Great Gardens of Yorkshire

Great Gardens of Yorkshire
Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th July 2017
Tour highlights:
  • Scampston Hall – One of Piet Oudolf’s most famous gardens
  • Mount St John – Designer Tom Stuart Smith’s Masterpiece
  • Dove Cottage Gardens and Nursery – Jimi’s favourite nursery and contemporary garden in the UK
  • Yorkshire Arboretum – A morning with Dr John Grimshaw (Director)
  • Harlow Carr – Royal Horticulture Society showpiece garden
  • Sleightholmedale gardens – naturalistic garden
Thursday 27th July
Our Tour begins with an afternoon flight from Dublin to Leeds Bradford.  On arrival, we will be met by our coach and transported to our hotels in York.  We will arrive in plenty of time for you to explore this lovely historic walled city.
Friday 28th July – Mount St John Gardens
mountstjohn2Today we begin with a scenic drive through the Yorkshire Moors National Park to Mount St John, a stunning private garden owned by passionate gardener Chris Blundell and designed by the notable garden designer Tom Stuart-Smith.  A contemporary garden, designed around the 1720’s house and nestled in the foothills of the Yorkshire Moors, is justifiably claimed as one the best in the United Kingdom.
We will have lunch in the nearby Carpenters Arms before travelling on to our second garden of the day.
Sleightholmedale Lodge
sleightholmedaleWedged in the middle of a beautiful valley, Sleightholmedale claims three generations of gardeners. Rosanna James’s grandmother laid out the garden in 1910 and the family continue to garden to this day. Rosanna’s love of homely and esoteric plants, will delight you with uncomplicated colour, and gives the garden a timeless, unpretentious air.  Big soft borders with billowing repetitions melt easily into the gentle views of this hillside garden. It is no surprise that it remains a stalwart of the National Gardens Scheme, open to the public for more than 60 consecutive years.
Our coach will drop us back to our hotels in York, later that evening we would be delighted if you would join us for an evening meal.
Saturday 29th – Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard
yorkshire-arboretumTravelling through the Yorkshire Dales with it’s ancient dry-stone walls, big skies and breathtaking scenery we will arrive at our first destination of the day, Yorkshire Arboretum.  Dr John Grimshaw, director of the arboretum, will bring us on a guided tour of the extensive wildflower meadows with a myriad of orchids and also the gardens comprehensive tree collection which includes rarities growing alongside ancient veteran trees.  This impressive landscape of parkland, lakes and ponds is the backdrop for a collection of more than 6,000 trees many of which were grown from wild collected seed from around the world.
Scampston Hall
scampston-hall-06-550x350After lunch we will visit Scampston Walled Garden – a contemporary garden master-piece, quite unlike any other. Designed by the much admired Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf.  Although Piet’s planting ideas are now much imitated, the Walled Garden gives the opportunity to see an outstanding example of the way in which he combines his skills as a designer with his authority and knowledge as a plantsman.
Sunday 30th – Dove Cottage
doveToday we will travel to one of Jimi’s favourite gardens and herbaceous nurseries in the United Kingdom.  He has visited many times over the years to source plants and get inspiration for the planting at Hunting Brook. This hillside garden is planted with herbaceous perennials and grasses many from the North American Prairie in a ‘naturalistic’ style.  We will be guided though the gardens by Kim and Stephen who created the gardens.
There will be plenty of time to buy plants and Jimi will be on hand to help you pack them for the flight!
Harlow Carr
harlowWhen we finish with our plant purchases, we will travel through the wonderful ‘James Herriot’ landscape onto the Royal Horticultural Society’s northern home, Harlow Carr. Here you will have an opportunity to eat lunch and enjoy a leisurely afternoon exploring the gardens and the RHS’ shop is on hand to offer an incredible selection of gardening books.
Our coach will pick us up late afternoon and deliver us to Leeds Bradford airport for our trip home.
 Booking Information
 Tour Price is: €400 per person
 Tour price includes:
  • Comfortable coach transport.
  • Admission to all gardens.
  • Botanical expertise of Jimi Blake
  • Friendly and knowledgeable professional tour coordinator, Orlaith Murphy.
  • Lunch at the ‘Carpenters Arms’
  • Evening Meal on the 28th July
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 29th July
Payment schedule:
  • A non refundable deposit of €200 is due when you book your tour.
  • Final payment, in full, is due by April 1, 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 the deposit by cheque or bank transfer.
Your trip reservation will be confirmed by email upon receipt of the completed Reservation Form and trip deposit/full payment.  Payment in full must be received by April 1, 2017.
For questions or help completing your reservation, please contact Orlaith Murphy.
Phone: 087 6453042 or Email:
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 April 1, 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 or by phone on 087 285 6601.
To avoid disappointment, please book early. 
On booking, we will supply you with information on suggested accommodation

This article has 2 comments

  1. Hi,

    I’m interested in taking part in this tour. Can you send the details of the recommended hotel accommodation so that I can understand the total cost?

    Many thanks,


    • Hi Rachel

      Jimi may already have answered your query but yes there are still a could of places and i am going to forward your the information email with accomodation suggestions … I will hold a place for you but will you just confirm as soon as you can.

      thanks so much

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