Lee Valley Tools    Gardening Newsletter
   Vol. 6, Issue 4
   August 2011
   Ten Reasons to Join an International Garden Tour
The author at StourheadThe author at Stourhead
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 roamed free.

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.

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