31st March to 2nd April 2017
Spend the morning at the Great Dixter Plant fair, then on to Sissinghurst, followed by a full day at Wisley Garden
Arriving into Gatwick in the late afternoon, we will be collected by our coach and taken to our hotels in Rye. You can then spend a leisurely evening exploring this quaint historic town.
Day two – 1st April
Our first garden visit is to the hugely celebrated gardens of Great Dixter and the first of their 2017 plant fairs. Fergus Garrett, Dixter’s head gardener set up the fair to help small nurserymen and to devote an event solely to plantsmen. Hand picked nurseries from all over Europe are invited to showcase at this very special and intimate fair. Rustic stalls are constructed from coppiced chestnut and corrugated tin, sitting at a sensible distance from each other, so there is plenty of room to gather and listen when each nursery man gives a short talk delighting all with their incredible knowledge and experience.
Take stock, or dine on delicious local sausages on the straw-bales that are scattered among the stalls. As Juliet Roberts, editor of Gardens Illustrated says, “Dixter is a special place to visit, but it’s a particular treat to meet nurseries and plants people of the caliber that Fergus Garrett and his team have cherry-picked for visitors. They are the crème de la crème of the plant world.”. Great Dixter is also one of the most spectacular spring gardens and there will be plenty of time to join Jimi for a walk through the gardens.
In the afternoon, we will visit the magnificently manicured gardens of Sissinghurst. This famous garden was created by the writer Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson from 1930 onward and became the most admired English garden of its time. Sissinghurst is a large connoisseurs’ garden consisting of a series of small romantic areas enclosed by the surviving parts of an Elizabethan mansion. Sissinghurst is surely as close to gardening perfection as you can get, it is also an unending source of inspiration for all gardeners. The gardens are now managed by one of the best UK gardeners Troy Scott Smith
Rye, East Sussex
We will stay in the picturesque village of Rye. On the edge of the Romney Marsh, it was once surrounded by sea and this fortified hilltop town played an important role in the defense of the south coast of England. These days, the river no longer harbors warships and is home to the local fishing fleet. Rye possess a mix of fine Georgian and medieval houses, cobbled streets and secret passages. Once the haunt of smugglers and highwaymen, Rye regularly attracts film crews in search of historical settings for period productions. Once you are settled in your accommodation, we would love you to join us for a social evening of banter and food.
Day three – 2nd April,2017
RHS Wisley Garden
We will meet again on the 2nd April and our coach will whisk us off to Wisley Garden. Undoubtedly one of the great gardens of the world, Wisley Garden is home to some of the largest plant collections anywhere on the globe. Looked after by 90 staff, the garden aims to inspire and educate. Today the garden covers over 200 acres offering a blend of the beautiful with practical, showcasing innovative design and cultivation techniques. For many, it is the beauty and tranquility of the garden that captures the imagination, with its richly planted borders, luscious rose gardens and the exotica of the glasshouses. Jimi will bring you on a tour through the gardens with a focus on their extraordinary spring/woodland plant collection.
We will have lunch in the restaurant and afterwards you will be free to wander the extensive gardens in your own time. Wisley is a leading experimental garden, where many cultivation techniques are trialed. Our coach will pick us up late afternoon and deliver us in comfort back to Gatwick where we can have a bite to eat, discuss our exploits and marvel over three superb examples of great English gardens before catching our plane home.
Cost of Trip is €295 per person:
Tour price includes:
- Comfortable coach transport.
- Admission to all gardens.
- Botanical expertise of Jimi Blake.
- Orlaith Murphy is your friendly and knowledgeable tour coordinator.
- Evening Meal on the 1st April.
Tour price excludes:
- Airfare and Accommodation – You will book your own flights and accommodation but only after we send you an email confirming that our reservation minimum has been met and the tour will proceed.
- Travel insurance. (See below)
- Lunches. Budget £10 per lunch minimum.
- Evening meal on the 30th March and on April 2nd.
- Payment, in full, is due by February 1st, 2017.
Travel insurance is required in case you have health emergencies or other unforeseen issues arise. We recommend AA Travel Insurance and you can get a quote online at Click here for travel insurance
There are many providers so you may identify other travel insurance providers on your own. Before departure, you will be required to provide evidence that you have obtained travel insurance.
It’s easy to book your garden tour, just let us know by return email and we will hold your place. Later we will ask you to fill out our booking form and at that stage you can pay by cheque or bank transfer.
For questions or help completing your reservation, please contact Orlaith Murphy at 087 6453042
As a small tour company Jimi Blake Tours offers tailored tours for keen gardeners and plant enthusiasts. Each tour is guaranteed to proceed as soon as the minimum of 20 reservations has been met. In the event that our reservation minimum is not met by January 3oth, 2017, we reserve the right to cancel the tour. Deposits/payments will be refunded in full if the tour is cancelled.
Please DO NOT make your airline reservations until we have guaranteed (by email) that the tour will proceed.
If you would like to join us, then simply contact Jimi by email at Jimi@huntingbrook.com or by phone on 087 285 6601.
To avoid disappointment, please book early as places are allocated on a first come first served basis!
Fee must be paid in full by February 1st 2017
On booking, we will supply you with information on flights and accommodation