Susan Worner Tours

  1. Summer 2015 Newsletter & 2016 Dates

      I have now come to the end of a superb Spring and Summer season with gardens at their best – much appreciated by everyone. Though some regions are suffering now from drought conditions, we all enjoyed cheerful sunny days discovering a multitude of garden styles, innovative ways of pruning...
  2. Menton, Mimosa and the Lemon Festival – 24 February to 03 March 2015

    Protected to the north by the mountains, and facing the Mediterranean sea, the mild micro-climate of Menton has encouraged plant collectors to create beautiful gardens amongst the steep terraces of olive groves and citrus trees. Strong elements of Italian design have influenced Menton’s villas and gardens as it remained part...
  3. Namibia Safari Tours

    Two fabulous repeat tours to Namibia feature in our annual programme with completely different itineraries. Our first tour is in March travelling in the green season in northern Namibia and on to the fabulous Okavango Delta in Botswana plus a day at the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Wildlife and birds...
  4. Summer 2013

    A wonderful warm and sunny summer season this year and gardens have really benefitted. Our kitchen gardens and orchards are yielding fabulous, delicious produce. Rosa mutabilis chinensis is thriving in my garden reminding me of the Landriana gardens near Rome. This rose grows prolifically under the beautiful Melia azedarach. I...
  5. Normandy Gardens from Dieppe to Bayeux

    1st – 6 September 2014 This area of Normandy is remarkable for it’s wealth of beautiful gardens. Islands of acid clay soil within a region that is predominantly chalk, plus a mild climate means that the variety of planting styles are very varied. Our visits included several gardens around Varangeville...
  6. Italian Lakes – Spring Gardens around Lakes Como and Maggiore

    23 – 30 April 2019

    Concentrating on the wealth of beautiful gardens around Lakes Como and Maggiore, the tour gives a balance between interesting botanic gardens and those of classic Renaissance and later Italian style. The exuberant spring flowers are set against breath-taking scenery with many varieties of azalea, wisteria, cornus and magnolia – a spectacular yellow variety is particularly eye-catching. At the northern end of Lake Maggiore we cross into Switzerland to visit the impressive Eisenhut Botanical Garden and nursery. An insubric climate, acid soil and sunny cold winters enable the rich variety of plants found in the region to thrive.

    The first few days are spent on Lake Como at the delightful, family-run Hotel Firenze in the lakeside village of Bellagio, overlooking the beautiful lake and snow-capped mountains. We then transfer to the very comfortable Hotel Cannero on the beautiful Maggiore lakeside, run by Signora Gallinotto and her family to a very high standard.

    Beat Fischer, our Swiss botanist, leads the tour with his usual enthusiasm. Beat was formerly curator of the University Botanical Gardens in Bern and has led tours for us for some years.

  7. Gardens of Provence – Alpilles to the Luberon

    The Provencal landscape of farmhouses or mas, vineyards and typical unspoilt villages sets the scene as we pass along avenues of majestic plane trees. Our visits encompass both traditional farmhouse-style gardens and contemporary, Mediterranean country gardens, some influenced by Nicole de Vesian, modern local landscape architects and the Land Art movement. Most gardens are privately owned. Wild poppies in the cornfields, roses and lavender abound. The craggy limestone Alpilles are a focal point around St Rémy, while the forested Luberon hills have perched hill-top villages. A visit to the Camargue has been added, not to be missed when in the region.

    We stay for the first few days at Château de Mazan on the edge of the medieval village of Mazan, moving afterwards to the attractive town of St Rémy-de-Provence at the foothills of les Alpilles. Hotel de l’Image has its attractive garden and pool. Train travel available – London to Avignon.

  8. Spring Gardens of Florence and Fiesole

    The Medici created gardens in Florence and the surrounding hills in the sixteenth century with grottoes, statues, boschetti and waterworks. Later perspective gardens were designed in conjunction with the villa, often with terraces, and the early twentieth century marked the revival of the Italian formal garden. This rich heritage offers a fascinating programme of visits in the spring flowering season. The gardens chosen are mostly private and form a good balance encompassing the different periods. The vibrant city of Florence with its art treasures, churches and markets is an additional attraction.

    Our comfortable, welcoming hotel in the heart of Florence is a perfect base, a few minutes from the Duomo. Originating as a palazzo in the sixteenth century, and now well restored, it retains its frescoed ceilings and architectural features.

  9. Sicily – Private Gardens from Catania, Siracusa to Taormina

    28 September – 05 October 2017

    Springtime in Sicily – the mythic garden of Persephone – is abundant with colour and luminosity. We visit gardens in the east of the island, some created by the English in former times, others planted more recently, and add some cultural elements to the programme.

    An island of great contrasts, Sicily has been invaded by the Greeks, Romans, Normans and Spaniards, who have all influenced its culture and character. The warm spring weather encourages luxuriant growth on terraced hillside gardens, the dramatic sweeping green hills of the interior have an abundance of wild flowers.

    We stay at the most comfortable, welcoming Hotel Villa Belvedere, in the attractive town of Taormina perched high above the sea, and with a verdant garden. Superb views overlook the bay and Mount Etna. The island of Ortigia is our base for a few days in a beautiful historical part of Siracusa at the well-situated Grand Hotel.