England in Full Bloom

England in Full Bloom

  • July 21 – 29, 2020
  • $4,675 USD per person
  • Visit the most ravishing flower-filled English gardens in mid summer: the luscious contemporary borders & flower meadow at Trentham, the 20th-century masterpiece at Hidcote Manor, and Prince Charles’ very personal garden at Highgrove.

England in Full Bloom

July 21 – 29, 2020

On our mid-summer tour, we’ll take an immersive plunge into the most beautiful garden type anywhere: the English flower garden. In our quest to explore examples of this floriferous style, we’ll start by visiting a series of owner-designed gardens northwest of London—Felley Priory, Cottesbrooke Hall, and Coton Manor—that illustrate how accomplished private country gardens can be in mixing fragrant roses and colorful perennials. While in this region, we’ll also delve into the spectacular, contemporary perennial and ornamental grass plantings at Trentham before heading to the Cotswolds for four days that will include an unforgettable visit to Prince Charles’ garden at Highgrove; the early 20th-century gem, Hidcote; and the contemporary masterpiece, The Walled Garden at Broughton Grange. Everywhere we will see borders bursting with blooms in a myriad of colors, textures, and scents. Please join us for a sensuous, flower-filled adventure in the charming English countryside.


July 21, Tuesday – Arrive at Heathrow Airport
July 22, Wednesday – Coton Manor & Cottesbrooke Hall
July 23, Thursday – Trentham & Felley Priory
July 24, Friday – Pettifers & Broughton Grange
July 25, Saturday – Hidcote & Kiftsgate
July 26, Sunday – Rousham & Crockmore House
July 27, Monday – Tetbury Village & Highgrove
July 28, Tuesday – Wisley & Malverleys
July 29, Wednesday – Depart or continue travels

CarexTours 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, Tuesday, July 21 — ARRIVE IN ENGLAND
  • Tour members independently arrange travel to Heathrow Airport, walk to the Crowne Plaza London Heathrow T4 hotel just outside Terminal 4, and check into the room that will have been booked for each of you (included in the price of the tour). We’ll gather in the hotel restaurant at 6:30 PM for a Welcome Dinner (included) with the first round of drinks courtesy of CarexTours.
Day 2, Wednesday, July 22 — COTON MANOR & COTTESBROOKE HALL
  • We travel north from Heathrow into Northamptonshire to visit our first garden, the luscious Coton Manor. Voted “The Nation’s Favourite Garden” in a 2019 contest held by the National Garden Scheme and The English Garden magazine, the garden extends down a slope from the terraces next to a 17th-century manor house. Owned by Ian and Susie Pasley-Tyler, it was originally laid out by Ian’s grandparents, who moved to this place from Florida in the 1920s. For the last thirty years, Susie, who works in the gardens every day, has been the artistic force behind the planting combinations, frequently using alluring color themes. More than anything else, Coton Manor is known for its roses, which are everywhere and culminate in an area called the Rose Bank along with selections of salvias, tree peonies, and geraniums. This visit will give us a good introduction to what English gardeners like in a garden, and perhaps it will be our favorite too. We’ll have lunch (not included) at Coton Manor before visiting our afternoon garden.
  • Next, we’ll visit the beautiful 18th-century Cottesbrooke Hall. It’s a private 13-acre garden currently managed by Alastair Macdonald-Buchanan, whose grandmother laid out formal gardens around the house and a wild garden along a stream some eighty years ago. That framework remains, but each succeeding generation put their mark on the garden by renovating some of the plantings and keeping the garden relevant to their times, often with the help of an eminent designer of their day. Most recently, it was the much-lauded Arne Maynard who redefined the Statue Walk by using a soft, fragrant scheme of purple, pink, apricot, & blue perennials and roses. We’ll want to study how Maynard did it and perhaps take some notes before we explore the nearly 200-foot-long herbaceous border on the terrace. Also noteworthy are the 300-year-old cedars of Lebanon and the lovely lily ponds.
  • For the night, we’ll check into the Fawsley Hall Hotel for two days and then have dinner together in the hotel’s restaurant (included).
Day 3, Thursday, July 23 — TRENTHAM & FELLEY PRIORY
  • This morning we travel further north into Staffordshire to visit the great Trentham Estate, a historic garden that has been given a complete renovation so that it is now one of the largest contemporary perennial plantings in Europe. In the Italian Garden alone, there are 80,000 perennials in 70 flower beds designed by Tom Stuart-Smith, whose gardens are considered some of the best being made in the UK today. Flanking these plantings are two 395-foot-long borders designed by the Dutch plantsman, Piet Oudolf, who also designed the Rivers of Grass and the Floral Labyrinth. Recently, Nigel Dunnett, a designer and professor at the University of Sheffield, has added a vast woodland meadow planting adding 70,000 perennials and 700 magnolia trees. Make sure to have your camera ready for these tour de force displays. Lunch today will be at a Trentham eatery of your choice (not included) before traveling to our afternoon garden.
  • This afternoon, we journey east into Nottinghamshire to visit Felley Priory, a handsome Elizabethan house on the site of a 12th-century monastery with a garden that came much later. Situated in rolling farmland on a very exposed site, Maria Chaworth-Musters designed the 2.5-acre garden, first laying out the structure by planting yew hedges to shelter the perennial borders she envisaged. She had moved there with her family in 1976 with very little gardening experience. Nevertheless, she began educating herself and over the years developed the garden into a deeply personal and inventive place that deftly complements the stone house and surrounding countryside. By the time she died in 2010, she was considered by many to be in the top rank of amateur English garden makers and a skilled plantsperson. We will see crisp and whimsical topiary; a walled garden filled with old fashioned roses; pergolas covered in roses, clematis, and lonicera; an extensive collection of hydrangeas; and, of course, herbaceous borders.
  • We return to Fawsley Hall Hotel for the night and then gather for dinner in the hotel restaurant (included).
  • Today we leave Northamptonshire, and travel southwest to the edge of the Cotswolds to visit Pettifers, a stylish garden in the village of Wardington. It was designed by the talented Gina Price, another much-praised amateur garden maker. With little gardening experience, Price started in the early 1990s with a conventional, old-fashioned garden. Gradually, through visiting other gardens and asking for criticism from knowledgeable friends, Price began editing. Today, Pettifers is known for its innovative plant choices, unusual plant pairings, and vivid color combinations, all within a confident structure. Price admits to being influenced in the last 25 years by the naturalistic planting movement, but says she couldn’t have a garden without English prettiness. Pettifers is a garden that’s sure to please.
  • We’ll have a traditional ploughman’s lunch upon arrival at our afternoon garden, Broughton Grange Walled Garden, another captivating design by Tom Stuart-Smith. Part of a larger 19th-century garden, the owners decided to make a significant addition in 2000 by transforming a paddock into an ambitious 6-acre walled garden. Three themed terraces traverse a slope and open to the surrounding rural landscape. We’ll see masses of perennials and grasses punctuated with topiary, a modern boxwood parterre based on leaves, beech tunnels, pleached lime squares, and a rill carrying water into a large stone water lily tank. The scale of Stuart-Smith’s 21st-century design is a bold step away from typical English garden rooms. Elsewhere at Broughton Grange is a knot garden, huge arboretum, spring walk, woodland, stumpery, bamboo grove, and rose garden.
  • This evening, we check into the Arden Hotel in the middle of Stratford-upon-Avon for three nights and dine together in the hotel restaurant (included).
Day 5, Saturday, July 25 — HIDCOTE & KIFTSGATE
  • This morning, we’ll be at Hidcote Manor Garden. Starting in 1907, Lawrence Johnston, a talented plantsman from the United States with a strong sense of design, created the garden considered by many to be a masterpiece. A series of hedged, intimate, outdoor rooms, each with its individual character, are linked by narrow passageways that eventually lead to lawns and views to the countryside beyond. Throughout, Johnston used a vast variety of plants, many found on his plant collecting trips. It’s noteworthy that Hidcote, with its themed garden rooms, changed how gardens were made in England and is still influencing garden makers today.
  • We’ll have lunch (included) at Kiftsgate Court before delving into its gardens. A visit to Kiftsgate is not complete without an understanding of how three generations of women in one family have shaped the garden and made it into a beloved treasure. The garden was started in the 1920s by Heather Muir who boldly employed an intuitive approach to creating gardens instead of using a more formalized plan. In the 1950s, Muir’s daughter, Diany Binny, continued the garden’s evolution by introducing a semicircular swimming pool on the lower level, commissioning sculptural features, and opening Kiftsgate for public enjoyment for the first time. Today, Anne Chambers, daughter of Binny and granddaughter of Muir, shapes the garden. Her new Water Garden is a contemporary oasis and evidence of her desire to bring the garden into the 21st century.
  • We return to the Arden Hotel for the night. Dinner this evening is at a restaurant of your choice in town or in the hotel (not included).
Day 6, Sunday, July 26 — ROUSHAM & CROCKMORE
  • Our first garden today is Rousham, a William Kent (1685-1748) design that exemplifies the 18th-century shift from Renaissance formality toward a new informal, more natural style. Rousham is the only pre 20th-century garden featured on our tour and we will most certainly want to walk the peaceful woodland paths along the river taking in the classical sculptures, porticoes, fountains, and pools. However, since our theme is flowers, we’ll also want to explore the ancient walled garden with long herbaceous borders and a parterre where we can indulge our love of flowers. There is also a pigeon house, espaliered apple trees, a greenhouse, and a kitchen garden.
  • We’ll travel next to the Chiltern Hills, designated as one of England’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to visit Crockmore House. We’ll first have lunch (not included) before exploring this contemporary garden which is quite a contrast to Rousham. Created by modernist designer Christopher Bradley-Hole in the early 2000s, the main part of the garden is laid out in a grid of eighteen rectangular beds, each jam-packed with plants like knautia, salvia, astrantia, persicaria, and fennel along with miscanthus, stipa, and pennisetum. The designer thought of this exuberant, yet formal concept as ‘out of chaos, order’. Making the garden had a profound effect on Julia Kirkham, the owner, leading her to change careers and start a garden design practise of her own.
  • We return to the Arden Hotel for the night. Again this evening, dinner is at a restaurant of your choice in town or in the hotel (not included).
Day 7, Monday, July 27 — TETBURY VILLAGE & HIGHGROVE
  • This morning we have free time in the small Cotswold village of Tetbury. Built on the site of an Anglo-Saxon monastery that was founded in 681, the town is filled with architectural gems dating from the 16th-century when it was a prosperous center of the wool trade. You may wish to sightsee, browse the wares in some of Tetbury’s twenty five antique shops, or pick up a souvenir in a specialty store before stopping for lunch in a cafe of your choice (not included).
  • Our second stop of the day is Highgrove. The Prince of Wales bought his estate in 1980 and has devoted great energy to establishing lush, organic gardens. He’s had the help of notable designers, including Rosemary Verey and Julian and Isabel Bannerman. The results are thought by many to be enchanting. Just a few of the gardens we’ll see are a pollinator-haven Wildflower Meadow, a fragrant Thyme Walk flanked by witty yew topiaries, and a fabulous, sculptural Stumpery.
  • Tonight we check into Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa in Surrey for two nights and come together for dinner in the hotel restaurant (included).
Day 8, Tuesday, July 28 — WISLEY & MALVERLEYS
  • We begin our last day of garden touring at the Royal Horticultural Society Garden, Wisley. For more than 100 years, 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 classic double borders. Not to be missed is the most recent glasshouse with nearby perennial borders created by influential designers Tom Stuart-Smith and Piet Oudolf which will be in their summer glory. Lunch will be at any of the Wisley restaurants or cafes (not included).
  • The final garden for our tour is the exquisite Malverleys Garden, a private garden barely ten years old. Designed by the talented head gardener Mat Reese in conjunction with the owners, the garden is made up of hedged rooms with color themed perennials and annuals planted in an exuberant style. There is a White Garden, Hot Garden, and a Cool Garden along with a flowering meadow dotted with topiary and a shady stumpery. Throughout, self-seeders are allowed to run and romp—with careful editing, of course—making an atmosphere that verges on wildness.
  • We return to the Nutfield Priory Hotel for the night and gather in the hotel restaurant for our Farewell Dinner (included).
Day 9, Wednesday, July 29 — DEPARTURE
  • Our time together comes to an end, but garden lovers are likely to find 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. Or you may choose to take a taxi on your own (approximately £60/$80) at a time of your choosing.


Tour price:

$4,675 (USD) per person for double occupancy
+ $1,200 (USD) per person for single occupancy

Tour price includes:
  • All 4-star hotel accommodations.
  • All breakfasts & 6 dinners.
  • Admission to all gardens including tips.
  • Comfortable coach transportation.
  • Friendly and knowledgeable professional tour coordinator.
  • Design and botanical expertise of your CarexTours leader.
Tour price excludes:
  • Airfare.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • All lunches, 2 dinners, drinks including water, and snacks.
  • Lunch on arrival day.
  • Lunch & dinner on departure day.
  • Tips for 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 1, 2020.

NOTE: CarexTours offers thoughtfully arranged garden tours. Each tour is guaranteed to proceed as soon as the minimum of 10 reservations has been met. In the event that our reservation minimum is not met, CarexTours 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 CarexTours has guaranteed (by email) that the tour will proceed.


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.

July 21: Crowne Plaza London Heathrow T4
July 22 – 23: Fawsley Hall Hotel
July 24 – 26: The Arden Hotel
July 27 – 28: Nutfield Priory Hotel

Coach Travel

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



CarexTours, LLC is a limited liability company organized under the laws of the state of Maryland in the United States. CarexTours hosts this garden tour operated by Garden Tours. As the hosting organization, CarexTours 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 CarexTours 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 CarexTours, the participant certifies that she/he does not have any mental, physical, or another condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. CarexTours and Garden Tours, reserve the right in their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept or remove any participant on a tour hosted by CarexTours.


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. CarexTours 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.


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


CarexTours and Garden Tours have no responsibility or liability to any person for loss of baggage, money or other property whatsoever. CarexTours 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.


In the unlikely event that you have a complaint, you must promptly notify the CarexTours 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 CarexTours within 20 days after the date of your return.

Your tour canceled by us:

CarexTours aims to provide your tour as booked. We reserve the right to cancel your tour in 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:

CarexTours 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. CarexTours 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. CarexTours will let you know about any important changes as soon as we can if there is time before your departure. Otherwise, we will announce changes on the tour.


If you need to withdraw from the tour for whatever reason, you must notify CarexTours in writing. Cancellation becomes effective when written notice is received. There will be no refunds from CarexTours on or after May 1, 2020.


Travel insurance is required in case you need to cancel your trip after May 1, 2020, 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 evidence to CarexTours that you have obtained travel insurance by May 1, 2020.

To book this tour, contact Carolyn Mullet at camullet@gmail.com or 240 429 0889.

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

Deposit amount: $1,000 USD
Full payment: $4,675 USD per person (double occupancy)
Single occupancy: +$1,200 USD

Additional information about the CarexTours costs, including details about inclusions and exclusions, can be viewed on our pricing page.

PLEASE NOTE: CarexTours reserves the right to cancel the tour. Deposits/payments will be refunded in full if the tour is canceled.