The Garden Path

The Ora Garden of Wellbeing at the Taupo Museum in New Zealand
Children, too, serve as costumed docents at Kings Landing.

KINGS LANDING, New Brunswick — For over 200 years, the buildings that make up Kings Landing Historical Settlement served well those living in Canada’s St. John River Valley. There, in an area so fertile that it was quickly dubbed “little Egypt,” thousands of refugees from colonial America found a new home in the aftermath of the American Revolution.

The refugees were Loyalists, American colonists who had chosen to side with the British and King George III. At...

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A medieval medicinal garden on the island of Reichenau in Lake Constance, Germany
Ornate wrought-iron gates lead to the less-formal second garden.

One cannot spend much time in the tiny multi-island nation of Malta without running smack-dab into the Knights of the Order of St. John.

Not literally, of course, since their 268-year stay ended 200 years ago. But evidence of their existence was left everywhere on Malta’s main island — also called Malta — as they went about transforming a limestone breadcrumb in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea into a prized jewel of mighty defenses and buildings of architectural splendor.

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Sicily presented a problem. Searching through guidebooks, I could not find a “Garden Path” garden to visit. With that, I wrote to the Italian Government Tourist Board (630 Fifth Ave., Ste. 1565, New York, NY 10111; 212/245-5618), giving them a list of Sicilian ports I’d be visiting in early fall of 2010 while on board Sea Cloud, the 1930s-built plaything of heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post.

An e-mail message came flying back: ‘From Syracuse, make your way to Il Biviere.’

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by Yvonne Horn

“I’ll tell you all about the monu­ments as we go along,” Sylvia Kolbe suggested as we set out to walk what was once the city of Leipzig’s fortified walls and today is the Promenadenring, an encircling ring of leafy, sometimes flowery, greenery.

I’d requested a city guide knowledgeable about not only the city but plants and gardens. Sylvia was perfect. She is not only a Leipzig resident with long generational ties to the city but one with a love of gardening...

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by Yvonne Horn

Ah, the gardens of Iran. Pictured in my mind’s eye were the celestial paradises of the Koran in which flowers bloom, fruit ripens and man and beasts live in harmony. I pictured the romantic gardens of Persian poets. “The rose has flushed red, the bud has burst, and drunk with joy is the nightingale,” wrote the 14th-century poet Hafez.

Pictured, too, were mental images of the royal pleasure gardens of the 17th-century Safavids along with the enclosed, designed-to-...

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by Yvonne Michie Horn

San Miguel de Allende was just another sleepy, colonial backwater in Mexico until the 1950s, when it was discovered by creative and artistic souls. Slowly and then more quickly it became an expatriate darling until it stretched far beyond its quaint, cobbled streets and lovely old buildings.

Gated communities — largely American and Canadian inhabited — had gradually taken over six of the seven canyons surrounding the town’s historic center. In 1989, the...

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