A real fantasy

Gardens often play a major role in stories both real and imagined. Queen Marie-Antoinette strolled the famed gardens at Versailles, which have captured the imaginations of tourists and locals alike for centuries. Flower patches like Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “Secret Garden” or the gardens in D.H. Lawrence’s “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” seem real but live only in the minds of readers.

Still, some gardens that seem like they could be set in a novel or fairy tale are very real, like France’s Château du Rivau (pictured). Some have a history, full of drama and intrigue, that eclipse the most well-plotted novel. Others poke at visitors’ imaginations with their atmosphere and settings.

Here are nine living gardens that could be pulled straight from the pages of a novel or fairy tale.

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