GARDEN TOURS

Loraine and Steve Whysall in Matera on their 2015 Italy Garden Tour

TIME FOR A FUN TOUR

Tours for 2018

We normally offer two tours a year - one in spring, around April-May time, and one in fall, around September and October. In 2018, we have a tour to India planned for February when we will visit spectacular Mogul gardens and other key sites and destinations.  In May, we have an Islands and Lakes Tour of Italy in the works. And in fall, there will be a Japan Fall Foliage Tour.

swhysall@hotmail.com

Advance list

Demand is always intense for these popular tours. They often sell out very quickly, often within a few days of being launched.

To avoid disappointment, we recommend that you express your interest early and get your name down on our advance notification list.

This guarantees you a place on a tour when  details are made public. You can get on the advance notification list, email Loraine at lwhysall@shaw.ca 

Past Tours

Our last tour in May, 2017, was to England-Wales and Ireland. We visited the Lake District, North Wales and then crossed the Irish Sea to reach Dublin and gardens in southern Ireland. Previous tours have been to China, Japan, Brazil, South Africa, Maynmar, France, Italy, Western Country England, Scotland, Holland-Belgium, Spain and Morocco. 

swhysall@hotmail.com

Take a look at some of our previous tours

A history of great tours

My first garden tour was a cruise in 2010 out of Rome and around Italy, stopping on the way to visit Florence, Portofino, Sicily, Venice and Dubrovnik.
From Rome, we visited Villa d’Este in Tivoli and in Florence we went to the Boboli Garden and from Venice we went out to Padua to see the world’s oldest botanical garden.

It was a fun tour, but I was disappointed that we kept stepping in and out of Italy.
From that point on, I decided land tours were the only kind I was interested in doing because you are always totally immersed in the culture of the country you are visiting.
The next year, I led a tour to England’s West Country, finishing off with the Chelsea Flower Show.  The tour was a big success.
The following year, we did two back-to-back tours to France, starting in Paris and going to the Loire Valley.
With Mike Nelhams, director of Tresco Abbey Garden in the Sicily Isles, in 2016.
In 2011, I designed a tour of the Italian Lakes and the Dolomites. In 2012, we went to Holland, Belgium, England and Scotland. And then to South Africa.
Since then I have done 12 more tours, including to Brazil, Japan, China, Myanmar, Philadelphia, Spain and Morocco, and a few more to France, England and Italy for a total of 20.
Part of the group at the grave of brave Gelert in the Welsh village of Beddgelert.
This spring, I led two back-to-back tours to England’s Lake District, North Wales, Ireland and the Chelsea Flower Show and in the fall I will be takng a tour to South Africa to visit the Namaqualand where the landscape will be a carpet of brightly coloured wild flowers. By the end of 2017, I will have led a total of 22  tours.
What do people like about them so much?
Well, I always like to think of it from start to finish being a wonderful party with friends. We laugh. We share stories. We have lots of dinner parties and lunches together.
View of the lake at Stourhead Garden in Wiltshire
We visit  spectacular gardens - those are the connecting element, what glues the tour together - and we also visit some amazing historical and culturally sites and significant destinations as well as discover art, architecture and special cuisines and wines. It's always an unforgettable experience.
I have a professional gold-star guide with me all the way to help oversee details such as hotel rooms and dinner reservations as well as tracking down any lost souls.
On the "bowling green" at Villa Gamberaia in Settignano, Italy
And I make every effort to ensure no one is left out of the party and that everyone is included in the fun at all times. It works.
But you have to experience it to see how much fun it can be. Many people have come back time and time again.
Some have been with us on several tours; they like it so much and, of course, they have made friends and then friends end up bringing more friends.
We have had numerous moms-and-daughters, sisters, life-long buddies and, of course, many couples as well as singles who never feel like they are on their own.
Group on the platform of the station in the village with the longest name.
Apart from watching over the whole group to ensure everyone is safe and happy and having a good time, I tell stories about the gardens and the places we are going and many other things.
Loraine listens very carefully to everyone and makes sure their vacation is the best it can be.
I always tell people when they come on a tour that it is important that they come with an open heart and open mind and a willingness to be surprised and thrilled by the unexpected. That is how we have had so many unforgettable moments.

swhysall@hotmail.com