Ten of the world's most amazing flower displays

BUTCHART GARDENS, VICTORIA, CANADA

Butchart Garden ranks among the world's best gardens. It was started in 1904 as a sunken garden on the site of an old limestone quarry, to which Japanese, rose and Italianate gardens were later added. The gardens now cover 50 acres with 700 varieties of flower and some million plants. The colourful show is truly magnificent and gardeners will be inspired – or perhaps crestfallen – at its sheer perfection. See butchartgardens.com

CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW, LONDON, UK

A couple admiring a display of chrysanthemums at the Chelsea Flower Show in London. ? Visit Britain SunNov12trav10 Flower Displays Traveller 10 ; text by Brian Johnston SUPPLIED

This annual May event showcases stunning gardens created by some of the world's leading garden designers and horticulturalists, combined with lashings of English tradition (cream teas, Pimm's, rain showers) and the odd celebrity and royal sighting. Gardens range from classical to cutting-edge, and some are just balcony sized, but all are immaculately presented. The Grand Pavilion, bursting in colour and perfume, features floral arrangements and new hybrid flowers. See rhs.org.uk

KIRSTENBOSCH, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

The Cape boasts some of the world's richest plant diversity, and this famous botanic garden, founded in 1913, showcases its diverse flora, from giant camphor trees and cycads to proteas and the pelargoniums from which geraniums are derived. The garden extends up the mountain slopes, preserving stands of natural forest and shrub-land, too, which erupts in purple and orange wildflowers. The setting beneath the bulk of Table Mountain is spectacular. See sanbi.org

KEUKENHOF, LISSE, NETHERLANDS

SunNov12trav10 Flower Displays Traveller 10 ; text by Brian Johnston photo credit:?Brian Johnston *** ONE TIME TRAVELLER USE ONLY *** *** FEE $ APPLIES *** Tulip display at Keukenhof gardens in the Netherlands.

Photo: Brian Johnston

For spectacular displays of tulips, Keukenhof Garden is unbeatable. The renowned gardens are planted with seven million bulbs, many of which are tulips and daffodils, clumped together in colourful masses that bloom from early April until mid-May. Inside the pavilions, you can inspect rare and new tulip varieties. In surrounding fields, you'll see fields of tulips planted in neat rows, adding a palette of pinks and yellows to the landscape. See keukenhof.nl

CHERRY-BLOSSOM SEASON, KYOTO, JAPAN

The best cherry-blossom displays in Japan erupt across Kyoto's gardens, temple and palace grounds and hillsides in mid-April, carpeting the ancient capital in pink and white. Locals head into parks to celebrate with picnics under the cherry trees, many illuminated at night and hung with red lanterns. Special hanami (blossom-viewing) events and parades are held across the city, and ladies in elaborate kimonos add further colour to the spectacle. See kyoto.travel

PHILADELPHIA FLOWER SHOW, PHILADELPHIA, USA

The world's largest indoor flower show was founded in 1829, and each March fills the Pennsylvania Convention Centre with garden showcases from some of America's leading designers. Because the venue is temperature controlled, all the gardens are forced into bloom simultaneously, to wonderful effect. Expect everything from tropical gardens to native woodlands and exotic orchids. The show's theme changes each year; 2018 focuses on the wonders of water. See theflowershow.com

WILDFLOWER SEASON, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

SunNov12trav10 Flower Displays Traveller 10 ; text by Brian Johnston SUPPLIED Walking through a field of wildflower near The Pinnacles in Western Australia. ? Tourism Western Australia

Few floral displays are so widespread, so varied and so readily accessible as the wildflower season that sees WA erupt in waves of colour between late July and November, transforming arid landscapes into a kaleidoscope of beauty. Dozens of wildflower driving routes will take you among the spectacle of pink boronias, banksias and wattles and the exploding fireworks of coneflowers. Yellow and pink carpets of everlastings feature across central WA. See westernaustralia.com

SINGAPORE GARDEN FESTIVAL, SINGAPORE

Though less than a decade old, this week-long July garden show at the Suntec International Convention Centre already has international heft, with designers from some 20 countries presenting gardens that showcase current world gardening trends. Each must work with the same budget and plot size. The tropical gardens are especially colourful, with flowering gingers, orchids, heliconias and waxy, scarlet anthuriums. This is now the largest flower show in the tropics. See singaporegardenfestival.com

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SKAGIT VALLEY, WASHINGTON, US

This Washington State valley is America's largest producer of springtime bulbs. The fields erupt into colour as a million tulips, daffodils and irises bloom in April, striping the valley with brilliant shades of red, orange and trumpet yellow. The month-long Skagit Valley Tulip Festival sees farms and private growers' gardens open their gates to visitors, as well as a tulip parade, kite flying, handicraft markets and live music. See tulipfestival.org

FERIA DE LAS FLORES, MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA

This is more than just a chance for farmers in the region around this Colombian city to showcase their flowers: it has become an August holiday celebration, spectacular week-long festival and important social occasion. Giant floral displays known as silleteros are paraded through the streets to live music as vast crowds clap and cheer. You can also expect fireworks, orchid competitions, an equestrian fair and folk-music concerts. See turismoenmedellin.com

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