Tresco, Isles of Scilly TR24 0QQ, Regno Unito
Here off the coast of Cornwall, Spring comes early, autumn stays late and winter hardly exists at all. Truly a subtropical paradise, Tresco Abbey Garden is brimming with plants that would stand no chance at all just 30 miles away on the Cornish mainland. The beautiful garden, built in the 19th century around the ruins of a Benedictine Abbey, is home to species from across the world’s Mediterranean climate zones, from Brazil to New Zealand and Burma to South Africa. It’s quite easy to while away a day meandering among sheltered glades of tree ferns or strolling along sunny terraces, gazing out across the borders to the ocean views beyond. Even non-gardeners cannot fail but wonder at the array of scents, sights and sounds that await around every corner. The face of the garden changes throughout the year. In spring flowers bloom weeks ahead of those on the mainland – the perfect tonic after a long, cold winter. In the autumn the reds, golds and ambers of the seasonal foliage contrast with the magnificent proteas, aloes and camellias. Even at the winter solstice there are usually more than 300 species of plant in flower.