Travel adventures with le jardinet
Meet Your Hosts
Both Karen and Andy grew up in northern England. In fact, they first met when Andy was just 9 and Karen was 14 (and she still hasn’t forgiven him for not remembering her, even though she has the photographs to prove it!) Despite such inauspicious beginnings they married in 1987 and lived in the heart of the Peak District before moving to Seattle in 1996 with their two young children.
A love of the English countryside was a common bond even in those early days, which for Karen naturally led to an interest in gardening while both Karen and Andy enjoy photographing landscapes and wildlife.
Today, as a landscape designer, award-winning author, and international speaker Karen has the knowledge, enthusiasm, personal connections, and detailed, organizational skills that are needed to put together a tour of inspirational gardens, historical sites, and cultural experiences.
As always, Andy is an integral part of Karen’s business, offering logistical support, attention to detail, and a reassuring pair of extra hands, ears, and eyes to make sure every guest feels cared for.
Together, they would love to share “their England” and other favorite places with you.
What our guests said....
East Coast, USA 2022
"Loved it all! The mix of large and small gardens and the opportunity to go inside homes currently lived in was terrific. The insights on English villages and life in general was so interesting. Nice hotels! All was great."
"It was a very enjoyable and stimulating tour. Wonderful mix of plants, history, and English life. Learned a ton! You two were lovely to get to know and the tour reflected your fun spirits and positive outlook."
"I think you had an exceptional itinerary. Taking us to places most people never get to see Also it was great having local people show us around . Thank you for the experience."
" What a fantastic time we had! The gardens, historic homes and villages were a treat to experience. We appreciated your attention to detail and personal insights into everything UK. Thanks so much!"
"Best garden tour ever!"
"What wonderful memories of the best destinations! I absolutely loved the entire experience. Beautiful sights, good company, wonderful meals, and great hosts. Thank you for the fun time. "
"We had a wonderful time on the East Coast Tour! Loved it all. "
"You appeared relaxed and organized. That puts everybody at ease. Great tour and if all goes well I would like to do the New York tour next fall."
"Loved the variety of gardens: large and small, public and private, formal and informal."
"You and Andy are a perfect team. You have your roles down perfectly and everybody is quite comfortable with both of you. You are very different and very approachable."
England in full bloom:
featuring castles, cottages and hidden jewels
With Karen & Andy Chapman
JULY 3rd - 15th, 2023
Join us for an unforgettable adventure through the picturesque English countryside of south-east England and East Anglia. Rather than trying to cover vast distances, our small group tours allow you to immerse yourself in select, intimate regions of England through a blend of exceptional public and private gardens, historical insights, and cultural experiences.
Combining a visit to several iconic English gardens such as Sissinghurst, Great Dixter and the Beth Chatto garden (shown above) with a members day-only visit to the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival is already suggesting the bucket-list adventure you have always dreamed of: yet this small group tour offers so much more. Prepare to also be inspired by the work of legendary designers Gertrude Jekyll and John Brookes. Glean ideas for your own gardens at RHS Wisley and from intimate, personal tours of select, private gardens. Explore the grounds of two moated castles and visit the highly acclaimed Bressingham Gardens where you can rekindle your childhood by riding the vintage carousel, taking a short ride on a steam train, and then enjoy a private tour of Foggy Bottom, the personal garden of plantsman, author and media personality Adrian Bloom.
Yet to truly experience England you need to do more than just visit gardens. We will learn about England’s maritime past with a Portsmouth Harbor Cruise, tour Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory, and meander through the cobbled streets of an ancient seaside town best known for smuggling! There will also be opportunities to learn about the historic spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells and medieval Bury St. Edmunds with private, guided walking tours and plenty of time for independent adventures.
Rather than visiting England as a tourist – we invite you to join us as family. We want you to have time to simply sit in these beautiful gardens and “be”, to have time to chat with the locals, and to experience true English hospitality. These are the memories that will linger long after the blooms of mid-summer have faded.
As a bonus, our guests will receive complimentary membership of the Royal Horticultural Society with all the associated member benefits.
This is a tour like no other: it will be a unique blend of treasured experiences.
ADVENTURES IN SOUTH AFRICA:
GARDENS, WILDLIFE & NATURAL BEAUTY
With Karen & Andy Chapman
Main Tour: October 11th-25th 2023
Optional extension: 25th-28th
From restios to rhinos and protea to penguins – this tour has it all.
South Africa is world-renowned for its outstanding natural beauty, delicious wines, and abundant wildlife and our two-week tour promises to be the adventure of a lifetime as we explore the highlights of it all.
Our journey will begin in Cape Town with visits including Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and a full day on the Western Cape where we will view the Fynbos and the colony of Cape fur seals. From here we will travel to the Winelands of the Cape, visiting Franschhoek and Stellenbosch to enjoy an exciting variety of public and private gardens including a Danie Steenkamp designed garden, the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden and the Vergelegen Wine Estate where the rose gardens should be in their prime.
Heading north we will visit the Harold Porter Botanical Garden to learn more about the indigenous vegetation and take a scenic drive to view the breeding colony of African penguins at Stony Point. Our adventure continues as we make our way to the Overberg region to see the Cape Fynbos both on foot and from open vehicles before traveling the Garden Route towards Mossel Bay where there will be time to visit the Dias Museum Complex. Highlights of our stay in the Knysna region include a private tour led by renowned designer Graham van Hoesselin, Monkeyland, Birds of Eden Aviary and the Tsitsikamma National Park before we take a short flight to Johannesburg.
No trip to South Africa would be complete without a safari, and we have selected the Kapama Game Reserve, a low-risk malaria location on the edge of the Kruger National Park as our base camp. Game drives will take us to see the Big 5 of Africa (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino & elephant) while sipping sundowners under the vast African skies is sure to become a treasured memory.
For those yearning for more, there is an optional 3-day extension to Zimbabwe with a sunset river cruise on the great Zambezi River, a full day in Botswana where we will enjoy a game drive in the Chobe National Park and an afternoon cruise on the Chobe River as well as a guided tour of the Victoria Falls.
This tour is filled with the sights and sounds of South Africa, one that is sure to leave you with memories that will forever become a part of your soul.
Gardens of THE HUDSON VALLEY, NY.
Gardens of the West Country, england
Join us for a very special tour of the beautiful seaside gardens of Devon and Cornwall, via Stonehenge and Bath.
BONUS TRAVEL OPPORTUNITY
Earthbound Expeditions have invited me to be their Garden Host for their 2023 tour to the Chelsea Flower Show & Great Gardens of England. This is going to be an exciting ten day trip - don't delay if you'd like to register are spaces are now limited.
DATES: May 16-25th 2023
Le jardinet acts only as an agent for the various independent suppliers that provide hotel accommodations, transportation, sightseeing, activities, or other services connected with this tour. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of those suppliers. Le jardinet and their respective employees, agents, representatives, and assigns accept no liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or any other incident which may be caused by the negligence, defect, default of any company or person in performing these services. Responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather, strikes, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, local laws or other such causes. All services and accommodations are subject to the laws and regulations of the country in which they are provided. Le jardinet is not responsible for any baggage or personal effects of any individual participating in the tours/trips arranged by Le jardinet. Individual travelers are responsible of purchasing a travel insurance policy, if desires, that will cover some of the expenses associated with the loss of luggage or personal effects.
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