Thursday May 17, 2018
Continuing tour members depart on our flight to enchanting Paris. On arrival we will meet tour members arriving from Australia and enjoy a sightseeing tour with a local guide. We will see Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Tuileries, and then drive along the Champs Elysee to the Arc de Triomphe. We will then be transferred to our hotel where the rest of the afternoon will be at our individual leisure.
Friday May 18, 2018
This morning we visit Claude Monet’s famous house and garden at Giverny out of Paris. The garden, with its pond, waterlilies and Japanese bridge, appears in many of the artist’s paintings. Another section of the garden has a more formal layout, featuring espaliered apples and pears and abundant plantings of roses, irises, spring bulbs, poppies and more. It has been magnificently restored and gives a vivid impression of Monet’s inspiration. Our garden guide will make sure that we get the most out of this garden. In the evening, we will attend a fantastic show at the Moulin Rouge, with dinner included. This show is a stunning mix of glamour and traditional Parisian style.
Saturday May 19, 2018
Today we travel west of Paris to visit the Chateau de Versailles, the extraordinary palace set in the grand formal garden designed for Louis XIV. In the grounds of Versailles, we visit the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon, with their romantic landscape of meandering paths, streams, rustic bridges and lake. We then visit Le Hameau, featuring thatched cottages grouped around a lake surrounded by woodland. One thatched cottage has a potager of tomatoes, fFrench beans and poppies, edged by box hedges and filled with pelargoniums. We will make the most of the romantic grounds before we return to Paris in the late afternoon.
Sunday May 20, 2018
We enjoy a free morning to explore Paris. This afternoon we join a garden guide to visit the Chateau de Bagatelle, on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne. In addition to the noted rose garden with its climbing roses, there is a waterlily pool, grotto, potager and iris garden.
Monday May 21, 2018
Today we travel to Paris’s Gar du Nord, to board the Eurostar for our interesting train journey to London. To begin our exploration of this fascinating and historic city, we meet our London Blue Badge guide for a comprehensive tour of the main sights. We visit Buckingham Palace, Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, The Strand, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to shop or sightsee amidst the bustle of the city. The tour manager will meet those wishing to dine with the group.
Tuesday May 22, 2018
This morning we visit Hampton Court Palace and Garden. The Palace is an interesting place to visit to study the activities of British monarchs from Henry VIII onwards. The garden is most famous for its Great Vine, planted in 1768. The newly restored Privy Garden of William III is a spectacular example of the baroque garden, with parterres, cut work, clipped yews and spring and summer displays of 17th-century plants. We continue our day with a visit Mr and Mrs Whittington’s garden, Southwood Lodge, in north London. This is a imaginatively designed garden created in 1963 from a much larger one. By the house, dense planting and container displays surround a paved area enclosed on two sides by tall hedges.
Wednesday May 23, 2018
This morning is free to explore London as your wish. Mid-afternoon, we visit a private garden in West London. This is a true collectors’ garden, with perennial borders, a knot garden, bog garden and conservatory and views to a private park.
Thursday May 24, 2018
The highlight of our time in London will be our escorted visit with our garden guide to the famous Chelsea Flower Show. It is the summer event in the English horticultural calendar and boasts about twenty amazing landscaped gardens built by prominent landscapers, and more than five hundred displays featuring the best flowers, plants and trees, with many new introductions. For gardeners, it is the experience of a lifetime and a highlight of our garden tour.
Friday May 25, 2018
We travel south through the gorgeous British countryside to visit Pettifer’s Garden in Oxfordshire. The eighteen-year old garden was designed by the Hon. Mrs Gina Price and has developed into a plantsman’s garden. Paths feature elegant patterns and the borders are deep and varied. The Botticelli meadow at the bottom of the garden, alongside two crocus lawns, looks beautiful in Spring. After the garden visit we will stop to take time for lunch before continuing to Stratford-upon-Avon, where the rest of the afternoon will be free.
Saturday May 26, 2018
We visit Gothic House, a third of an acre of walled town garden, designed by one of the country’s leading garden photographers, Andrew Lawson, and his sculptress wife, Briony Lawson. Artistic flair abounds, from the intriguingly furnished conservatory, to dead trees painted electric blue. This garden has amassed a fascinating collection of unusual plants for more than one hundred years. The tour manager will suggset restaurants for dinner.
Sunday May 27, 2018
Today we will visit two of the finest gardens in England. We first visit Hidcote, in Gloucestershire, north Cotswolds, one of the most notable gardens in the world. It was created by self-taught gardener, Lawrence Johnson, in the early part of the 20th century, with a fabulous design and great planting skills, using mainly 19th-century plant varieties in outstanding herbaceous borders. After a lunch at leisure at Hidcote, we travel the short distance to Kiftsgate Court. This garden is full of colour and scent. The magnificent old species of roses are the glory of the garden. We return to Stratford-upon-Avon, where the evening is at leisure.
Monday May 28, 2018
We travel south through the beautiful Cotswolds today. We first visit Bourton House, an awardwinning 1.2 hectare garden surrounding a fine 18th-century manor house. The geometric potager is a particular delight. Well-kept lawns, quiet gardens, a knot garden and Cotswold-stone walls are set off by herbaceous borders. In the afternoon, we visit Westwell Manor which is made up of three hectares of highly individual outdoor rooms. This is a highly rated garden you are sure to love. We will enjoy a farewell dinner this evening.
Tuesday May 29, 2018
Late morning we travel to visit Barnsley House, designed and planted by Rosemary and David Verey, from 1951. The 17th-century stone house is now a country house hotel. Borders create vistas and divide the whole into a number of distinct areas of individual character. The laburnum, allium and wisteria walk have been seen in many photographs. We continue to London airport to board our flight to Australia.
Wednesday May 30, 2018
Thursday May 31, 2018
The group arrives in Australia and travel arrangements conclude.