This four day holiday features some of East Anglia’s finest private gardens, many of which have connections to the RHS, making them just that little bit special.
A highlight in May is a visit to the private garden of RHS President Sir Nicholas Bacon Bt, when the wildflowers – including the gentle blue, purple and cream Camassias as well as vibrant cherry and apple blossoms should be looking their best, along with Viburnum, Cornus and willows. The RHS has also secured entry to RHS Council Member Lady Xa Tollemache’s fabulous gardens at Helmingham Hall where the house, parkland and gardens together create an exceptional work of art.
Covering the adjoining counties of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, other visits including RHS Garden Hyde Hall; Beth Chatto’s famous garden and nursery; Wyken Hall vineyards and gardens – the vineyard produces some 12,000 bottles a year, while the garden features a knot and herb garden, an old fashioned rose garden and an orchard. There are also visits to East Ruston Old Vicarage, an inspirational exotic garden; The Place for Plants at East Bergholt Place and Marks Hall Garden and Arboretum, whose extensive collection is planted on a geographical theme, with plants from the temperate regions of the world grouped together.
RHS Garden Holidays (www.rhsgardenholidays.com, 0203 735 1855) offers a three night Private Gardens of East Anglia holiday from £495pp, departing May 2 and 13 September 2017. Price includes coach travel from various UK pick up points, three nights dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation at Dunston Hall Hotel in Norwich; garden visits and the services of a professional tour manager.
The island of Guernsey, just 20 miles off the coast of France, flourishes in the warmth of summer and is home to some wonderful private gardens.
Beginning with a visit to the townscape terraced private garden La Bigoterie, which boasts spectacular views over the Guernsey harbour, the 5 day itinerary includes 4 other private gardens. These comprise Grange Court’s large town garden in St Peter Port with its gorgeous rose garden, folly, vinery and mixed borders set around rolling lawns; La Petite Vallée with its range of traditional and exotic planting; Mollie McKinley’s wonderful fruit and vegetable garden on Sark and the informal country garden of L’Etiennerie Farm with its herbaceous borders, pond, potager, wildflower meadow and transfixing views over the Fauxquets Valley and surrounding countryside.
In addition, the trip also covers visits to the Victorian public Candie Gardens and inspiring garden at Guernsey Prison, botanising in the orchid meadows of the west coast and the wonderful garden of La Seigneurie and wildflower meadows on the tranquil, traffic-free island of Sark. Another highlight of this tour is also a visit to the Guernsey Clematis Nursery, where owner Raymond Evison – winner of some 28 RHS Chelsea Gold Medals – gives an insight into his nursery and the development of new varieties of clematis.
RHS Garden Holidays (www.rhsgardenholidays.com, 0203 735 1855) offers a five day Private Gardens of Guernsey and Sark holiday from £1,195pp, departing 1 June and 21 September 2017. Price includes flights from London Gatwick to Guernsey; return ferry crossings from Guernsey to Sark; four nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast, three nights at La Barbarie Hotel and one night at Stocks Hotel, Sark; visits to selected private gardens and the services of a professional tour manager.
The fabulous scenery and gentle climate of the northern Italian lakes have attracted aristocrats and the wealthy for years culminating in elegant villas and lush beautifully manicured gardens which more than often lie behind locked doors.
Whilst exploring many of the open villas and gardens around Lake Maggiore and Lake Como, a real treat on this trip is the private gardens. The first, the residence of Andrea Corneo, President of the Italian Camellia Society, houses a remarkable collection of over 500 camellias and 318 cultivars. With some originating from when the garden was first laid out in the 1880s, the collection was expanded by the founder of the society in the 1950s who reintroduced cultivation and imported varieties from around the world. Particularly spectacular in spring, it is however fascinating all year round. Another great privilege is the private guided tour with the owner of Villa Cicogna Mozzoni, an expansive property set in the foothills between Varese and Lake Lugano. Built over seven terraces, its spectacular 16th century garden cleverly merges with the villa on different levels adding an extra element of complexity to the garden’s exceptional layout.
Other highlights on the eight day trip, include the three extravagant Borromean islands Bella, Madre and Pescatori with their lakeland gardens, the extensive gardens of Villa Taranto, dazzling display of Azaleas and rhododendrons at Villa Carlotta, Villa Balbianello’s impeccably maintained gardens overlooking Lake Como, a fascinating wholesale specialist plant nursery and other gardens around Locarno, just over the border in Switzerland.
RHS Garden Holidays (www.rhsgardenholidays.com, 0203 735 1855) offers an eight day Villas and Gardens of the Italian Lakes holiday from £1,795 pp, departing 9 April,1 May, 19 June and 25 September 2017. Price includes return flights, four nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the four-star Grand Majestic Hotel on Lake Maggiore; three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the four-star Hotel Barchetta Excelsior on Lake Como; garden visits and the services of a professional tour manager.
To book or for further information, please visitwww.rhsgardenholidays.com or call 0203 735 1855
About RHS Garden Holidays
RHS Garden Holidays offer a range of garden-themed escorted holidays around the UK, Europe and worldwide the world that combine the gardening-related passion and knowledge of the RHS with the experience of expert garden tour operator Brightwater Holidays. All holidays are escorted by an experienced tour manager and include international flights, transport, accommodation – generally in 4 star hotels – a welcome dinner and some additional meals. Some departures also feature an RHS host for an added level of horticultural expertise. A contribution from every booking goes towards the charitable works of the RHS. On all bookings, there is a promotion to purchase 12 months RHS membership for the price of nine.
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.
Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 200 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.
RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262