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Chelsea Flower Show & Iconic English Gardens


Immerse yourself in several centuries of English garden styles and spend a day at the world-renowned Chelsea Flower Show with others who love gardening just as much as you do, including Garden Gate & Horticulture’s executive editor, Kristin Beane Sullivan and executive art director, Eric Flynn. We’ll explore well-known historical gardens and discover fascinating contemporary gardens on a nine-day garden adventure you’ll never forget!

TOUR DATES

May 18-May 26, 2023

TOUR PRICES

$5,795 (USD) per person, double occupancy

$6,745 (USD) per person, single occupancy

TOUR INCLUDES:

  • All 4-star hotel accommodations
  • All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 7 dinners, including tips
  • Admission to all gardens, including tips
  • Comfortable coach transport
  • Friendly & knowledgeable tour coordinator
  • Design & botanical expertise of Garden Gate & Horticulture’s executive editor, Kristin Beane Sullivan and executive art director, Eric Flynn
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ITINERARY

AT A GLANCE

May 18, Thursday – Arrive at Heathrow Airport

May 19, FridayLeonardslee Lakes & Gardens & High Beeches

May 20, SaturdayPashley Manor Gardens & Fairlight End

May 21, SundaySissinghurst Castle Garden & Great Dixter

May 22, Monday – Penns in the Rocks & Long Barn

May 23, TuesdayRHS Gardens at Wisley & Loseley Park

May 24, WednesdayManor House & St. Timothee

May 25, ThursdayRHS Chelsea Flower Show & Chelsea Physic Garden

May 26, Friday – Depart or continue travels

DETAILS

Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate strives to operate according to our published itinerary. However, in the event of unforeseen circumstances beyond our control or opportunities that would enhance the itinerary, adjustments may be necessary.

Day 1, Thursday, May 18: ARRIVAL

Tour members arrange their own transportation to London and to the Crowne Plaza London Heathrow Airport Hotel at Terminal 4, where a reservation has been made (included in tour price).

We will gather for a welcome dinner this evening at the hotel restaurant (included in tour price).

Day 2, Friday, May 19: LEONARDSLEE LAKES & GARDENS & HIGH BEECHES

We’ll leave our airport hotel and travel to Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens’ beautiful woodland garden, which should be at its peak in May, awash with countless enormous rhododendrons. Wander this large property’s lakeside pathways, tour the impressive Victorian-era rock garden and even catch a glimpse of the garden’s wallaby colony! There’s a lot to see here.

In the afternoon, we’ll visit another beautiful woodland garden, High Beeches, where the owner will accompany us on a walk through this beautiful and natural landscape filled with flowering trees and shrubs. Here rhododendrons grow as high as a house, covered with countless flowers. Carpets of bluebells complete the idyllic experience.

Day 3, Saturday, May 20: PASHLEY MANOR GARDENS & FAIRLIGHT END

We’ll start our day at Pashley Manor Gardens, a classic English country garden. The 11-acre property’s design is partly formal, partly natural, with spectacular views over the Sussex countryside. Take in its perennial borders, classic hedges and walls, a potager, rose walks, and even a ha-ha.

At midday we’ll spend a few hours in Rye, a medieval town set where three rivers meet a few miles from the English Channel. We’ll find lunch at a local pub and then wander this charming village’s hilly, cobbled streets. You can climb the tower of the 12th-century church for a great view, stop for a cup of tea or shop.

Finally, we’ll end our day at Fairlight End, which is beautifully embedded in the undulating landscape and an excellent example of contemporary English gardening. The owner of this 3-acre private garden will give us a tour and answer our questions about the plants and design, which melds contemporary planting styles and materials, such as Corten steel, with the surrounding natural landscape.

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Day 4, Sunday, May 21: SISSINGHURST CASTLE GARDEN & GREAT DIXTER

For our first garden visit, we travel to the iconic Sissinghurst Castle Garden. These treasured gardens result from the commitment and imagination of writer Vita Sackville-West and her diplomat husband, Harold Nicolson. In the 1930s, he planned the gardens’ architecture, and she filled the spaces with lush, romantic plantings. Besides exploring the series of famous garden rooms, make sure you climb the tower and take in the panoramic views at the top. A pilgrimage to Sissinghurst is an absolute must.

In the afternoon we’ll explore Great Dixter, probably the best known and most loved of all English gardens. Head gardener Fergus Garrett, who worked for the former owner, famed plantsman and writer Christopher Lloyd, during the last years of his life, carries on the tradition of experimentation that Lloyd started. Although the garden’s structure is early 20th century, the spirit of the plantings is contemporary. Great Dixter is a visionary, exuberant, plant lover’s haven and has something different to offer in every season.

Day 5, Monday, May 22: PENNS IN THE ROCKS & LONG BARN

Today we’ll be visiting two private gardens. The first is Penns in the Rocks, the home built in the 18th century for the family of William Penn. The gardens were developed by the Bloomsbury poet Dorothy Wellesley in the 20th century. You’ll find plantings intermingled with natural stone outcroppings, walled gardens, a kitchen garden and more here. And don’t miss the Temple of Friendship, a structure Wellesley commissioned in honor of the “poets who loved Penns,” including W.B. Yeats, in 1938.

In the afternoon, we’ll visit Long Barn, the garden where Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson tested garden design ideas and developed their plant palette from 1915 to 1930 before they established Sissinghurst. Now it is a lovingly cared-for country garden, where you still find the original structures and planting style. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and hear stories with the owner of this private garden. A rare treat.

Day 6, Tuesday, May 23: RHS WISLEY & LOSELEY PARK

For more than 100 years, the Royal Horticultural Society Garden, Wisley has been a center of British gardening excellence. Although the garden spreads over 240 acres, we’ll focus on the demonstration gardens, which feature everything from stream gardens to meadows to double borders. Of particular interest is the Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden with nearly 4,000 roses and the Cottage Garden’s soft, romantic plantings. You’ll also want to see the impressive rock gardens and stroll through the woodland garden. It will be a busy morning!

We’ll spend the afternoon at Loseley Park, a classic estate with a beautiful walled garden filled with mixed plantings of bulbs, perennials and flowering shrubs. Elsewhere fantastic trees make an impressive appearance. We’ll also take a tour of the impressive 16th- century house and enjoy an afternoon cream tea.

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Day 7, Wednesday, May 24: MANOR HOUSE & ST. TIMOTHEE

Today we visit two more lovely private gardens. We’ll begin our day at The Manor House, where the famous Gertrude Jekyll designed the flower borders in 1908. The current owners have carefully restored the garden to its original glory, and you’ll have a chance to ask them questions over tea and cake in this beautiful and historic spot.

Starting in 2011, Sarah and Sal Pajwani started St. Timothee’s transformation from an overgrown field, with only a few mature trees in it, into a stunning, year-round garden that won the 2021 Nation’s Favourite Garden award in England & Wales, a competition for gardens that open for charity with the National Garden Scheme. We will see color-themed borders, a wildlife pond, a boxwood parterre, and a rose terrace during our visit to this special place. Sarah will be available to introduce us to the garden and answer our questions.

Day 8, Thursday, May 25: CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW & CHELSEA PHYSIC GARDENS

Our last day together: The Royal Horticultural Society bills the Chelsea Flower Show as The Greatest Show on Earth, and for gardeners all over the world, this is absolutely true! On the former grounds of the Chelsea Hospital you find the latest trends, the newest plants and the well-known garden competition, where every designer dreams of winning the Gold Medal. And walk through the world-famous tent to see the offerings of all the different nurseries. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. When you’re ready for a few moments of down time, steal away to the much quieter Chelsea Physic Garden, established in 1673 as a repository of medicinal plants.

Day 9, Friday, May 26: DEPARTURE

Our time together has ended, but garden lovers always find fresh inspiration wherever they are. Tour members can choose to return home or carry on the adventure. We’ll provide coach transfer to Heathrow Airport at 7:00 AM for those with flights leaving at 11:00 AM or later. Alternatively, you can take a taxi at the time of your choosing from the hotel to the airport.

Contact 800-341-4769 or gardentravel@aimmedia.com for more information.

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PRICING

Tour price:

$5,795 (USD) per person, double occupancy

$6,745 (USD) per person, single occupancy

Tour price includes:

  • All 4-star hotel accommodations
  • All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 7 dinners, including tips
  • Admission to all gardens, including tips
  • Comfortable coach transport
  • Ground transportation between hotel and airport on departure day
  • Friendly and knowledgeable professional tour coordinator
  • Design and botanical expertise of your Horticulture & Garden Gate hosts

Tour price excludes:

  • Airfare. Each tour member books their own flight to arrive at Heathrow Airport on 5/18/23 by 4 p.m. local time and depart from the same airport on or after 5/26/23 at 11 a.m. local time.
  • Travel Insurance (required)
  • 6 lunches, 1 dinner, all drinks, including water, and snacks
  • Breakfast & lunch on arrival day, and lunch & dinner on departure day
  • Tips for coach driver & tour coordinator

Payment schedule:

A $1,000.00 (USD) deposit is due when you book your tour.

Final payment, in full, is due on April 7, 2023.

After April 7, please contact us to confirm that there are still spots available on this tour. If you are able to join, full payment, reservation form and proof of insurance will be due immediately.

NOTE: Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate offers thoughtfully arranged garden tours. Each tour is guaranteed to proceed as soon as the minimum of 20 reservations has been met. If our reservation minimum is not met, Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate reserves the right to cancel the tour. Deposits/payments will be refunded in full if the tour is canceled.

Please DO NOT make your airline reservations until Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate has guaranteed (by email) that the tour will proceed.

Contact 800-341-4769 or gardentravel@aimmedia.com for more information.

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ACCOMMODATIONS

4-Star Relaxation & Comfortable Coach Travel

Hotel Accommodations

After a day filled with garden inspiration and botanical discoveries, we will retire to the comfort of 4-star accommodations. Rooms are double occupancy with the option for a single room for an additional fee.

May 18Crowne Plaza London Heathrow T4

May 19-21The Spa Hotel

May 22-23Audleys Wood Hotel

May 24-25Macdonald Windsor Hotel

Coach Travel

Daily transportation will be provided by a modern, comfortable coach operated by an experienced driver.

Contact 800-341-4769 or gardentravel@aimmedia.com for more information.

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TERMS & CONDITIONS

Responsibilities:

Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate hosts garden tours operated by Garden Tours. As the hosting organization, Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate provides reservation services and has chosen Garden Tours, a professional tour operator, as its designated tour operator. As the designated tour operator, Garden Tours arranges for the actual tour of the garden sites. Garden Tours also acts as an agent for services connected with specific tours hosted by Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate, such as ground transportation, lodging accommodations, and meals. Each service provider is solely responsible to the participant for providing their respective services.

By making a reservation for a tour hosted by Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate, the participant certifies that she/he does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate and Garden Tours reserve the right in their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on a tour hosted by Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate.

Price:

The tour prices in this agreement are based upon current exchange rates, tariffs, and taxes. Fluctuations in these rates could result in a price adjustment without prior notice until the tour is paid in full. Once the price for the tour is paid in full, the fee will not be adjusted due to any later change in exchange rates, tariffs or taxes.

Liabilities & Booking Conditions:

Garden Tours is established in the Netherlands, and rights and responsibilities for all tours operated by Garden Tours will be governed by Dutch and EU laws only. Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate and Garden Tours will have responsibility only for the proven negligent acts and omissions of its employees or agents and suppliers, subcontractors, servants, and/or agents of the same while acting within the scope of or in the course of their employment in respect of claims arising as a result of death, bodily injury, or illness caused to the signatory to the contract and/or any other named persons on the booking form.

Smoking:

All participants in tours hosted by Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate agree to comply with a non-smoking policy on all coaches, in restaurants, and in all lodging places.

Liability:

Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate and Garden Tours have no responsibility or liability to any person for loss of baggage, money, or other property whatsoever. Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate and Garden Tours have no responsibility or liability for any loss or additional expenses caused by delay or interruption to travel services through weather conditions (such as rain, wind, or fog), civil disturbance, riot, illegal acts of third parties, strikes, wars, floods, sickness or any circumstances amounting to Force Majeure.

Complaints:

In the unlikely event that you have a complaint, you must promptly notify the Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate host or the Garden Tours tour coordinator directly, so he/she can take remedial action on the spot. If the matter cannot be solved directly, any complaints must be submitted in writing to Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate within 7 days after the date of your return.

Your tour canceled by us:

Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate aims to provide your tour as booked. We reserve the right to cancel your tour under any circumstances, but if we cancel your tour, except where this is because you have not paid, you will receive a full refund.

Changes in itinerary details:

Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate and Garden Tours strive to operate according to the published itinerary. However, in the event of unforeseen circumstances beyond our control or opportunities that would enhance the itinerary, adjustments may be necessary or appropriate. Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate and Garden Tours reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the agreed-upon itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants. Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate will let you know about any significant changes as soon as possible if there is time before your departure. Otherwise, we will announce changes on the tour.

Cancellations:

If you should need to withdraw from the tour for whatever reason, you must notify Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate in writing. Cancellation becomes effective when written notice is received. There will be no refunds from Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate on or after April 7, 2023.

Insurance:

Travel insurance is required in case you need to cancel your trip after April 7, 2023, you have health emergencies while on the tour, or other unforeseen issues arise. Squaremouth and Insure My Trip are two travel insurance search sites. If you are under 70 years old, World Nomads is usually an economical travel insurance choice. You will be required to provide your travel insurance declarations page to Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate by April 7, 2023.

Health & Safety:

Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate follows COVID-19 safety updates from the CDC and our destination countries. Although we can't know at this time what the requirements will be in the future, each of our travelers must be fully vaccinated no less than two weeks before departure & have vaccination verification in the form of their CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.

Photography notice:

Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate will be taking photos and videos of the gardens for future editorial and promotional use. Tour participants may occasionally appear in these images.

Contact 800-341-4769 or gardentravel@aimmedia.com for more information.

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RESERVATIONS

To make a reservation:

  1. Download the reservation form and email it to gardentravel@aimmedia.com or mail to:
    Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate
    2143 Grand Ave.
    Des Moines, IA 50312
    Reservation Form
  2. Make a deposit of $1,000 USD. You can do this here or by calling 800-341-4769.
    Pay Online

Your reservation will be secured after a deposit or full payment is received.

Questions? Contact us at gardentravel@aimmedia.com or 800-341-4769. We would love to chat with you about this exciting trip!

Note: After April 7, please contact us to confirm that there are still spots available on this tour. If you are able to join, full payment, reservation form and proof of insurance will be due immediately.

Payment details:

Deposit amount: $1,000 USD. Secure your reservation with a deposit here or by calling 800-341-4769

Full payment:
$5,795 (USD) per person, double occupancy
$6,745 (USD) per person, single occupancy
Pay Online

Note: For reservations made after April 7, the full payment will be due immediately.

Additional information about the Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate tour costs, including details about inclusions and exclusions, can be viewed on our pricing tab.

PLEASE NOTE: Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate reserves the right to cancel the tour. Deposits/payments will be refunded in full if the tour is canceled.

Garden Travel with Horticulture & Garden Gate follows COVID-19 safety updates from the CDC and our destination countries. Although we can't know at this time what the requirements will be in the future, each of our travelers must be fully vaccinated no less than two weeks before departure & have vaccination verification in the form of their CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.

Contact 800-341-4769 or gardentravel@aimmedia.com for more information.

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YOUR TOUR HOSTS

Kristin Beane Sullivan

In her 26 years at Garden Gate magazine, Kristin Beane Sullivan has been lucky enough to meet hundreds (if not thousands) of gardeners, tour and photograph countless gardens and learn something from every single gardener she’s met. She comes from a long line of farmers and gardeners, and today tends an ever-expanding urban garden with her husband and three children who are a lot more help in the garden than she was at their ages.

Eric Flynn

Eric Flynn started as an illustrator with Garden Gate more than 26 years ago, and now he directs all the design for both Garden Gate & Horticulture, as well as Cuisine at Home magazine. Although his roles (and design technology!) have changed through the years, you might still occasionally still see him with a pencil or watercolor brush in his hand. Eric especially prides himself on the containers that fill the porch and deck of his suburban home in every season.

Contact 800-341-4769 or gardentravel@aimmedia.com for more information.