SPAIN-MOROCCO SOLD OUT
18-day tour will hit all the highlights
I was thrilled a few weeks ago to announce that my next garden tour would be to a Spain-Morocco in September. But I had no idea it would sell out within a couple of days. We now over over 40 people booked.
It will be an 18-days tour - the longest I have yet done - touching two continents and hitting all the highlights: tapas tasting, flamenco nights, sherry tasting, visits to art galleries, urban markets, historic sites, great towns and cities as well, of course, as entrances to many wonderful gardens, some of which are iconic world-famous destinations.
It is as long as it is because when I worked through various scenarios I found that it was not possible to do everything in fewer days without taking away the fun of a complete adventure.
Two top European agencies competed for the option to handle this tour. In the end, they both delivered outstanding proposals, but one eventually came up with a better overall package. That is the one I have chosen to go with. I know you will be in good hands.
From the start, I asked for top-of-the-line accommodation throughout because I know you want a quality resort experience where you stay.
I have shaped the tour into three specific sections, starting in Madrid with visits to special towns just outside, such as Toledo, Avila and Segovia.
I have also arranged an exclusive visit with Spain’s most famous garden designer Fernando Caruncho who has kindly offered to show us private gardens.
From Madrid, we transfer to southern Spain with the focus on Cordoba, Seville and Granada with time, too, in places in-between.
This is where you will visit a couple of wonders of the gardening world - the Alhambra and Generalife gardens.
From there, we cross over into Morocco and into the Atlas Mountains to Fez before moving down to the coast to Casablanca and on to Marrakech with time in Tangiers and Rabat, too.
TO BOOK: If you're interested in reserving a spot on this tour, please call Lyle Truden.
If you have any general questions don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com
Spain-Morocco Tour 2014
Dates: Sept 15-Oct 2
Total days: 18
Here’s the breakdown of hotels:
4 Nights Madrid - NH Palacio del Prado - (located in front of the Prado Museum, within walking distance to Retiro Park)
1 Night Córdoba - Hotel Las Casas de la Judería
2 Nights Sevilla - Hotel Las Casas de la Judería
3 Nights Granada - Hotel AC Palacio de Santa Paula
1 Night Tangier - Hotel El Minzah
2 Nights Fez - Hotel Royal Mirage (ex-Sheraton)
1 Night Casablanca - Hotel Sheraton
3 Nights Marrakesh - Es Saadi Gardens
To make a reservation, please contact:
Lyle Truden | Manager
Flight Centre Business Travel Library Square
Unit 203 - 345 Robson St | Vancouver, BC | V6B6B3
Phone: 604-684-7951 | Toll Free: 1 866 275 1150
GARDEN VIDEO VISITS:
See some of the world's top gardens
GARDENS TO INSPIRE
Take a few minutes to come with me and visit some of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Here are the first two in what will be a developing series.
Here you can start by visiting the delightful Le Parc Flora d'Apremont-sur-Allier in the Loire Valley followed by a quick tour of the magnificent water garden at Villa d'Este in Tivoli.
Recent additions feature Trebah, Glendurgan, the Keukenhof, Hidcote and Serre de la Madone (the gardens of Lawrence Johnston).
START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE.
SPRING GARDEN TOUR/ 2014
PHILLY HERE WE COME
AMAZING TRIP WILL BE JAM-PACKED WITH ACTION
This is an exclusive five-day tour to Philadelphia for a VIP day-before-opening tour of the biggest and oldest flower show in the world plus time spend exploring all the cultural and artistic highlights of the City of Brotherly Love?
It's a unique, quality tour I have arranged for for five days at the end of February into March.
Philadelphia 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, for me, the city is most famous for staging 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. To learn more go here to The Vancouver Sun's tour site.
You can also read more about all the components by clicking here PHILADELPHIA CALLING.
To book your spot ,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.
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
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 Philadelphia in 2014 (see above) after which we will be going to Japan.
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.
Below you can see a few snapshots from our recent trip to France and Italy.