TOD GARDEN TOURS

STOP PRESS!

WE’VE JUST ADDED TWO NEW TOURS; THE FIRST TO TWO SUPERB SHROPSHIRE GARDENS ON THE 15TH SEPTEMBER AND THE SECOND A REPEAT OF THE VERY POPULAR NORTH WALES TOUR ON THE 30TH SEPTEMBER. FULL DETAILS BELOW

Please email us at todgardentours@gmail.com with your booking requests and/or questions

TOD Garden Tours is the brainchild of Michael Marriott and his partner, Rosie Irving, dreamed up on a gloomy, grey December morning.  Our small, friendly group tours, (no more than 15), will provide access to, and guide you around, a lovely selection of superb private and public gardens in the U.K., hand picked by ourselves for either their striking, structural, colourful garden design and/or super abundance of gorgeous roses.

EACH TOUR IS PRICED AT £75 PER PERSON

Oh, and if you’re wondering what TOD stands for, it’s Two Old Duffers!

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© Anderson
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SHROPSHIRE

NEW TOUR DATE!

15th September 2021 – £75

We are delighted to be leading a tour in our home county of Shropshire visiting two very special gardens within a 5 minute drive of each other.

Wollerton Old Hall

Wollerton Old Hall is a superb garden described by many, including Chris Beardshaw, Carol Klein and Sir Roy Strong, as one of the very finest in the country and winner of a number of awards. To quote from their website:

Set around a 16th Century Hall (not open to the public), Wollerton Old Hall is a formal, modern garden on an old site. Located in north Shropshire and covering 4 acres, its garden rooms are richly planted with perennials and bursting with design ideas. The garden is renowned for its salvias, clematis and roses, growing in controlled exuberance, and the clever use of colour, form and scale.

We will be visiting it at arguably the best time of year when the herbaceous border, the dahlias, clematis and roses will all be looking superb and on a day when it is closed to the public

©Joe Wainwright
© Joe Wainwright
© Joe Wainwright

Hodnet Hall Gardens

Hodnet Hall Gardens is another stunningly beautiful garden covering 60 acres with sweeping lawns, a chain of interconnecting pools and a wonderful array of flowering plants including a rose garden and many magnificent trees including some ancient oaks. Many of the trees and shrubs including acers, sorbus, cotoneaster, berberis and parrotia will be starting to show their autumn colours.    A new development this year is the revitalising of the walled garden for vegetable, fruit and flower production. The whole grounds exude a wonderful air of calm and include some superb buildings including a tythe barn, smoke house and 16th century dove cot.

©Rosie Irving
©Rosie Irving
©Rosie Irving

NORTH WALES

NEW TOUR DATE!

30th September 2021 – £75 pp

To book this tour email todgardentours@gmail.com

Following the great success of this tour in July and requests that it be repeated we are very happy to offer it again at the end of September when the gardens will be looking quite different but at least equally superb. This time we are reversing the order, Bodnant Gardens first followed by The Laundry Garden after lunch.

Bodnant

A glorious National Trust garden that really is a garden for all seasons. As we found out on our visit In July this is a garden of world class with its combination of superb design, amazing collection of plants and long tradition of first class maintenance. Created in the 1870’s this huge 80 acre horticultural haven is filled with plants collected by famous historic plant hunters and now contains Wales’ largest collection of UK Champion Trees. Our visit will concentrate on the rose gardens in the top and bottom Italianate terraces, both designed by Michael, as well

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The Laundry Garden

This beautiful 3 acre garden has been meticulously designed and gardened by husband and wife team, Jenny and Tom over a number of years, who, between them, have created a personal and timeless garden divided into several different areas. Their most recent project, the one acre walled garden, is now overflowing with deep, flower packed herbaceous borders bounded by clipped yew hedges and, most recently, a stunning cutting garden which, at the time of our visit, should be filled with Jenny’s personal Dahlia selections and there may be the possibility of taking away a flower posy. The garden has featured in various publications over the years, more recently The English Garden and Period Living and is one to which we are greatly looking forward to re-visiting.

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NORFOLK

14th June 2021 – £75 pp

To book this tour email todgardentours@gmail.com

This tour provides the opportunity to see two of this county’s very special gardens; Mannington Hall, which has one of the UK’s largest collection of roses, and East Ruston with probably one of the UK’s largest number of different style garden rooms within a designed garden.

Mannington Hall

This medieval moted manor house, ancestral home of the Walpole family, has a truly superb garden where roses abound everywhere! Here we’ll discover thousands of roses growing in many different parts of the grounds. They are mainly old roses with many modern David Austin and Peter Beales varieties included, along with great swathes of climbers and ramblers. At the time of our visit they should all be looking absolutely stunning. Also to be found within the extensive grounds is a classic temple with wildflowers around the lakes as well as a sensory garden with plants selected for touch, sound, taste scent and colour.

tps://www.manningtongardens.co.uk/

Moving from a world full of roses and scent to a world full of colour and a series of expertly and imaginatively designed ‘garden rooms’ 40 minutes from Mannington Hall to arrive at The Old Vicarage East Ruston Gardens.

The Old Vicarage East Ruston Gardens

Located just 1½ miles from the bracing North Sea, Alan Gray and Graham Robeson have created a staggering total of 19 different themed garden areas, set within 32 acres of high hedging, enabling many rare and unusual plants to be grown, some of which may be found for sale in the plant nursery area at the end of the tour so we will make sure to allow enough time for browsing! Alan will meet us on arrival to give an introductory talk before we set off to explore some of these unique garden rooms.  Given the sheer scale of the gardens we may not be able to look at each themed area but we’ll choose those, with Alan’s guidance, that we think are looking their best at the time of our visit.

http://www.e-ruston-oldvicaragegardens.co.uk/pages/view/564/home.ht

© Marcus Harpur

SUSSEX

16th June 2021 – £75 pp

To book this tour email todgardentours@gmail.com

This is the first of two visits to the area and the wonderful gardens at Borde Hill, a classic English garden with continental tweaks.  This tour differs from the South East Tour in that the second garden will be Town Place; a very special garden that Michael has visited twice recently; once for rose photography, the second when he led a Rose Garden Tour.  It’s not all about roses though!  Do read the description of it below!

Town Place Garden

A stunning 3 acre garden divided into 11 different designed areas all set round the most wonderful 17th century farmhouse.  The owners have, like us, divided their garden into ‘his and her sections’.  It will be interesting to see if we can work out who’s is which!  The garden has over 800 roses which should be looking wonderful at the time of our visit.  There are flower filled herbaceous borders; a beautiful potager and herb garden as well as topiary inspired by the sculptures of Henry Moore, ornamental grasses, an 800 yr old oak, and a unique ruined Priory Church and Cloisters enclosed by a fabulous hornbeam hedge.  In our opinion this is a garden not to be missed.

© John Glover

Less than 20 mins from Borde Hill is Town Place, an absolute gem of a private garden which should be looking its best at the time of our visit

Borde Hill

Described in Country Life as one of the country’s truly great gardens, this historically important 17 acre heritage garden and Elizabethan manor are set in 200 acres of traditional parkland in an area of outstanding natural beauty with panoramic views all around it.  The gardens contain many rare plants, shrubs and trees displayed in seasonal garden rooms where traditional designs are melded with modern features and at the time of our visit the Paradise Walk and Italianate Gardens will be at their peak flower wise to make our visit a particularly special one. We will also spend time in the wonderful rose garden which is filled mostly with David Austin’s English Roses.

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NORTH WALES

SOLD OUT

Please email us to add your name to the waiting list in case of cancellation and/or, if there’s sufficient interest, we’ll look into the possibility of adding another date for this Tour

13th July 2021 – £75 pp

To book this tour email todgardentours@gmail.com

This tour offers the opportunity to visit a beautiful private garden followed by an equally beautiful iconic one, both set in delightful Welsh countryside and both maintained to an extremely high standard.

The Laundry Garden

This beautiful 3 acre garden has been meticulously designed and gardened by husband and wife team, Jenny and Tom over a number of years, who, between them, have created a personal and timeless garden divided into several different areas. Their most recent project, the one acre walled garden, is now overflowing with deep, flower packed herbaceous borders bounded by clipped yew hedges and, most recently, a stunning cutting garden from which Jenny has kindly offered to allow us all to take away some freshly picked flowers. The garden has featured in various publications over the years, more recently The English Garden and Period Living and is one to which we hope to return later in the season.

© Joe Wainwright
© Joe Wainwright
© Joe Wainwright

Bodnant

A glorious National Trust garden that really is a garden for all seasons. Created in the 1870’s this huge 80 acre horticultural heaven is filled with plants collected by famous historic plant hunters and now contains Wales’ largest collection of UK Champion Trees. Our visit will concentrate on the rose gardens in the top and bottom Italianate terraces, both designed by Michael, as well as parts of the wonderfully atmospheric Dell where we hope to find cascades of Candelabra primulas as well as flowering rhododendrons and other beautiful woodland plants. There may also be the opportunity to stay overnight locally and return the following day to view the rest of the garden unguided.

© Howard Rice
© Howard Rice

SOUTH EAST

29th July 2021 – £75 pp

To book this tour email todgardentours@gmail.com

STOP PRESS!

In addition to visiting these two wonderful gardens there’s the special opportunity to visit Dyson’s Salvias Nursery, just 11 mins away from our first garden visit on this tour.

Dyson’s specialise in salvias, growing over 250 different varieties, and have kindly agreed to open their nursery at 9.00 a.m. that day, an hour earlier than normal, especially for people booked onto this tour.

If you’d like to take us up on this special opportunity please let us know when booking your place.

A rare opportunity to visit a plant hunter’s private garden, along with a historically important heritage garden, both full of rare plants.

White House Farm

This is a very rare and special opportunity to not only visit the garden and arboretum of the renowned plantsman and plant hunter Maurice Foster but also to be guided round by him (as well as ourselves).  It’s packed full of rare, unusual and very beautiful plants, notably trees, shrubs and roses.

A particular highlight of this visit will be the superb Hydrangea serrata walk, each plant different from the next, and all grown by Maurice himself.

Maurice is one of the privileged horticultural elite to have been awarded the R.H.S’s prestigious VMH (Victoria Medal of Honour).  His wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm and twinkly eyed sense of humour is likely to single this day out as a very special occasion for all who join this tour.  Not to be missed.

Borde Hill

Described in Country Life as one of the country’s truly great gardens, this historically important 17 acre heritage garden and Elizabethan manor are set in 200 acres of traditional parkland in an area of outstanding natural beauty with panoramic views all around it.  The gardens contain many rare plants, shrubs and trees displayed in seasonal garden rooms where traditional designs are melded with modern features and at the time of our visit the Paradise Walk and Italianate Gardens will be at their peak flower wise to make our visit a particularly special one. We will also spend time in the wonderful rose garden which is filled mostly with David Austin’s English Roses.

      www.bordehill.co.uk


WEST MIDLANDS

SOLD OUT

Please email us to add your name to the waiting list in case of cancellation and/or, if there’s sufficient interest, we’ll look into the possibility of adding another date for this Tour

17th August 2021 – £75 pp

To book this tour email todgardentours@gmail.com

This is a tour of three small gardens, each with their own individual small plant nursery; all three with delightfully different styles of planting & plant combinations and so we feel we can safely say they’re should be something to suit most people’s taste!

Stone House Cottage

This garden with its attached plant nursery is a treat for lovers of rare and unusual plants!  Created and gardened solely over the past 45 years by Louisa Arbuthnott, this romantic garden sits within the walls of an old one acre kitchen garden and is full of beautiful, rare and unusual plants, many for sale in the nursery.  Her late husband built several brick follies on top of the old walls, now covered with many climbers, which add to the immense atmosphere and charm of the garden.

https://www.shcn.co.uk

The Cottage Herbery

Kim and Rob Hurst have been running their successful herb nursery since 1976 and have won several gold medals for their displays at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. They have recently created a stunning late season contemporary gravel garden with movement, flow and a naturalistic raw beauty.  It’s planted with hardy, vibrant perennials, eye-catching fluid grasses and the odd surprise rare plant.  On the edge of the gravel garden they’ve cleverly included the skeletal remains of an old hop picking barn covering the uprights with rambling roses and other climbers. This leads on to a tranquil natural swimming pond gloriously framed by the wide countryside beyond.  All the plants for sale in their on-site nursery are grown in a peat-free growing media.

https://www.thecottageherbery.co.uk/

Wildegoose Nursery

Listed in Gardens Illustrated in 2019 as one of the top 100 specialist garden nurseries, Jack and Laura Willgoss have, since 2011, been steadily creating a beautifully landscaped garden with perennials and grasses as well as a small plant nursery all within the walls of the old 2 acre kitchen garden at Millichope Park in South Shropshire.  They are also holders of the Bouts collection of Perennial Violas which should be looking really good at the time of our visit.  The couple, who both trained at RHS Wisley, have a great eye for colour as well as selecting unusual cultivars and have created a garden of both sustained interest and great beauty.  An additional feature is the newly restored and stunning range of Georgian curvilinear glasshouses.

© Rosie Irving
© Howard Rice
© Rosie Irving

http://www.wildegoosenursery.co.uk

WELSH BORDERS

SOLD OUT

Please email us to add your name to the waiting list in case of cancellation and/or, if there’s sufficient interest, we’ll look into the possibility of adding another date for this Tour

8th September 2021 – £75 pp

To book this tour email todgardentours@gmail.com

Two very special and very different gardens hidden away deep in the welsh countryside. One taking inspiration from the countryside around, the other blending seamlessly into it.

Allt-y-Bela

A very rare opportunity to visit the very beautiful private garden of RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner and garden designer Arne Maynard. The beautifully maintained garden can be found nestled in a secret Welsh valley and wrapped around a stunning late medieval farmhouse.  It combines formal topiary and pleached Malus trees with soft native planting all blending seamlessly into the wider rural landscape of fields containing a mix of orchids and other wildflowers.

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Veddw

Set in the wonderful Welsh countryside above Tintern with its atmospheric historic Abbey, lies the beautiful garden at Veddw, the creation of husband and wife team Anne Wareham & Charles Hawes.  The 2 acre ornamental garden contains many areas including a masterfully designed reflecting pool surrounded by beautiful sinuously shaped yew hedges leading to and surrounding the pool.  Anne has a great interest in the history of the local landscape and has incorporated this into the garden design, in particular a large parterre of grasses in a pattern of box hedges based on the local Tithe Map of 1842.  This garden has featured as an inspirational garden on ITV’s Love Your Garden, on Escape to the Country and on Welsh television.

© Charles Hawes
© Charles Hawes
© Charles Hawes

http://www.veddw.com

NORTH WALES

30th September 2021 – £75 pp

NEW TOUR DATE!

To book this tour email todgardentours@gmail.com

Following the great success of this tour in July and requests that it be repeated we are very happy to offer it again at the end of September when the gardens will be looking quite different but at least equally superb. This time we are reversing the order, Bodnant Gardens first followed by The Laundry Garden after lunch.

Bodnant

A glorious National Trust garden that really is a garden for all seasons. As we found out on our visit In July this is a garden of world class with its combination of superb design, amazing collection of plants and long tradition of first class maintenance. Created in the 1870’s this huge 80 acre horticultural haven is filled with plants collected by famous historic plant hunters and now contains Wales’ largest collection of UK Champion Trees. Our visit will concentrate on the rose gardens in the top and bottom Italianate terraces, both designed by Michael, as well as parts of the wonderfully atmospheric Dell.  

The Laundry Garden

This beautiful 3 acre garden has been meticulously designed and gardened by husband and wife team, Jenny and Tom over a number of years, who, between them, have created a personal and timeless garden divided into several different areas. Their most recent project, the one acre walled garden, is now overflowing with deep, flower packed herbaceous borders bounded by clipped yew hedges and, most recently, a stunning cutting garden which, at the time of our visit, should be filled with Jenny’s personal Dahlia selections and there may be the possibility of taking away a flower posy. The garden has featured in various publications over the years, more recently The English Garden and Period Living and is one to which we are greatly looking forward to re-visiting.

ABOUT US


Michael & Rosie both have degrees related to horticulture. Rosie is extremely proud of her *1st (don’t ask her what that means!). Michael can hardly remember anything about his!

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Rosie trained in Garden and Planting Design at Capel Manor College and, after gaining her degree in horticulture, taught Plants and Planting Design at Kingston Maurward College.  Her co-designed Hepworth exhibit was proudly displayed on Tate Britain’s front lawn during the summer of 2015.  She loves nothing better than to put together great colour combinations in the garden and has a delightful approach to the subject.  For the past 10 years she has worked in the TV industry on numerous gardening programmes and has gained a reputation as the ‘go to’ person for consultancy within the industry.

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Michael brings to the party 35 + years as head rosarian at David Austin Roses & is now widely recognised as a world expert on the subject.  He has designed thousands of rose gardens of varying sizes worldwide including some of the gardens we’ll be visiting on these tours.  He has also led garden tours as well as lecturing extensively around the world.  He has a refreshing approach to the subject and is always happy to answer questions.

Both love to garden and their combined knowledge and legendary light hearted differences of opinion mean that these tours should be full of fun as well as gardening & garden design related advice.

EACH TOUR IS PRICED AT £75 PER PERSON

The joy of these tours is that you’ll get the benefit of not one but two experienced horticulturists; one a world-renowned rose expert and life-long gardener; the other a colour loving, garden design trained horticulturist and Horticultural Producer for many UK TV garden programmes.  There’s a glorious, bantering interaction between the two of them which not only makes the tours unique but also rather special! 

The tours are each single day events, visiting two, sometimes three gardens, each starting with an introductory talk from the garden owner or head gardener.  Numbers are limited to a maximum of 15 to enable you to obtain the maximum benefit from their bantering expertise.

For this year the tours are designed for you to travel to each of the locations, (and in between each garden), independently.  For those of you wishing to travel the night before, or extend your visit, lists of a range of accommodation local to the tour gardens can be supplied as suggested by the various garden owners.

Every tour includes:-

  • Introductory talk from garden owner or head gardener
  • Afternoon tea and cakes
  • Two experienced horticultural guides