Garden Travel: Past Trips & Tours - 2018


2018 Trips & Tours

"The Northwest Flower Show (Seattle)"
February 7-8, 2018

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the show is a tonic to passionate gardeners after the cold, dark days of winter.  Tour participants had the chance to take in the show's numerous expert seminars, show gardens, floral displays, and marketplace with 300+ vendors selling plants and gardening-related merchandise.

"The Enchanting Island of Sicily"
April 23-May 3, 2018

Sicily (or Sicilia, pronounced See-CHEE-lee-ah by the natives) is a varied land steeped in history! As the largest island in the Mediterranean, strategically located in the center, it was constantly invaded over millennia - by the Carthaginians, Greeks, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, French, Spanish, and Bourbons until it ultimately became part of modern Italy. Join us on this tour of this enchanting island. We will experience equal parts of Sicily’s gardens, gastronomy, history, archeology, and architecture.


"Gardens & Villas of Southern Italy"
May 7-18, 2018

For thousands of years, Southern Italy has been a desirable destination due to its strategic location, benign climate, beautiful coastline, fertile soil, and fine food! It is a land filled with history.  Join us on this southern Italy tour as we see fabulous cliff-top villas, visit the famous archeological site of Pompeii, tour the Pope’s private garden in Castel Gandolfo, visit royal palaces and museums, see the stunning Amalfi coast, and enjoy the magical islands of Capri and Ischia in the Bay of Naples, as well as visit incredible gardens - and a lot more! We will see the most romantic garden in Italy, the private garden of Ninfa, built on the ruins of a medieval village Our main tour will focus on the regions of Campania (encompassing Naples) and Lazio (home of Rome).  An optional pre-tour to the Boot of Italy will explore areas further south - the regions of Calabria, Basilicata, and Puglia, visiting the UNESCO world heritage sites of Matera and Alberobello.


"The Glorious Gardens of Bainbridge Island"

July 29 - August 1, 2018

Join veteran garden tour guides Nancy Goldman and Lucy Hardiman on their third “island garden” tour to Washington State. Bainbridge Island, west of Seattle, is noted for its rich history, culture and natural beauty. This 28-square-mile island is home to many gardeners who regale in the opportunities this environment provides. Just west across the water, on the Kitsap Peninsula, horticultural and historical sites fit into the beautiful landscape of beaches, woodlands, and farmland.  The tour includes numerous wonderful private gardens, two iconic botanical gardens, and unique garden stores and nurseries. You will be encouraged to buy plants!


"Border Crossings: Garden Discoveries in The Netherlands, Belgium, & Northwest Germany"
September 4-16, 2018

With this tour, Nancy Goldman and Jim Rondone return to one of their favorite gardening regions of the world.  Explore great public gardens and parks, several leading nurseries, and a number of superb private gardens on this 13-day, 12-night tour, which is almost entirely new compared to their 2008 and 2011 tours to the region.  Other sites with historical and natural significance are also included.  As usual, many of the stops on the tour are seldom seen by Americans or the independent traveler.


"Land of the Fynbos: Exploring the Gardens & Highlights of South Africa's Western Cape"
September 17-28, 2018

The fynbos forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, one of the richest concentrations of plants in the world with over 9500 species!  This 12-day/11-night tour of South Africa’s Western Cape will explore the richness of the native flora and discover spectacular gardens (both private gardens and notable public gardens such as the world-class Kirstenbosch).  Included on the tour will be visits to exquisite vineyards and wine estates, excursions to the African continent’s most southern points, guided walks through a nature reserve and coastal reserve to view the southern right whales, and even a 2-night stay in a private game reserve with included wildlife safaris!


"From Aragon to the Algarve: A Winter Warmer”
November 7-23, 2018

From the architectural and artistic treasures of Catalonia, to the luminous shores of the Algarve - Portugal’s southernmost, south facing province. From Gaudí and Dalí and the buzz of Barcelona, to charming little coastal villages of the Spanish costas oozing with charm. From surprising horticultural gems with influences ranging from Italianate, Moorish, ‘Arts and Crafts’ to individual and private, this culturally-enriching journey through Iberia will leave you with a lasting affection for it’s peoples and cultural wealth. We commence out of high season in the ancient Kingdom of Aragon, to avoid the crowds – and to secure advantageous prices on top-quality hotels – then we head south like the swallows, finishing in the glorious Portuguese Algarve. Our journey follows the coastline mostly, except for when we strike through the snow-capped wall of the Sierra Nevada for our visits to Moorish Granada, Cordoba and Seville. We pull out all the stops to turn every experience into an adventure and every aspect of the tour into something characterful, memorable and unique. Our tour terminates in an enviable setting, so why not consider lingering awhile and rendezvous in the Algarve for Thanksgiving