9th to 13th September 2019:
Hosted by David Wheeler, editor of HORTUS
and led by Kirsty Fergusson with James Foggin.
The fertile Rhine river valley cuts between the Vosges Mountains and the Black Forest forming a natural border between France, Switzerland and the warm, vine-growing hillsides of the south-west ‘German Tuscany’. This five-day tour features a heady mix of gardens including: Le Jardin de Berchigranges, a skilfully conceived garden for everyone’s wish-list, with much to admire from April to October; Haut Chitelet, dedicated to the local flora of the Vosges; the fascinating experimental planting designs at Hermannshof; Les Jardins de la Ferme Bleue, a fine example of the historic blue architecture typical of the region; while Schloßgarten Schwetzingen is one of the most imposing and complex historic gardens of Germany. Criss-crossing the mighty Rhine, with the expert assistance of Kirsty Fergusson & James Foggin, we piece together the gardening roots of a remarkable region. In Germany we stay at Der Europäischer Hof, Heidelberg; in France at Château d’Isenbourg in the vine-clad foothills of the Vosges, where generous hospitality and culinary specialities will enhance our enjoyment of the region.
Day 1: Monday 9 September
Fly from London Heathrow (Terminal 5) on BA0904 departing at 11:00 and arriving at Frankfurt International (Terminal 2) at 13:45. From here, we journey together to Sichtungsgarten Hermannshof, one of Germany’s most exciting gardens, very much at the forefront of naturalistic planting design for the past thirty years where striking plant combinations are created within permanent low maintenance plant communities. We continue to the deeply comfortable hotel Der Europäischer Hof in the heart of old Heidelberg with time to settle in before an evening meal together.
Day 2: Tuesday 10 September
Not far away lies Schloßgarten Schwetzingen where James Foggin and Kirsty Fergusson will do a double guiding act to lead us around this imposing, complex historical garden, now lavishly restored, offering a fascinating view into 18th century intellectual and gardening passions. A seasonal lunch is included before returning to Heidelberg for free time to explore the town. We dine together this evening at Der Europäischer Hof.
Day 3: Wednesday 11 September
Travel into France to see three smaller private gardens all designated as ‘Jardin Remarquable’. Les Jardins de la Ferme Bleue is a wonderful example of the region’s typical historic blue architecture set in a series of refined and intimate garden ‘rooms’. At Le Jardin de l’Escalier we are offered a delicious light lunch with time to explore the gardens interwoven with gîtes, gallery and dining areas. Le Jardin de Marguerite is a true plantswoman’s garden concealed in the small village of Plobsheim where you will find a profusion of late season flowers tumbling through themed garden ‘rooms’. Arrive at Château d’Isenbourg in time to settle in before dining together at the hotel.
Day 4: Thursday 12 September
Venture into the Vosges Mountains to the renowned and atmospheric Le Jardin de Berchigranges, a garden with a strongly naturalistic feel and huge personality with grasses and asters the stars of the moment. Following lunch, we visit Haut Chitelet, an impressive alpine garden incorporating the wild flowers of the region. We then return to Château d’Isenbourg to change before driving to Colmar to dine together at a renowned Michelin star restaurant with fine local wines included.
Day 5: Friday 13 September
We visit a highly individual private garden near Mulhouse before heading back across the Rhine to vine-clad Black Forest foothills and Landhaus Ettenbühl, a fast-maturing romantic garden famous for its roses along with late season flowering plants of great interest. A special guided tour will follow a delicious lunch. Return to Basel Mulhouse airport on BA0755 at 18:40, arriving back at London Heathrow (Terminal 5) at 19:20.
How much & what’s included:
The price per person: £3150
Single supplement: £350 (levied by the hotels).
The price includes: two nights at Der Europäischer Hof and two nights at Château d’Isenbourg; four evening meals with local wines; four lunches; all transport during the tour and return flights from London Heathrow. If you wish to arrange your own flights, we are happy to deduct £166 per person from the tour price if notified at the time of booking. Please note the outbound flight goes to Frankfurt and the return flight departs from Basel Mulhouse Airport. The price does not include extras at the hotel, or travel insurance.
Please note that hotels used by Boxwood Tours are invariably hotels of character featuring a variety of rooms & styles.
This tour is financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate.