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Huntington Japanese Garden

Japanese garden area at the Huntington Botanical Gardens.

1. Winterthur Garden, Wilmington, Delaware
Before you go, check their garden blog, a resource for garden lovers who want the nitty-gritty details of what’s currently blooming.

2. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, on Biscayne Bay near Miami, Florida
Considered to be the best example of a Renaissance garden in the United States.

3. Dumbarton Oaks, in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
For a quiet escape from the bustling streets of Georgetown, meander through the 17th- and 18th-century English gardens at Dumbarton Oaks.

4. The Old Westbury Gardens, on Long Island’s North Shore, New York
The 88 acres of formal gardens feature shaded walks, ponds, and statues beneath willows, sycamores, maples, and cypresses. Consider a tour of the mansion to view paintings by John Singer Sargent, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, and John Constable.

5. Brooklyn Botanical Garden, 25 minutes by subway from Manhattan.
Stroll through the Cranford Rose Garden (5,000 plants, 1,200 varieties); the Fragrance Garden, designed for the blind; and the Shakespeare Garden, exhibiting more than 80 plants immortalized by the Bard.

6. Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, Georgia
Take Mom on the new canopy walk, which lets you tour an urban forest from 40 feet up in the air.

7. Missouri Botanical Garden,  St. Louis, Missouri
Founded in 1859, it is the oldest botanical garden in the United States and a world leader in botanical research.

8. Dallas Arboretum, Dallas, Texas
Meander through the Women’s Garden, designed to celebrate their strength, softness, balance, and wisdom; it features a Poetry and Genesis Garden.

9. Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, Arizona
The 140-acre garden showcases over 20,000 plants from deserts worldwide.

10. Huntington Botanical Gardens, San Marino, near Pasadena, California.
Choose one or visit all 12 themed areas, including the Japanese, Chinese, Rose, Shakespeare, Camellia, Jungle, and Palm gardens. Then tour the Huntington Art Collection, with paintings by Thomas Gainsborough, Mary Cassatt, and Edward Hopper.

If you can’t take Mom yourself, consider buying her tickets to a concert in a garden this summer. Find the perfect private garden to visit on the Garden Conservancy website. More than 400 gardens in 26 states are listed.

Want more? Try this Top 10 list of gardens around the world from National Geographic Online.

(this post first appeared in the Intelligent Travel blog on the National Geographic site)