Susan Worner Tours

French Garden Tours

Below is full list of all our French Garden Tours, which is now split into two sections – our scheduled French Garden Tours and our Bespoke French Garden Tour Itineraries. Please scroll down to find out more.


Scheduled French Garden Tours

Gardens of Provence is our featured French Garden Tour this year. The gardens are all privately owned and rarely visited; leading designers were involved in the creation of the gardens ingeniously planting amongst pencil cypress, olive trees and rows of lavender. Hotel La Mirande in Avignon is an exceptional hotel and a perfect base for us.

  1. Provence – Private Gardens of Leading Designers based in Hotel La Mirande, Avignon

    16 – 21 September 2019

    A particularly good selection of private gardens in Provence, created by leading local landscape designers, has been chosen for this tour. Those in the Luberon are influenced by the late Nicole de Vésian, who created her personal garden, La Louve, in Bonnieux. We visit an impressive Land Art garden near Eygalières at the foot of Les Alpilles designed by Alain David Idoux, a pupil of de Vésian. In addition we discover gardens created by Dominique Lafourcade, an influential designer from St Rémy de Provence.

    Cypress trees, country roads lined with majestic plane trees, olive trees and vines, all against a backdrop of craggy limestone hills or forested mountains, are just part of the superb Provence landscape. The climate is challenging: Hot summers with the fierce Mistral blowing down the Rhône valley, a lack of water, and even cold winters. Yet the gardens are stunning.

    Our base for the tour is a most gracious, beautifully restored hotel just behind the Palais des Papes in Avignon. Hotel La Mirande, originally built in the eighteenth century, is family owned and managed. It is renowned for its gastronomic restaurant where seasonal local dishes are produced by the head chef and his team.



Bespoke French Garden Tour Itineraries

We arrange bespoke tour itineraries for small groups of friends or colleagues wishing to travel together to a special destination or for specialist horticultural groups. The minimum numbers are eight guests who will be accompanied by Susan or her specialist guides. We have the experience, know the good hotels or lodges and the best itineraries to offer. The itineraries below are examples of bespoke tours. Tailor-made programmes can be arranged for your personal preferences.

To know more please contact us on info@susanwornertours.com or +44 (0) 1423 326 300.

  1. 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.

  2. Brittany – Gardens of the Côtes d’Armor

    The beautiful unspoilt northern coast of Brittany between Roscoff and St Malo enjoys an exceptional climate due to the Gulf Stream. Alongside the rocky coastline, through deep-cut inlets and in the inland wooded valleys, we will discover some extraordinary gardens in secret locations. Most gardens have been extended by their present owners. They have been inspired by the climate, good soil and the ability to acclimatise plants from other parts of the world.

     
  3. Normandy – Gardens around Dieppe & Bayeux

    Upper Normandy has a wealth of remarkable gardens on the coast with a mild climate and acid soil. Inland country gardens amongst apple orchards, rolling hills and forests are inspirational. Some contemporary, some walled potager gardens, and all with enthusiastic owners. We venture further west to visit two exceptional gardens around Bayeux. All have a rich variety of trees and plants arranged with great panache. The two nurseries visited have excellent collections of plants. On the arrival day we include a visit to Monet’s sumptuous garden at Giverny before our journey to the hotel.

  4. Menton – Exceptional Gardens of The French Riviera

    Protected to the north by the Alpes Maritimes, and facing the Mediterranean, Menton enjoys a warm, gentle microclimate which encouraged plant collectors in the early twentieth century to create gardens among terraces of olive and citrus trees. With species brought from many parts of the world, these gardens provide a fascinating insight into the influence of Thomas and Daniel Hanbury, the Waterfield family and Lawrence Johnston, all part of a gardening fraternity who exchanged plants and ideas.

    Our itinerary includes some rarely opened and secluded gardens of exceptional beauty, with superb plant collections. In early October gardens enjoy a second spring. We stay at the very comfortable and welcoming Hotel Napoleon in Garavan bay, overlooking the bay towards the old, perched town of Menton.

    Most gardens visited are within twenty minutes of the hotel. A small comfortable coach is used for the day’s visit to St Jean Cap Ferrat travelling for about one hour.