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The average gardener is quite happy working on their lawn, growing their vegetables and watching their flowers grow. However, there are some gardeners out there who have turned gardening into an art form, transforming acres of land into a tranquil paradise. Some of these projects have spanned for decades, becoming a lifetime work of art for the designers. Some of the gardens are open to the public.

New Zealand’s “A French Kiss”

Located in Akaroa, Christchurch, A French Kiss is a stunning design by Ben Hoyle. His design won New Zealand’s Ellerslie International Flower Show with A French Kiss, the sixth time he had come out top in the competition.

A French Kiss is a sunken oasis which features a lounge area in the middle of a sunken lake which allows visitors to sit below the waterline with the comfort of pillows and a seating area. According to Ben Hoyle, he was inspired by a French settlement in the New Zealand town of Akaroa. The garden has been passed onto New Brighton, an area which has suffered from serious damage during the 2011 Earthquake.

The USA’s “Forestiere Underground Gardens”

Forestiere Underground Gardens in the United States is located in Fresno, California. The gardens were created by an immigrant from Sicily who spent 40 years working on the garden between 1906 and 1946 when he died. The man was named Baldasare and he cited his inspiration as coming from Roman catacombs. He originally built the garden in order to escape from the heat of the Californian heat. Since his death, the gardens have been listed as a historical landmark in the state of California.

The underground gardens consist of three stories, containing a number of rooms including a summer bedroom and a winter bedroom. Some of the plants in the garden were planted over a century ago but are protected by the structure of the underground gardens.

The Forestiere Underground Gardens are open to the public to this day, with tours scheduled throughout the year which allow visitors to marvel at the stunning design of the garden. There are also sunset tours available which allow visitors to appreciate the beauty of the garden after hours.

Norway’s “Arctic Alpine Botanical Garden”

Norway’s most stunning garden is known as the most northern garden of its kind on the planet. The beautiful Arctic Alpine Botanical Garden showcases arctic and alpine plants, as the name would suggest. The garden has been open since the mid-1990s and it is currently run by a local university.

As well as showcasing stunning arctic plants, there is also foliage from all over the world including Africa, South America and the Himalayas.

Located 200 miles within the Arctic Circle, the unique location experiences the sun at midnight between the months of May and July. From November until January, the area see no sunlight whatsoever. It is completely free to enter the stunning gardens between the months of May and October so if you ever find yourself in Norway a visit to this garden is highly recommended.

Patricia Heinz is a travel and gardening blogger. Her two passions compel her to visit gardens all over the world. When at home she likes to browse www.gardenfurniturecentre.co.uk.

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