As we move into the season of mellow fruitfulness, thoughts should turn to offering clients imaginative tours packed with visits to interesting historic castles, magnificent stately homes and beautiful gardens, perhaps linked to one of our many outstanding garden shows. Your target audience will be Master Gardeners, Friends of Arboreta and Botanical Gardens, Orchid, Rose and other specialist societies and your local Garden Club.
However, a wider audience might be interested in being offered say a Cornwall tour with a day at the Cornwall Spring Flower Show with the rest of the itinerary focusing on Arthurian legends, Poldark, Doc Martin and learning the difference between a Cornish and a Devon Cream Tea. They’re not the same!
Springtime in Cornwall
Because of the Gulf Stream’s warming effects on Cornwall’s river valleys, spring comes early for the stately homes and gardens in England’s south west. This is excellent news for clients who can’t travel in May because they’re busy with their own gardens and gardening events. The Cornwall Garden Society Spring Flower Show takes place on April 7-8. The itinerary can be spiced up by adding Arthurian myths and legends, as well as some Poldark and Doc Martin on location visits.
Tulips All the Way
The two late April/early May Tulip Festivals at Arundel Castle, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Norfolk and the award-winning, colour-filled Pashley Manor gardens provide the perfect starting point for an imaginative tour of stately homes, castles and gardens in southern England. They’ll also add something special to cruises sailing in or out of Dover or Southampton.
Perfect for Green Fingered Clients
With more non-stop trans-Atlantic flights heading to Manchester, England’s northern gateway, you should be offering clients programmes that include some of the 10 north of England winners of the prestigious Historic Houses Association Garden of the Year Award. By basing your clients in the Lake District, the Derbyshire Peak District and York, you can include a day among the impressive show gardens at the April 26-29, 2018 Harrogate Spring Flower Show.
The Glorious Cotswolds
For those able to travel in early May, the Cotswolds delivers exactly what’s required for garden-loving clients looking for internationally renowned gardens, hidden gems rarely opened to the public, classic English villages and ancient coaching inns. Time the visit to include the awe-inspiring show gardens and prize-winning blooms in the floral marquees at the RHS Malvern Spring Show scheduled for May 10-13, 2018.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show
If you want your clients to be dazzled by colourful flowers, innovative garden designers and amazing horticultural exhibits, plan a visit to Chelsea, arguably the world’s most prestigious and inspirational flower show. The show takes place May 22-26, 2018, but make sure your clients get there as early as possible to enjoy a stroll through the award-wining gardens, the creative floral artworks and spot emerging gardening trends.
Let’s talk about a tour that’s filled with swathes of bright blues, yellows, purples, pinks and reds, timed to coincide with the annual Scottish Rhododendron Festival. Filling April and May, these great explosions of colour can be found in many of Scotland’s most historic castles and stately homes. Late May departures can include a day at Gardening Scotland, the national gardening and outdoor living show which takes place just outside Edinburgh between 1st-3rdJune. Add a skirl of the pipes and a whisky distillery or two and you’re home and dry, well almost.