Of all the wonderful experiences enjoyed by clients who travel with Sisley Garden Tours, it’s the private gardens that often stand out. Sisley is the UK’s leading garden tour specialist and has been running its six- to nine-day tours since 1992. The thoughtfully crafted itineraries offer exclusive access to gardens open to the public, but also include many private gardens that aren’t usually open to visitors.
“Meeting the owners and head gardeners who have developed their gardens over a number of years is always a highlight,” says Fran Pride, Sisley’s co-owner together with Colette Walker. Particularly valuable is having time to chat to them about the design, development and maintenance of their gardens, as well as discussing the challenges and successes. While Sisley’s tour itineraries are always full, the schedules are carefully planned and honed so the whole experience is a relaxing one, never rushed.
Fran and Colette seek out those gardens that raise money for charity by opening in aid of the National Garden Scheme, or that support other local or horticultural charities. “We’re proud to be part of this fund-raising effort by bringing our clients to gardens opening for charitable purposes, through our ongoing sponsorship of the Nation’s Favourite Gardens competition with the National Garden Scheme and The English Garden, and through our partnership with Perennial, the charity devoted to helping those in need who work in horticulture,” Colette explains.
“The private gardens we’ve visited on our tours this year have really had ‘wow factor’,” says Fran. “Many are a little off the beaten track and worth making the effort to see.” If you’re planning garden visits for 2024, try some of Fran and Colette’s favourites, all of
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