk of sounding terribly middle-aged, we love a good garden. But where can you find the best (apart from at Monty Don's house, obviously)? Lucky for you, we've dug up (sorry) a list of some of our very favourites…
Babylonstoren, South Africa
What happens when you combine one of the most beautiful colonial era farms in Africa (big claim) with a 17th century philosophical approach to perennials? Well, if you're the owners of Babylonstoren, in South Africa's Cape Winelands, you get 600+ acres of beautifully designed gardens, vineyards, orchards and groves. These are full of grapes, pears, plums, lemons, oranges, olives and mandarins, which go on to be cooked up in the estate's restaurant, Babel, or turned into their delicious wine.
Jardin Majorelle, Morocco
Sticking with gardens in Africa, Marrakech's Jardin Majorelle is one of the most visited spots in Morocco. It isn't hard to see why. The two-and-a-half acre garden is an oasis of calm away from the hurly-burly of Marrakech, and was designed by Jacques Majorelle (creator if the iconic Majorelle blue) to reflect the Islamic ideals of Paradise. This means soothing squares which flow between carefully placed plants and trickling fountains, with a background of birdsong, all in garishly glorious co-ordinated colours, naturally.
Strawberry Hill, Jamaica
This Caribbean hideaway is so-called because its 18th century owner, the Earl of Orford, discovered the land on his plantation was perfect for growing his favourite strawberries (confusingly the plantation also shares a name with said owner's London pad, Strawberry Hill in Twickenham). Over the intervening 200-odd years, Strawberry Hill and its 26-acre garden have cultivated an eclectic mix of guests, from Admiral Nelson to Bob Marley, and today guests can wander the stone paths lined with expertly cultivated plants, including avocados, mangoes and star apples.
Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens are home to one of the most spectacular collections of orchids in the world, including the largest known orchid species, the tiger orchid. Away from the orchid house, the 200-plus days of rain every year keep the gardens lush and blooming, and plant-lovers of all varieties are bound to find something to get excited about among the 4,000 species.
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
City gardens are some of our favourite - they are the lungs of the city (think Hampstead Heath and Central Park) - and none more so the Singapore's Gardens by the Bay. Space is at a premium in a city as built up as Singapore so the team behind the gardens reclaimed land from its bay to build three blooming beautiful bay gardens. Thanks to the city state's international aspect, and the extraordinary team behind the gardens, plants from all over the world flourish right on the water's edge - perfect for an afternoon wandering between flights, or as part of a longer stay.