Garden Travel: Past Trips & Tours - 2019


2019 Trips & Tours

“Galicia: The Camellia Trail & the Douro Valley” (northern Portugal and northwest Spain)
March 8-17, 2019

The Galicia tour will explore Spain's undiscovered northwest corner plus Porto and the Douro Valley of Portugal.  Our journey is timed to coincide with Camellia season, for which the Galicia region is justly famous.  Many of our hotels are historic buildings and some are five-star hotels. With a mild climate, rugged coastal scenery, atmospheric towns, grandiose architecture, superb wines, gourmet cuisine and the most delightful, welcoming locals -  you'll wonder why you've never been to Galicia before.  This 9-night tour is expected to be March 8-17, 2019.


 "The East of England & the Thames River Valley"
July 4 - July 15, 2019

Our Quint[essential] England for Gardeners series continues in another region with this tour - the East of England plus the Thames Valley. The East of England is one of nine official districts, comprising the counties of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex. To these, we add Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Rutland, and a bit of Lincolnshire. In ancient times, this area was the most populous in England and, as such, it is a land filled with history. Today, it is mostly a rural landscape dotted with market towns, churches, and picturesque villages. It also has one of best areas for viewing wildlife.
Join us on this garden-intensive tour as we explore this wonderful part of England. We include visits to famous places such as Blenheim Palace (birthplace of Winston Churchill) and the Queen’s country residence of Sandringham House. We visit fabulous gardens such as Beth Chatto’s Garden and the Old Vicarage of East Ruston - a “bucket list” garden not to be missed! We enjoy lunch and bird watching while cruising on The Broads. We visit some of England’s prettiest villages and cathedrals. We include seaside hotel accommodations.   Our summer tour is the perfect time to visit gardens as we travel around the East of England and the Thames Valley. 

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 "Coast to Coast: The English Channel Islands & Brittany's Emerald Coast"
July 18 - July 31, 2019

Grab your hat and sunglasses and join us on this garden-centric, island-hopping tour of the British islands of Wight, Guernsey, Herm, Sark, and Jersey, as well as a small French island, the Ile de Brehat. Before and after our island explorations, we’ll visit gardens on the two mainland coasts, particularly those on Brittany’s Emerald Coast! Not only will we see fine gardens, but our journey will include sites of cultural and historical interest, too.
With their mild maritime climate, the Channel Islands offer the ideal conditions for growing a wide palette of flowering vegetation - from Aeonium to Zauschneria. Our tour includes a wide array of gardens, both private and public, and a wide array of garden styles, from an English cottage garden to formal French chateaux.
For the visiting traveler, the Channel Islands are a justly popular destination offering sun- kissed beaches, delicious seafood, idyllic landscapes and fascinating history - a mix of both British and French influences. In its own right, Brittany’s Emerald Coast has some of the nicest gardens in France as well as quaint villages and fabulous food.   Please join us on this adventure to England’s summer playground! 

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 "Past as Prologue: The Gardens of Berlin, Potsdam & Surrounding Regions"
September 2-14, 2019

Known for its tumultuous and often tragic history, and renowned as a center of education and culture, Berlin and its surrounding regions also possess a proud gardening tradition, with expensive Prussian palaces and gardens, some of Europe's earliest public parks, and the nurseries of pioneering horticulturists.  The region is now at the forefront of environmentally sensitive and sustainable gardening movements.  This13-day, 12-night tour takes members on a fascinating journey through a dynamic region, visiting public parks, private gardens and other beautiful and engrossing gardening and horticultural sites.  On display, too, are centuries of German history, and the tour includes visits to landmarks stretching from the Reformation through to the 21st Century.  Everywhere, tour members meet locals whose passion for gardening transcends the changes and challenges they have encountered.

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 "Springtime in New Zealand: A grand adventure to the gardens & natural wonders of the North & South Islands"
October 8 - November 2, 2019 

New Zealand is a land of stunning beauty and diversity.   With volcanic peaks and geothermal hot spots on the North Island to the uplifted "southern Alps" and glacial plains of the South Island, it is filled with contrasts.  From tip to tip, New Zealand is roughly the length of Portland to southern California, having a similar range of climates but in "reverse" since it lies in the southern hemisphere.  The northern tip enjoys a definite subtropical climate (similar to San Diego) while the extreme southern end is a much cooler temperate one (with alpine areas, too).  With all of this diversity comes a wide range of garden styles featuring a wide range of plants - both native and exotic!
Join us on one or both of our tours as we explore the gardens and natural wonders of these two main islands of New Zealand - the North Island and the South Island.  Included in our visit are the very best private and public gardens.  We'll also 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.  It will be a grand adventure in New Zealand in the springtime!

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