The author kneels in a field of bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)at Stourhead,
an estate near Mere, Wiltshire, England.
Late last winter, as I finished a program to become
a master gardener, I heaved a big sigh of relief.
It had been two years of satisfying but time-consuming work,
combined with a full-time job. Nevertheless, hard work sometimes
brings rewards. In this case, by serendipity, a self-appointed
reward came soon after the last course was done. It was an
enticing offer from my professor to join an international garden tour to the United Kingdom, organized by the Nova
Scotia Agricultural College in Truro, Nova Scotia. I decided
to pack my bags and head off.
Being a self-confessed garden addict, I find that spring is
usually a busy time. This vacation presented a decidedly different
twist on the typical spring rituals of weeding and planting.
Instead, I had the pleasure of walking through verdant gardens
in England and Wales. The tour was an eclectic mix, from noble castles
and historic estates, to country gardens where pigs and chickens
It was two weeks of travel, adventure and breathtaking gardens.
Here are my top ten reasons for any gardening enthusiast to
join an international garden tour.