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 and as always a rich variety of plants. Our small groups of fewer than twenty people, and sometimes even twelve, are often international, always convivial and, with an emphasis on meeting owners or head gardeners of private gardens, everyone has a special experience.
In April we were chosen to take the Fellows of the Royal Horticultural Society to the gardens of Lake Maggiore. Four gloriously sunny days were spent around the lake while we were based in Hotel Cannero. Our botanist, Beat Fischer who is Curator of the University Gardens in Berne, accompanied me and, with Jim Gardiner from the RHS, we ensured the Fellows had an informative and diverse programme. Some gardens were private while on the Borromean Islands Gianfranco Giustino, the family’s head gardener showed us hidden parts of the island gardens.
Our new tours to eastern Sicily and to the gardens around Basel have both been a great success, and in March our tour to Northern Namibia and to the Okavango Delta in Botswana was an amazing experience. The beautiful Zambesi teak trees in flower and water-lilies lining the water channels in the Delta are unforgettable as are the multitude of birds and wildlife. It will be repeated in March 2016 with a small group of eight. I accompany the tour together with a local guide.
We have some limited availability for our Autumn tours. Three tours in September are to gardens in France:
|07 – 12 September||Loire – Chateaux & Decorative Potager Gardens|
|21 – 26 September||Provence – Private Garden Week at Hotel La Mirande in Avignon|
|29 Sept – 04 October||Menton – Exceptional Gardens of the Riviera|
A few places are available to Lake Maggiore 28 September – 03 October and on our Tastes of Liguria tour which now includes a cookery course in the kitchen of the restaurant Le Mirazur (two star Michelin). Dates: 13 – 17 October.
We run a private wine tour annually in October and due to cancellations, we have three places to offer. Flying first to Marseille (or TGV) we cover the Ventoux, Cotes du Rhone, Beaujolais to Chablis and Champagne returning to the UK by coach with wine tasted, enjoyed and purchased. A convivial, interested group of friends who would welcome a few more like-minded participants.
Though our tour to gardens of the Cape, South Africa is fully booked, we have just two places on the Namibia – Deserts, Dunes and Canyons tour in October. Please contact us for further information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01423 326300.
Our 2016 programme with dates is now established but full details will only be available at the beginning of September. If you wish to make a provisional booking, please contact us. We will hold your place/s and send you our new brochure one week in advance of general release.
Programme for Spring & Summer 2016
|23 February – 01 March||Menton – Mimosa & the Lemon Festival|
|06 – 21 March||Namibia & Botswana – Northern Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana including the Okavango Delta|
|01 – 08 April||Morocco – Private Gardens from Marrakech to Taroudannt|
|10 – 19 April||Morocco – Atlas Mountains, Draa Valley and the Sahara Dunes|
|11 – 16 April||Portugal – Spring Gardens around Lisbon and the Sintra Hills|
|17 – 22 April||Florence & Fiesole – Private Gardens in Spring|
|19 – 26 April||Italian Lakes – Spring Gardens of Lakes Como and Maggiore|
|28 April – 04 May||Sicily – Spring Gardens from Taormina to Siracusa|
|16 – 22 May||Rome – Gardens from Latium to Tuscia|
|24 – 29 May||Venice – Secret Gardens of Venice & the Veneto|
|02 – 07 June||Provence – Gardens from the Alpilles to the Luberon|
|20 – 25 June||Basel – Private Gardens of the former Prince Bishopric and the Jura Hinterland|
(there may be slight alterations to the final dates).
I really enjoy showing everyone special gardens; their owners welcome us warmly but in addition, I am very conscious of the importance of a well-planned itinerary, giving time to enjoy the visits, sample local dishes at lunchtime and staying in excellent accommodation. Our drivers are also carefully selected for safety and comfort. Keeping the numbers to a small group of fewer than twenty participants is essential giving the atmosphere of friends travelling together. In the office, Pamela and Gillian always give personal service and are efficient and reliable ensuring you can feel confident about your garden tour with us.
Looking forward to welcoming you on one of our forthcoming tours.