Roses near Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg

Stopping to Smell the Roses in Moscow and St. Petersburg

Published: September 20, 2019

By far one of my favorite pastimes is taking pictures of flowers. I love capturing their temporal beauty, as well as appreciating their many varieties in species, size, and color. Below are just four of the many places flowers thrive in Saint Petersburg and Moscow.


VDNKh (Moscow)

I first noticed the beauty of the gardens at ВДНХ (VDNKh) in passing while we traveled to the Samovar Festival on Russia Day. As I had managed to show up late and received a personal escort to the rest of the group, I couldn’t very well stop and photograph each flower that caught my eye. We returned to the park at the end of our two months to check out the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines, so I stayed behind after our tour, spending a good hour and a half photographing the flowers and fountains. Here are just a few of my favorites:

Alexander Gardens (Moscow)

Just adjacent to Red Square lies a collection of fountains and flowers known as the Alexander Gardens. I spent a good portion of my last day in Moscow flitting between the two locations, alternately enjoying the constructed beauty of St. Basil’s and the natural beauty of the gardens:

Kazan Cathedral (St. Petersburg)

The Kazan Cathedral, located not far from the dorms where SRAS students stay in Saint Petersburg, was filled with a beautiful assortment of pale pink roses. It was here that I took one of my favorite photographs of my entire trip, along with an assortment of others as I viewed the roses from various angles:

Peterhof (near St. Petersburg)

Definitely the most tragic aspect of my tour of Peterhof was that there was just too much to see and not enough time to see it all. The entire property was filled with garden after garden, and it was only by breaking off from our group for a moment that my friend and I were able to see the flowers pictured below:

About the author

Helen McHenry

Helen McHenry, at the time she wrote for this site, was a double major in international relations and Russian at the Ohio State University, with minors in Spanish and public policy. She studied with Russian as a Second Language with SRAS at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow in order to advance her proficiency in Russian and appreciation for Russian culture. She hoped to use the knowledge gained during her time abroad to advocate for foreign policy that strengthens relations between East and West in her future career.

Program attended: Challenge Grants

View all posts by: Helen McHenry