HPSO Garden Travel

WHERE HPSO TOURS GO

Since 1998, HPSO members have traveled together to international garden destinations in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Madeira, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Slovenia, and Croatia.  New destinations - Southeast Australia and Tasmania -  are in the works.

Closer to home, our U.S. tours have featured gardens in Washington and California. The Puget Sound Islands tour series highlighted the gardens of Whidbey Island, Vashon Island, and Bainbridge Island.   Trips to the East Coast have also been popular. Recent destinations include New York City, the Hudson Valley, New England, Savannah and Charleston.

HOW WE CREATE AN HPSO TOUR

HPSO tours have distinctly garden oriented focus that supports our mission to provide great horticultural education opportunities for our members. Tours include a variety of cultural and historical sites that round out the landscape. Trips vary in duration, and they are filled with activities. HPSO tours represent an excellent value for the money.

Tour prices typically include double accommodations, motor coach and professional guide, tour gratuities, many meals, and admission to all gardens and other sites along the way. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the tour's start and finish points, including airfare.

Tours are conceived, researched and led by HPSO members with experience in the relevant destinations. HPSO works through excellent international tour companies that are responsible for booking arrangements. Tours are open exclusively to HPSO members.

HOW TO GET ON AN HPSO TOUR

Tours are announced to members through emails, our member magazine the HPSO Quarterly, the HPSO Travel Interest Group (a.k.a. HPSO Travel Club), and on this web page.

HPSO Members who wish to have advance notice about tours must join the HPSO Travel Interest Group.  There is no fee for joining the group and no obligation to attend extra meetings. Travel Interest Group members receive early-bird registration privileges for HPSO tours. Contact the HPSO office to join and be on a travel-interest mailing list.


Tours proposed & planned for 2022 & beyond

2022

Ireland: "Gardens of the Emerald Isle"
July 26 - August 5, 2022

SORRY. THIS TOUR IS NOW FILLED.   Contact us if you would like more information or if you wish to be placed on the waiting list.

Join us on this 11-day / 10-night tour visiting exceptional gardens in green and mystical Ireland. Starting in Ennis in the west and continuing through eight counties on our way to Dublin, we meet accomplished Irish gardeners on their home ground, tour sights of historical and cultural significance, stop in quaint seaside towns, and enjoy the company of other gardeners during this exciting adventure in the Emerald Isle. All hotel accommodations are rated four stars.

 


 

"Springtime in New Zealand: A Grand Adventure to the Gardens & Natural Wonders of the Shaky Isles"
October 20, 2022 - November 17, 2022
(
Half tours if space available): North Island, October 20 - November 4, 2022  or South Island, November 4-17, 2022

[SORRY.  THIS TOUR IS NOW FILLED.  Contact us if you wish to be placed on the waiting list].

Join us on one or both of our tours plus the pre-tour as we explore the gardens and natural wonders of these two main islands of New Zealand - the North Island and the South Island. We will visit the very best private and public gardens. We’ll enjoy fabulous sights, geologic wonders, country towns, a Maori cultural performance, wine tours and tasting, and cruises on the Milford Sound, the Bay of Islands, and across the Cook Strait. We’ll do some shopping, see unfamiliar plants, make some new friends, enjoy the camaraderie of other gardeners, and meet the wonderful and friendly people of New Zealand. In short, we’ll experience the very best that New Zealand has to offer!  This will be HPSO's third complete adventure to New Zealand - one of our most popular tours.

  New Zealand tour New Zealand tour New Zealand tour

 


2023

[Proposed]  Both Sides of the Bay (San Francisco bay area)
May, 2023

 


Gardens of Scotland: From the Border to the Highlands
May 25 - June 9, 2023
[SORRY.  THIS TOUR IS NOW FILLED.  Contact us if you wish to be placed on the waiting list].
Inverary Castle, ScotlandMeconopsis sheldonii Piper in Scotland Cawdor Castle, Scotland

 


Northern England: The Borders, The Lake District, and Yorkshire gardens

June 10-23, 2023
[SORRY.  THIS TOUR IS NOW FILLED.  Contact us if you wish to be placed on the waiting list].
HPSO at Newby Hall in Yorkshire
 Peter Rabbit shop in Windemere, UK Old Town York at night Gresgarth Garden, UK

 


Wales

June 23-July 4, 2023
[SORRY.  THIS TOUR IS NOW FILLED.  Contact us if you wish to be placed on the waiting list].
Bodnant Garden, Wales  Powis Castle, Wales Bookstore in Hay-on-Wye, Wales Bodnant Garden, Wales Queen Victoria Bodysgallen Hall, Wales Bryan's Ground Garden, Wales

 

 

[Proposed]  "Escape to the Islands" (Oahu and Hawai'i)
Re-scheduled from 2022: September 2023

Join us for this "Escape to the Islands." Oahu and Hawai'i will give travelers a real sense of the biodiversity of this amazing island chain as we explore environments from dense, damp cloud forests to volcanic craters hosting dry-land succulents. Our visit includes large botanical gardens filled with exotic tropical specimens as well as lush private collector gardens. We will have a taste of the islands at some of the plantations featuring edible plants from coffee and chocolate to macadamias and pineapples. We'll talk to growers at nurseries devoted to hibiscus and orchids. The cultural crossroads found in Hawai'i will be evident in the gardens and historic sites from the Polynesian Place of Refuge near Kona, to the urban Chinese sites of Honolulu, to the Japanese gardens of the Valley of the Temples. All along our journey you will be treated to balmy island breezes and dramatic landscapes -- what better way to forget the rainy season is about to start back home.

 


Australia: Sydney & the Blue Mountains plus Melbourne & Victoria State
October 24 - November 10, 2023
(Australia mainland tour)
SORRY.  THIS TOUR IS NOW FILLED.  Contact us if you wish to be placed on the waiting list].

Attila Kapitani garden near Melbourne   Sydney Harbor Bridge 

 
The Three Sisters, Katoomba, NSW Australian native plant Royal Botanic Garden Cranbourne, Victoria State

 

 
Australia:
Tasmania
November 10-20, 2023
(following the Australia mainland tour)
SORRY.  THIS TOUR IS NOW FILLED. 
Contact us if you wish to be placed on the waiting list].
Tasmanian Devil   Cradle Mountain

 

2024

[In planning]  Magical in the off-season: Enchanting Winter Gardens of England
February, 2023

Not even winter keeps the English out of the garden, and the wide array of gardening activities and sights in late winter is testimony to their tenacity.  Whether it be snowdrops festivals, witch hazel nurseries, a national collection of hellebores, or extraordinary gardens designed especially for winter, the gardeners of England make the most of the winter, and so does this tour!

 

 


Past Trips & Tours

HPSO offers custom tours, and we do not repeat our destinations every year. However, there are some popular garden spots that do tend to cycle onto the tour calendar fairly frequently. HPSO members in our Travel Interest Group also provide feedback that helps us with program ideas for new tours. A sampling of our recent tours is provided here.

2022 tours
Netherlands,  Paris-London,  Tuscany,  Northern Italy,  Denmark-Sweden,  Slovenia-Croatia,  Southern France

2020-2021 tours
2020: no tours due to the pandemic.  2021: New England

2019 tours
Galicia & Northern Portugal,  East of England,   Coast-to-Coast (English Channel Islands & Brittany's Emerald Coast),   Berlin & Potsdam,   New Zealand (north & south islands)

2018 tours
Seattle,  Sicily,  Southern Italy,  Bainbridge Island (Washington),  Netherlands/Belgium/Germany,  South Africa,  Southern Spain/Portugal

2017 tours
Savannah/Charleston,  Normandy (France),  Brittany (France),  Cornwall/Devon (UK),  Portugal & Madeira

2016 tours 
Southern England,  Wales,  Scotland,  Seattle/Tacoma,  Vashon Island (Washington),  New Zealand (north & south islands)

2015 tours
Northern Ireland,  Republic of Ireland,  Hudson Valley NY

2014 tours
Andalusia (Spain),  Portugal,  Madeira,  Berlin & Potsdam (Germany)

2013 tours
Provence/Cote d'Azur (France),  Northern Italy,  Whidbey Island (Washington)

2012 tours and prior