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SDA short takes


June 9, 2011

“The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.” This keen summation from Hanna Rion best describes the following exquisite gardens and courtyards where art, nature and sensation work wonders to rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit.


51 Buckingham Gate: Royal BBQ & Blooms

Tucked away off the street just steps from Buckingham Palace, the Courtyard at 51 is London’s insider secret for summer al fresco dining. The Victoria-era lavishly landscaped space serves as the exclusive front yard retreat for 86 luxurious residential-style suites from Taj Hotels. Now in full bloom, it’s hosting a summer of dining and musical events. Feast on the best in cuisine from the Middle East and North Africa prepared in a state-of-the-art BBQ, paired with wine or the 10th anniversary 51 Cocktail until September, and accompanied by Opera or best of the West End hits on select evenings in July and August. For more information visit



Boca Resort: Sculpted Gardens Galore

Summer at this lush 365-acre resort in South Florida includes a bevy of gardens just waiting to roll out the green carpet for you and yours. Tour the $6 million outdoor Sculpture Garden and its remarkable collection of museum-quality works by noted artists and curated by the Elaine Baker Gallery, then relax in the shade of the 9-foot bronze lifeguard (“Socorrista” by Aurora Canero) that keeps avid watch over the Boca Beach Club pool oasis. Try your hand at lawn games, from croquet or volleyball to larger-than-life chess in the Cloister Garden. Or find serenity in the tropical spa garden at Spa Palazzo as you enjoy a light lunch to the sounds of cascading waterfalls. For more information



Naples Grande: Golden Door Zen Garden

Reveal your svelte self with a series of “bikini body” readiness classes and treatments at the eco-smart resort’s Golden Door spa, such as the signature Szekely Mineral Wrapsody with fragrant Indonesian Ginger, Egyptian Geranium or Chinese Jasmine, followed by your choice of outdoor co-ed sauna, spa and whirlpool. Go on to deepen your inner harmony in the spa’s Zen garden. Melt into the outdoor daybed draped in sheer white linen or enjoy a blissful meditation labyrinth walk at sunset. Then float into the night to discover a new garden of delights. For more information visit


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