Photo by Suzanne Parker.
Sissinghurst Castle Garden. Photo by Paul
Dear Garden Enthusiast,
Welcome to COOPERSMITH'S, North America’s
oldest and most trusted garden tour company. As we begin our 33rd
year in the international garden tour business, I am pleased to
report that we have put together a five-star collection of gardens
and stately homes for 2017 that may be our best, ever.
In late May, and then again in mid-June,
we’ll be returning to England’s most romantic area, on Springtime
in the Lake District. Not only is this region one of the loveliest
in the British Isles, and the landscape evocative of so much art
and literature, but the gardens and houses here are among the most
memorable in all of England. In addition to a number of unique private
estates that seldom open to the public, we’ll be going to William
Wordsworth’s Rydal Mount, where the gardens have been maintained
just as he designed them in the early-to-mid-1800’s; Hill Top House,
where Beatrix Potter lived, wrote, and gardened; and Levens Hall,
a handsome Elizabethan manor with the world’s largest and most spectacular
Dovetailing with the Lake District
in Cornwall. Like both Lake tours, Cornwall is an Unpack-Only-Once
trip, based entirely at one delightful country house hotel. Thanks
to the Gulf Stream, gardens in Cornwall can accommodate a greater
botanic diversity than anywhere else in the UK. World-famous Tresco
Abbey Gardens in the Scilly Isles, with plants from over 80 countries,
is home to more than 6,000 different species, many of them subtropical.
Other notable gardens and manors include Caerhays Castle, designed
by the legendary Regency architect John Nash, and featuring an exceptional
array of camellias, rhododendrons, and azaleas; the Lost Gardens
of Heligan, a secret garden that seemed to vanish for decades before
being rediscovered and resurrected in the 1990’s; and the Barbara
Hepworth Sculpture Garden, showcasing the life’s work of one of
Britain’s most ground-breaking 20th-century artists.
Not long after the summer solstice
we’ll visit two of England’s most northerly counties, on Northumberland
& North Yorkshire. In addition to several noteworthy private
gardens, we’ll take in Alnwick Castle, the extravagant setting for
the final episode of Downton Abbey and site of Europe’s most ambitious
new garden since the Second World War. We’ll also tour Newby Hall,
boasting 25 acres of award-winning gardens--including the heavenly
double herbaceous borders---and Castle Howard, the palatial manor
of Brideshead Revisited fame, with its classical temples, magnificent
Great Hall, and abundance of old-fashioned and species roses.
& the Isle of Wight, our best-selling tour the past two years,
highlights include stately Bolehyde Manor, erstwhile residence of
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, where it is believed that Prince Charles
proposed to Lady Diana (something about that place!); Kingston Lacy,
an elegant country mansion with a treasure trove of Old Masters
paintings and the largest Japanese garden in England; Mottisfont
Abbey, home to over 300 varieties of old-fashioned roses; and Osborne
House, designed by Prince Albert as a summer home for him and Queen
Victoria on the Isle of Wight. It was reputed to be Victoria’s favorite
residence. East Lambrook Manor, formerly the home of the late, much
heralded plantswoman and garden writer, Margery Fish, stands as
a testament to Ms Fish’s informal style of gardening, where old-fashioned
plants combine with contemporary ones to produce a garden of great
charm and beauty.
Finally, on Bordeaux,
Perigord & the Dordogne, we’ll be visiting a number of world-class
chateaux, some with superb gardens, others renowned for their Grand
Cru wines. Among them are Chateau de Roquetaillade, where we’ll
enjoy a gourmet lunch with Le Comte de Baritault, whose family has
lived there for over 700 years; Chateau de Vayres, an 11th-century
castle on the banks of the Dordogne River that is home to a flower
garden of medieval design; and Chateau des Milandes, a gorgeous
Renaissance villa overlooking the Dordogne, that was once the home
of Josephine Baker, the American-born French dancer, jazz and pop
singer, and actress, who at one point was believed to be the wealthiest
woman in the world. The Jardin de Marqueyssac, one of France’s official
“Remarkable Gardens,” known for its extraordinary hand-pruned boxwood
hedges and topiary, overlooks the Dordogne Valley, affording incomparable
views of the Perigord region.
Come join us in 2017. And see for yourself
what makes our tours truly One-of-a-Kind!
Please note: As this catalog went to
press, two of our six 2017 tours were already being wait-listed,
while a third had only two rooms left. To avoid disappointment,
I urge you to make your bookings as soon as possible.
|Paul at Borough Market, London. Borough
has become one of the largest and finest open-air food markets
in all of Europe. Photo by Suzanne Parker.
private tours, [by] a luxury garden tour specialist..."
— Martha Stewart Weddings
company that specializes in small groups [where members] are
often taken to private gardens rarely seen..."
— The New York Times
wife recently had the good fortune to meet and speak with
[famous English horticulturalist] Penelope Hobhouse, who recommended
your garden tour as one of the two best in Europe..."
Espy, Jr., Dothan, Alabama