HPS in UK 2014 

Trips and Tours

One of our most popular offerings are guided tours of exceptional gardens in in the US, Canada, Europe and beyond.  In North America we have traveled up and down the East Coast, from Montreal to Charleston, and west to Ohio. Overseas we have traveled often to the UK, and also to Belgium, France, Italy and Morocco. 

Tours are planned and led by HPS/MAG tour coordinators, with emphasis on visiting unique private gardens that are not generally accessible to US travelers. The tour package typically includes double accommodations, motor coach and guide, entrance fees, tour gratuities, many meals, and often a wine and cheese reception on the first night. Travelers are responsible for their own transportation to and from the starting point of the tour, some meals, travel insurance and incidentals. When travelling outside the US, we partner with well known travel agencies who specialize in garden tours, such as Brightwater Tours, and Susan Worner Tours, and we are frequently accompanied by a horticulturalist who is knowledgeable of local plants. Tours are open exclusively to HPS/MAG members; non-members who would like to travel with us are welcome to join HPS and sign up! Many trips fill quickly; watch the newsletter and website for sign up dates.  Click here for a list of some of our previous destinations.  

2018 Trips

Cape Cod and Nantucket, July 9-13, 2018 

Ireland, July 26-August 4, 2018

2017 Trips

From Glasgow to Durham, July 31-August 7, 2017

On July 31, 2017 HPS returns to Scotland and Northern England on a tour that makes a cultural and horticultural loop from Glasgow to Durham and back in eight days. Click here for more information.

Washington, DC and Alexandria, VA, September 11-14, 2017

Washington, DC and Virginia area for a four-day trip, starting Monday, September 11. Once again there will be a variety of gardens—from private to public, very large to smaller ones with water features running through their back yard. We will even visit two Past Presidents’ residences.

2016 Trips

The Hamptons, June 20-23, 2016

On this four-day trip, we visited 10 private gardens and three public gardens, all different in one way or another from our last trip to the Hamptons in 2006. The only repeats were the Bridge Garden Trust, Madoo, and Long House Reserve (a visit to the Hamptons wouldn't be complete without seeing these outstanding gardens.) 

 The view from The Sag Harbor Inn

Our hotel, the Sag Harbor Inn, overlooked the harbor and was convenient for walking to restaurants in the quaint little town of Sag Harbor. 


Bella Italia! The Italian Lake District, September 12-22, 2016

In September, HPS journed to the stunning lakes of Como, Garda, and Maggiore to explore a series of villas and gardens alive with color and fragrance, all set against the arresting backdrop of snow-capped mountains and glittering water. Magnificent scenery and mild climate have made this area a destination for the rich and famous for centuries, and we Hardy Planters were able to appreciate it too!

Villa del Balbianello Photo courtesy of Brightwater Holidays

Our twelve garden destinations included the Villa Carlotta, Villa Melzi Park, Villa Taranto, Villa Balbianello, Isola Bella, plus trips to the botanical research center of Fondazioni Minoprio and the André Heller Botanical Garden. We immersed ourselves in the culture of the place: House tours at Villa Balbianello and Il Vittoriale degli Italiano, plus visits at a lemon house, an olive grove, a vineyard, and an ancient Roman villa. We also toured Sacro Monte, a World Heritage Site

Our rooms, all with lake views, were the Hotel Barchetta Elcelsior in Como, the Grand Hotel in Gardone Riviera, and the Hotel la Palma in Stresa. To ease the pace of the tour, we enjoyed a half-day at leisure in each of these three towns, and dinner on our own on three evenings. Our guide was English ex-patriot Kate Williamson (a linguist and plantswoman, and also a level one sommelier), and our tour company was Brightwater Holidays

2015 Trips

Autumn Gardens of Normandy and Brittany, September 3-11, 2015 

Members Karl Stark and Linda Marcucci documented our travels in a wonderful article for the November, 2015 HPS/MAG Newsletter, "The View from Monet's Bedroom, Observations of First-time HPS Travelers". Click here to find out just how much fun we had!

 Brittany Coastline


Newport, RI, June 15-18, 2015

In June, 2015, we traveled to Newport, Rhode Island. Our hotel was The Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina.  The visit included guided tours of the Swiss Village Farm, admissions and  tours to the following mansions: Rough Point, The Breakers, Blithewold Gardens (the head gardener, Gail Read and her assistant will showed us around), and a wine and cheese social on board the classic motor yacht, the Rum Runner. Don’t worry -  we visited private gardens too, and had two opportunities to shop.  Opus Nursery met us at Sakonnet Gardens and we also stopped at The Farmer's Daughter Nursery. 

Rough Point, Cliff Walk by Discover Newport

 The Breakers, Newport








2014 Trips 

Virginia Beach Area,  May 12-15, 2014

 Private Garden in Virginia BeachJim Smith in Virginia Beach














English Lakes, Chester and Northern Wales,  August 4-15, 2014


 Lady Inglewood leads HPS Members through the walled garden at Hutton in the Forest

East Anglia, 2012


Photos courtesy of Nadeen McShane

The River Wensum in Norwich, England

The Exotic Garden, Norwich, England

 Pennsthorpe Natural Garden, Norfolk, England


Southern Wales and the Cotswolds, Sept 9-14, 2010


Photos courtesy of Nadeen McShane

Mary Ann Thomas (left) and Jane Peloghitis enjoy a quiet moment in the gardens at Dyffryn Femant

Another view of Dyffryn Femant

Neil Wattles (left) and Mary Ann Streeter at Picton Castle


 Click here for a list of previous destinations.

Trip Policy

All members are eligible for all trips.  Membership must be current and dues paid through time of trip.  A new member must have already submitted the paperwork for membership before signing up or includee a membership form and a separate check for $35 made payable  to HPS/MAG with their trip form.  Members must be responsible for their own mental and physical ability to participate on the trip.  Trip participants can purchase travel insurance on their own. Trip will be filled on a first come basis, if you are planning on sharing a room make sure your room mate registers at the same time. Refunds for cancellations will be issued only if there is a member on the wait list who will take the spot.