COME TO THE WORLD'S BIGGEST FLOWER SHOW
How about this for a spring getaway:
First, we fly to Philadelphia for an exclusive preview of the biggest and oldest flower show in the world and to see some of the greatest art works in the world plus sample all the highlights of the exciting city of brotherly love, then we drop down to the Caribbean for some luxury R&R at the exclusive Secrets St. James resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica?
This is a unique, quality tour I have arranged for next spring from Feb. 27. It will be six days in Philly and five days in Jamaica.
Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, is famous for many things. Ben Franklin. Philly Cheesesteaks. The place where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. Rocky Balboa running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
But Philadelphia is most famous (in my mind at least) for having the world’s biggest and oldest flower show.
How big? It covers 33 acres with exhibition space consuming more than third of that space.
Each year, the show picks a theme. Last year, it was Best of British and featured everything great about Britain, expressed and interpreted in countless creative ways.
For 2014, the theme is ARTiculture, and designers will be celebrate the work of the world’s art masters, from Michelangelo to Monet, Picasso to Pollack, da Vinci to Dali.
Anyway, this is a fabulous tour with all sorts of great highlights, more than I can mention in this brief introductions.
You can read more about all the components by clicking here PHILADELPHIA CALLING.
You can also go out The Vancouver Sun website for all the details at the Philly Tour site at http://www.thevancouversuncontests.com/philadelphia/index.html
To book your spot on the tour, contact Lyle Truden at Flight Centre at 1-866-275-1150 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
JAPAN IN APRIL/ 2014
This tour is now sold out.
In April, I will be leading an exclusive 14-day tour to Japan to see great gardens but also to experience the highlights of Japanese culture, everything from a ride on the bullet train to time in Tokyo’s bustling Ginza district to a walk on the slopes of Mount Fuji and much more.
It will be an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime adventure. I am hoping you will want to come along.
The tour will start out in Tokyo, then move to Kanazawa on edge of the Sea of Japan and on to Kyoto, the garden capital of Japan, where many of the country’s finest and oldest gardens are located, including Kinkaku-ji (Golden Temple), Ryoan-ji Temple and Saiho-ji Temple garden
Gardens are the connecting theme for the tour. They will link us to the landscape and to the culture and to one another.
But this is not a tour focused exclusively on gardens; it is as much a culture tour, too, with as much emphasis on delving into the art, cuisine, history and uniqueness of Japan as on providing an immersion into the transcendent beauty of its gardens.
For me, the gardens are one of Japan's finest and highest artistic accomplishments. I think you will have a wonderful time.
Here's where to find all the details: Japan Tour 2014
Contact Steve Whysall at email@example.com
OUR TIME IN BEAUTIFUL BRAZIL
My 12-day tour of Brazil was amazing. We started out in Rio de Janeiro at Copacabana Beach. From here we visited the home garden of Brazil’s most famous landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx.
We started out at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, jumped over to the bustling city of Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais and ended up at Iguazu Falls, one of the world’s seven natural wonders, on the Argentina/Paraguay border.
On the way, we visited amazing gardens, most of them designed or inspired by, but always imprinted with, the bold, unmistakable signature of Brazil’s most famous and celebrated landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx.
We took a ride through the Tijuca forest, went to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, visited Rio’s botanical garden and much more before jumping over to Belo Horizonte to visit Bernardo Paz’s amazing botanical Shangri-La oasis at Inhotim. From there we head down to Iguacu Falls.
It was a thrilling two weeks of fun and unforgettable sights. Here are some snapshots from the trip. You can also see a video of our trip at YouTube click here. BRAZIL TOUR 2013
SPRING TOURS TO ITALY AND FRANCE
Here’s some feedback we got from the spring garden tours. It's so important that people return home having had the time of their life.
But sometimes there needs to be some spontaneous, creative input in order to make things work out.
For instance, there was the moment when we were stuck in a traffic jam outside St. Tropez and rather than just sit there, I thought it would be fun if we had a party. When you're givien lemons . . .
I got off and bought a pack of plastic glasses and returned and opened up bottles of wines we had bought at Chateauneuf du Pape.
We played people’s favourite rock songs. Some people even got up and danced. It was fun. Other people contributed bottles they had bought and snacks. By the time the wine and food was gone, we were out of the jam and on our way to Cannes, our next destination.
We have had a fair number of spontaneous moments like that one on our tours and they always make the adventure all the more special.
Anywhere, here’s what some of the people had to say:
From the Italian garden tour.
- I can't thank you both enough for arranging such a beautiful trip. Having everything taken care of, is definitely the way to travel, and I couldn't have asked for a better way to see southern Italy and Sicily. – Sharon B.
- We look back at this trip as very special - the group was just outstanding and fun to be with. – Ron R.
- I was so energized by your selection of gardens, and loved the physical activity required to visit all the sites and manoeuvre through the many gardens, villages and towns. – Daphne S.
- Thank you again for the wonderful Italian Garden Tour. It was such a well thought out balance of activities. As Steve predicted, when we got home the experience expanded into hundreds of wonderful moments. We have sent many of our photos to friends and have told them about your tours. – Joan K. and Rob C.
- I look at my pictures almost everyday and show them to anyone who sounds the least bit interested so this is another happy reminder of this marvellous tour. – Patti B.
- We have had such fun making our own pictures into a memory slide show, and each time I look at it, the wonderful gardens return. Our presence on this trip was really up in the air until a couple weeks before because of my health problems, so when we arrived, I was a bit tentative. However, the presence of kindred gardening spirits and beautiful nature was entirely restorative. What an incredible landscape southern Italy is. We appreciated all the behind the scenes conceptualizing that you two put into your tour. You certainly made it into two splendid weeks for us. Thank you both. – Jean C.
From the French tour tour:
- We haven't downloaded our 600 + pictures yet. It was a great trip and we hope we get to join you again in the near future.
- What a rainy day, just came back from The Great Gatsby movie, his home looks like the Rothchilds! - Karen P.
- It was a wonderful tour and I will remember it forever and feel so blessed to have been able to go on it with you and Steve and the many delightful people on the trip too. Many thanks. Pauline M.
- Thanks Loraine, very enjoyable! Look forward to travelling with you and Steve again. – Jo-Ann M.
- Thanks for this delightful set of memories. To be enjoyed with a glass of rosé in hand... – Sue B.
- Thanks very much for the video. It brought back memories of our great trip--especially the music that you chose to accompany it. – Shirley R.
DOES THIS MAKE ME A CLIP-O-MANIAC?
I was so impressed with this lovely piece of geometric espalier, using pyracantha, that I have decided to use pyracantha to do a neatly clipped archway.
Dutch and French gardeners have inspired me not to be afraid of planting and then clipping to achieve interesting shapes and structures.
I'm not yet ready to try my hand at pleaching - the art of creating a hedge on stilts, using clipped hornbeam, beech or linden - but I feel a wee bit more confident about tackling this sort of project.
I'm also immensely impressed by boxwood and yew cones. I have one already in the garden but I am planning to introduce more as well as boxwood balls and some other clipped yew things. How about you?
SEE VIDEOS FROM ITALY AND FRANCE TOURS
We had great fun on both the garden tours this spring.
I put together two short video composed of snaps of people on the tours in different locations. It is customary for us to have a song for each tour.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW.
For Italy, I picked Sensa Fine by Pauline London and for France I picked Zou Bisou, Bisou by Jessica Pare - two wonderful songs that I thought captured the spirit of each tour perfectly.
Anyway, take a look at these short little videos. Let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org
MY LIFE IN THE GARDEN: IT'S BEEN BLOOMIN' WONDERFUL
For more than 20 years I have been the garden columnist for The Vancouver Sun here in British Columbia, Canada.
My full-colour In the Garden page appears every Friday in the At Home section. Check out my newspaper website, blog, podcasts and more here at In the Garden.
I've also written five books: The Vancouver Sun's Best Plant Picks, 100 Best Plants for Coastal Gardens,The Blooming Great Gardening Book, and 100 Best Plants for Ontario Gardens. The first four were No. 1 bestsellers in B.C.
Over the last five years, I have conducted nine international garden tours: three to Italy, three to France, one to England-Scotland, one to Holland-Belgium-England and one to South Africa.
My next tour will be to Brazil in October this year (2013). Click here to see details plus details of the recent tour to Italy and France.
I have also written for various garden magazines, including Gardens Illustrated in the UK.
My wife, Loraine, and I have three children, now all in their 30s.
At our home in Burnaby, we have an English-style garden, comprising a mix of trees, shrubs, vines, roses and perennials.
Before coming to Canada in 1975, I worked for various newspapers in the U.K. including the London Evening News, Bristol Post, Leicester Mercury and Nottingham Evening Post.
Click here to see photos of my garden through the seasons.
Below you can see a few snapshots from our recent trip to France and Italy.
For garden consultations, speaking engagements and other inquiries you can contact me at email@example.com