England in Full Bloom

England in Full Bloom

  • July 19 – 27, 2022
  • $4,675 USD per person
  • Visit England’s most flower-filled gardens at the height of the season, including the dynamic borders and woodland at Trentham Estate, the color-themed Malverleys, and Highgrove, Prince Charles’ Cotswold garden.

England in Full Bloom

July 19 – 27, 2022

If there is one thing that sets English gardens apart from all others, it is their use of flowers — flowers in radiant colors and sumptuous shapes gathered together informally in abundant borders. Whether the garden is traditional or modern, made by the owner or by a professional, in a village or the country, the brilliant use of flowers makes these gardens glow. And that is what this tour is all about: country gardens in glorious full bloom at the height of the summer season.

AT-A-GLANCE ITINERARY

July 19, Tuesday – Arrive at Heathrow Airport
July 20, Wednesday – Trentham, Felley Priory
July 21, Thursday – Coton Manor, Cottesbrooke Hall
July 22, Friday – Pettifers, Morton Hall
July 23, Saturday – Hidcote, Free Time in Stratford-upon-Avon
July 24, Sunday – Highgrove, Hanhan Court
July 25, Monday – First Garden TBA, Malverleys
July 26, Tuesday – Wisley, The Barn
July 27, Wednesday – Depart or continue travels

CarexTours strives to operate according to our published itinerary. However, adjustments may be necessary if unforeseen circumstances beyond our control occur or if opportunities arise that would enhance the itinerary.

Note: CarexTours follows COVID-19 safety updates from the CDC and our destination countries. Although we can’t know what the requirements will be in the future, each of our travelers must be fully vaccinated with booster shots no less than two weeks before departure & have vaccination verification in the form of their CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.

FULL ITINERARY

Day 1, Tuesday, July 19 — 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 them (included in the tour price).
  • We’ll gather in the hotel restaurant at 6:30 PM for a Welcome Dinner (included).
Day 2, Wednesday, July 20 — TRENTHAM & FELLEY PRIORY
  • We start our week of touring gardens by traveling north into Staffordshire to visit the Trentham Estate, a renovated historic garden 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 Dutch plantsman Piet Oudolf who also created the Rivers of Grass and the Floral Labyrinth. Recently, Nigel Dunnett, a designer and professor at the University of Sheffield, has added an extensive 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 next 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. 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, many considered her to be in the top rank of amateur English garden makers and plantspersons. 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 check into Fawsley Hall Hotel for two nights and then gather for dinner in the hotel restaurant (included).
Day 3, Thursday, July 21 — COTON MANOR & COTTESBROOKE HALL
  • Our first visit today is the luscious gardens at 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 around the 17th-century manor house. Owned by Ian and Susie Pasley-Tyler, Ian’s grandparents, who moved to this place from Florida in the 1920s, laid out the garden initially. For the last thirty years, Susie, who works in the gardens every day, has been the artistic force behind the planting combinations. 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 prefer 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 travel to the beautiful 18th-century Cottesbrooke Hall. It’s a private 13-acre garden 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 has put their mark on the garden by renovating some of the plantings, keeping the garden relevant to their times, often with the help of an eminent designer of the day. Most recently, much-lauded Arne Maynard redefined the Statue Walk by using a soft, fragrant scheme of purple, pink, apricot, and blue flowers. 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 return to the Fawsley Hall Hotel and then have dinner together in the hotel’s restaurant (included).
Day 4, Friday, July 22 — PETTIFERS & MORTON HALL
  • Today, we leave Northamptonshire, traveling southwest to the edge of the Cotswolds to visit Pettifers, a stylish garden in the village of Wardington. It was designed by Pettifers’ owner Gina Price, another highly regarded 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 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 lunch in a pub along the way to our afternoon garden (not included).
  • We travel further west into Worchestershire to Morton Hall, a Georgian house surrounded by 8-acres of gardens. Anne and René Olivieri moved here in 2007 and began renovating the existing gardens assisted by landscape architect Charles Chesshire. Visitors make a circular journey through seven themed gardens, including a Stroll Garden with a pond and a Japanese-style tea house, a colorfully planted Kitchen Garden, and a Rockery on a steep slope with boulder steps. Throughout, there are beautiful plantings, sometimes as single specimen and other times in groupings. Make sure to bring your camera to capture this inspiring 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 23 — HIDCOTE & FREE TIME IN STRATFORD-UPON-AVON
  • 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 a masterpiece by many. A series of hedged, intimate, outdoor rooms, each with its individual character, are linked by narrow passageways that eventually lead to lawns, a ha-ha, and views to the countryside beyond. Throughout, Johnston used a wide variety of plants, many found on his plant collecting trips. Hidcote changed how gardens were made in England with its inward-looking, themed garden rooms and still influences garden making today. We’ll have lunch in a Hidcote cafe before returning to Stratford-upon-Avon.
  • For the afternoon and evening, we take a break from group garden visiting to explore Stratford-upon-Avon — a medieval market town, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and the home of Royal Shakespeare Company — in whatever way each traveler chooses. Tour members are free to check out the numerous cultural sites connected with Shakespeare, stroll the streets to admire the timber-and-white façaded buildings with thatched roofs, or shop in the many boutiques along the way to pick up a special souvenir. Dinner this evening is at a restaurant of your choice in town or in the hotel (not included). Reservations may be necessary.
  • We again stay at the Arden Hotel for the night.
Day 6, Sunday, July 24 — HIGHGROVE & HANHAM COURT
  • Today, we first visit Highgrove, the family residence of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. The Prince bought his estate in 1980 and has devoted great energy to establishing lush, organic gardens. He has 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 here are a pollinator-attracting Wildflower Meadow, a fragrant Thyme Walk flanked by witty yew topiaries, and a shaded, sculptural Stumpery. One of Highgrove’s designated tour leaders will guide our visit, and no photography is allowed. Lunch will be in a pub along the way to our next garden (not included).
  • Our afternoon garden is the romantic Hanham Court. Isabel and Jullian Bannerman (the designers mentioned in the Highgrove description above) made this garden while they owned the property from 1994 to 2012, just for their personal pleasure. Known for their love of fragrant plants, they filled the garden to overflowing with roses, peonies, and lilies. They also designed architectural elements — contemporary arches, gates, and railings that reference historical examples. Richard & Julia Boissevain, the current owners, are committed to restoring and preserving this beautiful design.
  • We return to the Arden Hotel for the night. Again this evening, dinner is at a restaurant of your choice in town or at our hotel (not included). Reservations may be necessary.
Day 7, Monday, July 25 — FIRST GARDEN TBA & MALVERLEYS
  • Our first garden is To Be Announced (TBA). We’ll stop for lunch along the way to our afternoon garden (not included).
  • Today’s final garden 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 consists of hedged rooms with color-themed perennials and annuals planted in an exuberant style. There is a White Garden, Hot Garden, a Cool Garden, 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.
  • 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 26 — WISLEY, THE BARN/SERGE HILL
  • Our day starts 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 double borders. Of particular interest in July are plantings of lilies and roses. Not-to-be-missed are the perennial borders near the Glasshouse created by influential designers Tom Stuart-Smith and Piet Oudolf. Lunch will be at a Wisley cafe or restaurant of your choice (not included).
  • We travel a little north of London for our tour’s last stop, The Barn at Serge Hill. In the previous 25 years, Tom and Sue Stuart-Smith created this garden around their home, a converted barn. Next to The Barn sits an intimate, modern courtyard with Corten water tanks and a wall Tom initially used in a 2005 show garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. Further away, hedged gardens are filled to the brim with the complex planting of perennials and grasses that Tom is known for in his professional work. In addition, Sue manages a kitchen garden while Tom oversees two meadows — one filled with native English flowers and grasses and an exotic prairie planted mostly with North American natives. What an inspiring place to end our week.
  • 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 27 — 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.

PRICING

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 and 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 arrival and departure days.
  • Tips for driver and tour coordinator.
Payment schedule:
  • A $1,000.00 (USD) deposit is due when you book your tour
  • Final payment, in full, is due on May 1, 2022.

NOTE: CarexTours offers thoughtfully arranged garden tours. Each tour is guaranteed to proceed when a minimum of 10 reservations are received. If that 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.

4 STAR HOTELS & 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.

July 19: Crowne Plaza London Heathrow T4
July 20 – 21: Fawsley Hall Hotel
July 22 – 24: The Arden Hotel
July 25 – 27: Audleys Wood Hotel

Coach Travel

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

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Responsibilities:

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.

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. 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.

Smoking:

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.

Liability:

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.

Complaints:

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 necessary changes as soon as we can if there is time before your departure. Otherwise, we will announce modifications on tour.

Cancellations:

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, 2022.

Insurance:

Travel insurance is required in case you need to cancel your trip after May 1, 2022, 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, 2022.

COVID-19:

CarexTours follows COVID-19 safety updates from the CDC and our destination countries. Although we can’t know what the requirements will be in the future, each of our travelers must be fully vaccinated with booster shots no less than two weeks before departure & have vaccination verification such as a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.

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

Your reservation is 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.