There are gardens and then there are carefully engineered masterpieces of plants, stones, and animals that fill acres of land with anthropogenic natural wonders. Humans don't always trash their ecosystems. Sometimes we reshape them into something amazing. Here are some of the most incredible examples of landscape architecture, also known humbly as gardening.

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Villa d'Este, Tivoli, Italy

The Italian Renaissance Garden has lots of fountains, the Rometta, the Avenue of the Hundred Fountains and amazing terraces. It was built in the 16th century, but extended in 1605.

via Janet Eastman/Flickr, Fulvia Giannessi/Flickr and Wikipedia


Gardens Of Versailles, Versailles, France

These manicured French gardens cover 800 hectares of land, situated west of the Palace of Versailles.


The garden was designed by André Le Notre between 1668-1670, and the sculptures was made by Gaspard and Balthazar Marsy. The building of the 1500 metre-long and 62 m wide Grand Canal was finished one year later.

via simpsora/Flickr, Francisco Antunes/Flickr and Renata Barros/Flickr


Sanssouci Park, Potsdam, Germany

This garden surrounds a palace with the same name. The Sanssouci Park is a baroque flower garden, but there is a vineyard terrace and a hedge quarter, where 3,000 fruit trees are growing. Constructed from the 1750s to the 1770s.


via Ian Fisher/Flickr (1, 2), Million Seven/Flickr and Sebastian Niedlich/Flickr

Schönbrunn Garden, Vienna, Austria

It was a Rococo summer residence for the Habsburg monarchs, built between 1696 and 1765.


Here is the first zoo ever (opened in 1752, but it's still there). Plus, there is a palm house, an orangerie, an old botanical garden, and a small English style garden, too.

via Association of European Royal Residences , Analucia Tamez/Flickr, Julian Weyer/Flickr (1, 2) and Christopher Laine/Flickr


Ayrlies Garden, near Whitford, North Island of New Zealand

It's the "quintessential New Zealand garden". The Ayrlies is full of ponds, waterways, colorful flowers and lawns.


photo via Nigel Burkitt/Flickr (1, 2, 3)


The Taj Mahal and the Mehtab Bagh (Moonlight Garden), Agra, India

The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third and favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, between 1632 and 1653. The Mehtab Bagh (or the Moonlight Garden) is a 300 by 300 metre, square garden, north of the Taj Mahal complex, built in 1652.

via Partha Chowdhury/Flickr, Philippe Biemy/Flickr and Owais Khan/Flickr


Classical Gardens of Suzhou (Humble Administrator's Garden), Suzhou, China

500 years old, this garden takes up more than half a million square feet. It's actually dozens of small islands connected with bridges. It's a real maze.

via Jan Kunst/Flickr and Robert Benoit/Flickr


Isshidan Garden, Ryogen-in Temple, Kyoto, Japan

In the 14th century the Zen Buddhist monks created a new garden style, the Japanese Zen garden, much imitated today by New Age types.

via Randomwire/Flickr