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 2022
- 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!
- 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.
- Best garden tour ever!
- This was just absolutely awe inspiring and fun!!! Can't wait to do it again.
- Would definitely signup for another tour with you guys
- The group size is just right - easy to bond with people.
- I am just so grateful for this opportunity to travel with you, Karen, Andy, (Katie and Evan) and be a part of your family. I loved the personal people connection that you provided.
- It was an incredible tour to a destination I would not have ventured out to on my own. The mix of gardens and the added safaris were great. I look back on it now and still have to pinch myself that it wasn’t a dream. Great tour.
GREAT GARDENS OF DEVON & CORNWALL:
HISTORIC SITES, ICONIC ESTATES & HIDDEN GEMS
With Karen & Andy Chapman
July 1st - July 13th 2024
With its rugged scenery, picturesque fishing villages and temperate/subtropical climate, this area of SW England is unique: even boasting its own dialect.
Our small group tour will explore many world-class gardens in this region including Stourhead renowned for its temples, grottos, and water features, the naturalistic, subtropical landscape of Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, romantic Ilford Manor which merges formality with nature and magnificent rural views, and the biomes of the Eden Project. We will also take the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the rich history of the West Country, visiting Plymouth to see where the Mayflower set sail for America in 1620, the Roman city of Bath, and medieval Tintagel Castle, inextricably linked with the legend of King Arthur. And then there are the gardens themselves which link us to the past: Coleton Fishacre, a 1920’s country retreat, the Lost Gardens of Heligan where the discovery of a tiny room, buried under fallen masonry in the corner of one of the walled gardens initiated a remarkable restoration project, and Trebah Garden with its secluded, sandy beach which looks vastly different today than it did in 1944 when more than 7000 members of the U.S. 29th Infantry Division boarded ships and left to take part in the D-Day assault.
What sets this tour apart, however, are the hidden gems such as Bonython, a traditional, mixed agricultural Cornish estate, Wildside Nursery, hailed as the ”most adventurous garden in England”, designed and managed by renowned author and plantsman Keith Wiley, and carefully selected private gardens which are often the visits our guests enjoy the most.
No tour of this scenic area would be complete without visiting some of the quaint fishing villages along the Cornish coast and the clifftop Minack Theater in Penzance known as much for its sub-tropical gardens that thrive in this microclimate as for the breathtaking views across the Celtic Sea.
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.
This tour promises to be a unique blend of treasured experiences and memories.
JUST TWO SPACES LEFT
adventures in the hudson river valley
With Karen & Andy Chapman
September 6th - 15th 2024
Designated as a National Heritage Area, the Hudson River Valley is steeped in history, offers expansive scenic views, is home to a burgeoning farm-to-table movement and features outstanding gardens – all of which we will explore in this carefully curated tour.
We will visit memorable gems including Manitoga, the remarkable garden crafted from an abandoned quarry by industrial designer Russel Wright, and Innisfree, an expansive yet intimate stroll garden that celebrates nature through the juxtaposition of water, rock, wood and sky. Guided tours at Hyde Hall and Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate will connect us with the local history while the grand estate gardens including Wethersfield aim to share both the natural beauty and classical arts through conservation and innovation.
Plant lovers will be entranced by the private gardens we have graciously been invited to visit including Sleepy Cat Farms, Hollister House and Iroki, the exotic wonderland of Michael and Judy Steinhardt that includes a zoo!
A private tour of Stone Barns Center is sure to be a highlight as we learn more about their mission to catalyze an ecological food culture while sampling foods prepared by their innovative chefs.
Our grand finale will include a visit to Wave Hill, an oasis in the Bronx with sweeping views and a wide variety of garden experiences waiting to be discovered.
From start to finish, this unique tour will delight the senses and leave you with lasting memories.
THIS TOUR IS NOW FULL
But we would be happy to add your name to our waiting list
Cotswolds and Beyond
Beginning in Oxford we will discover the charming villages and gardens of the Cotswolds before exploring the rugged scenery and gardens of South Wales.
Adventures in new zealand
Yorkshire & the Lake District
Adventures in south africa & kenya
Late summer 2025
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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