Not Your Grandma's Garden: 8 Unusual Gardens From Around the World

Delve into the obscure and unusual of the botanical world. While many gardens around the world host a variety of stunning flowers and peaceful atmosphere, a garden can be as beautiful as it is strange...or deadly.

Take a look at 8 gardens that defy the rules of what a garden should be in the most beautiful way.

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The Gardens of Bomarzo • Lazio, Italy

Try to find order in the chaos of a stone statue war.

Larger-than-life monsters hewn from rock snarl at visitors and battle with one another. The odd design and layout of this unusual garden seems to be complete chaos, and is not pleasant like a normal garden, but exhilarating.

The Alnwick Poison Garden • Northumberland, England

Enter the gates of a deadly garden if you dare.

A range of psychedelic hallucinogens, powerful narcotics, and potent killers grow in the Alnwick Poison Garden. Surrounded by stoic walls, a heavy front gate proclaiming the deadly nature of the greenery inside, and armed with guards ‘round the clock, utmost care is taken to prevent deaths from this garden, yet several people a year faint or must be hospitalized for getting too close.

Jardin Exotique de Monaco (Exotic Garden of Monaco)• Monaco

Wander the prickly paths of this arid garden.

The Jardin Exotique de Monaco boasts exotic desert plants, succulents, and cacti, but they aren’t all prickles and thorns. Many of the cacti are flowering, and some even bloom only at night. While many of the flowering cacti have painful barbs, succulents stand apart as smooth and sometimes colorful counterparts.

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation • Dumfries, Scotland

Study the fragility of science in this architectural garden.

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation doesn’t focus on plants so much as their arrangement. Featuring reflecting ponds, double-helix staircases, spiraling landforms, earth designed to mimic black holes, and more, this thought-provoking and incredibly unique garden is open only once a year.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan • Cornwall, England

Walk among Mud Maidens.

The lost garden holds onto a melancholy nostalgia and air of mystery as you move through it, from the words “Don’t come here to sleep or slumber” written on the front gate with the original gardener’s names signed underneath, to the massive stone sculptures of giant heads and sleeping women waiting to be found along the woodland paths.

Forestiere Underground Garden • resno, California

Step below the surface to explore a garden like no other.

In a name fitting for his legacy, Baldasare Forestiere was a Sicilian immigrant that built a 10-acre underground garden in Fresno, California for the last 40 years of his life. Plants that are 100 years old are still bearing fruit in three levels of the garden, and his descendants still maintain it.

Las Pozas • Xilitla, Mexico

Lose yourself in this surrealist maze.

You may not get lost in Las Pozas in Xilitla, Mexico, but your mind will linger long after you leave. The entire garden is filled with striking and beautiful surrealist sculptures by Edward James, who designed the exotic garden. Among pools, sculptures up to four stories high, and an air of jungle-like ruins throughout the garden, a walk through Las Pozas is more than a stroll through a garden, it’s an adventure.

The Eden Project Cornwall, England

Step under the dome into a jungle!

Enter one of the several biodomes of the Eden Project in Cornwall, England and wander through lush and tropical flowers, plants and trees. While fully immersed in greenery, this garden is almost like a museum. Walk across suspended bridges to get up close and personal with towering trees, broaden your mind in well-equipped educational centers, and don’t forget to enjoy yourself among the amazing tropical surroundings.

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