Susan Worner Tours

May 2016 Newsletter

May is an exciting time in gardens and despite vagaries of this year’s weather, there is much to see and enjoy. Iris and roses have featured well on recent visits to both gardens of Sicily and around Rome. On the latter tour both Ninfa and the Papal Castel Gandolfo gardens were heady with scent and a delight to discover so many roses in flower. I leave now for Venice’s secret gardens. This year we have added a day in the laguna on a ‘bragozzo’ boat discovering St Erasmo island, famous for it’s violet artichokes and a secret garden on Torcello island and much more.

Provence gardens are coming up in early June when private gardens feature in the Alpilles and the Luberon. We return there in September based in the Hotel La Mirande in Avignon beautifully restored to reflect the influence of former times.

Autumn tours start in Brittany with superb private gardens. Crech ar Pape, designed by Timothy Vaughan, the unforgettable Manoir de Pellinec on the Cotes d’Armor coast and l’Ile de Batz where Georges Delaselle made a sheltered coast garden. In upper Normandy are a wonderful cluster of coastal gardens and one of my favourites Le Jardin Plume impressively designed and exuberantly planted.

The Italian lake gardens are always much admired. Beat Fischer, our Swiss botanist shows with great enthusiasm the island gardens and a couple of privately owned jewels on the Maggiore lakeside. Our other classic tour to the Menton gardens includes a private visit to Les Colombieres designed by Ferdinand Bac and rarely opened. A few places remain for our Sicily garden tour.
Late October takes me south to Namibia and as this tour is fully booked, we have added a second tour commencing 21 November when the vegetation is just coming into leaf. The Kalahari and Sossusvlei dunes are remarkable; flora, wildlife and landscapes are exceptional. We range from desert dunes, canyons, the Atlantic coast, mountains and then to a fascinating wildlife reserve.

The South African Cape gardens in November are at their best. We stay in Stellenbosch with its historic Cape Dutch architecture and where the jacaranda trees are in flower. At the end of the week the little Karoo awaits us to experience the wild life and fynbos flora at the exceptional Sanbona Reserve. Then on to the coast to stay at Grootbos conservation reserve. Staying at the reserves in superb lodges after the garden visits is a unique feature of this tour.

We have some limited availability for these tours. Should you wish to have more details, another brochure or enquire about availability or flights, please contact us on (+44) 01423 326 300 or email We are always delighted to help.

Looking forward to welcoming you on one of our special tours.

Susan Worner

2016 Autumn Programme

01 – 05 September
Brittany – Gardens of the Côtes d’Armor

05 – 10 September
Normandy – Gardens around Dieppe to Bayeaux

25 – 30 September
Provence – Private Garden Week in Hotel La Mirande

26 Sep – 01 October
Italian Lakes – Gardens of Lake Maggiore

03 – 08 October
Menton – Exceptional Gardens of the Riviera

04 – 10 October
Sicily – Private Gardens from Taormina to Siracusa

12 – 19 October
Wine Tour – Piedmont, Swiss Valais, Alsace, Champagne

08 – 21 November
South Africa – The Western Cape Exceptional Gardens & Private Reserves

21 Nov – 05 December
Namibia – Deserts, Dunes & Canyons, Landscapes, Geology, Flora and Fauna