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THE GARDENS AND ESTATES OF EAST COAST USA

7 – 24 MAY 2020

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ITINERARY
From George Washington’s private garden at Mt Vernon to the contemporary Oudolf designed masterpiece on New York’s High Line, we’ll visit majestic heritage homes, private sanctuaries and a trifecta of Pennsylvanian beauties: Longwood Gardens, Winterthur and charming Chanticleer. It’s an East Coast USA garden extravaganza of a lifetime travelling with Graham and Sandra Ross through Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Newport Rhode Island.
DAY 1
Thursday 7 May 2020
Sydney – Washington

Meet your Ross Tour Leaders Graham and Sandra Ross at Sydney International Airport. Late evening arrival into Washington. Check in to your luxurious hotel for the next four nights.

Accommodation: Omni Shoreham, Washington

DAY 2
Friday 8 May 2020
Washington (B/D)

Orientation tour of Washington this morning. Afternoon fine public gardens – United States Botanic Garden and Arlington Cemetery to see the changing of the guard ritual at the tomb of the unknown soldier. Welcome dinner included tonight.

Accommodation: Omni Shoreham, Washington

DAY 3
Saturday 9 May 2020
Mt Vernon (B/L)

Mt Vernon is your destination this morning, on the banks of the Potomac River; the home, garden and plantation of George Washington with upper and lower gardens, flower and kitchen gardens, Orangery, family burial vaults and slave graves. Visit the mansion, stroll through the gardens, then finally visit the museum. You will get a real sense of a pioneering, energetic, eighteenth century man and his gardens.

Lunch included today. Visit to River Farm on the Potomac River and once part of the of George Washington’s original five farms. River Farm has been the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society since 1973. There is an early 20th century Estate House and naturalistic and formal gardens. Blooming in May will be trillium, rhododendron, azalea, dogwoods, crab-apples, peonies, iris, lilac, roses, black locust, herbs, mountain laurel, dove tree, magnolia, fringe tree and tulip tree.

Return to your hotel with dinner included this evening and then a tour of the famous Washington Monuments all beautifully illuminated including US Capitol Building, World War 2 Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, White House and Martin Luther King Junior Memorial

Accommodation: Omni Shoreham, Washington

DAY 4
Sunday 10 May 2020
Dumbarton Oaks (B)

Afternoon visit to Dumbarton Oaks, once the home of Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss who found their ideal country house and garden within Washington, DC in 1920. They purchased a fifty-three-acre property and hired landscape gardener Beatrix Farrand to design the gardens. Working in happy and close collaboration for almost thirty years, Mildred Bliss and Beatrix Farrand planned every garden detail, each terrace, bench, urn and border. The result is a triumph in garden design; terraces are sculpted with grass, brick, mosaic pebbles and planting. In 1941 Dumbarton Oaks was donated to Harvard University and is faithfully maintained.

Accommodation: Omni Shoreham, Washington

DAY 5
Monday 11 May 2020
Amish Country (B/D)

Gettysburg monuments and visitor centre in the morning to discover the Battle of Gettysburg, the turning point in the American Civil war. Afternoon scenic drive through Amish country where windmills and barns dot the verdant pasture landscape. The Pennsylvania Amish of Lancaster County are America’s oldest Amish settlement, where thousands still live a centuries-old “Plain” lifestyle. Arriving in Amish Country allows you to step back in time to enjoy a slower, more peaceful pace – one where the horse & buggy remains a primary form of transportation, and where windmills dot the landscape, providing power harnessed from nature. Check in to our elegant hotel in the heart of the city. Dinner included tonight.

Accommodation: Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown, Philadelphia

DAY 6
Monday 12 May 2020
Longwood Gardens (B/L)

Travel into the nearby Brandywine Valley to Longwood Gardens, a horticultural tour-de-force, recalling the great pleasure gardens of Europe. Gardens here were created by Pierre du Pont who laid out the first flower garden at Longwood in 1907 and went on to create water gardens and fountain displays to rival anything he had seen in Europe; 434 ha of complex gardens, 20 indoor gardens in elegant glass conservatories and spectacular illuminated fountains. After a guided orientation tour of the gardens, there will be time for lunch and free time for you to explore. Fountains have been restored – so we won’t miss them.

Accommodation: Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown, Philadelphia

DAY 7
Wednesday 13 May 2020
Winterthur (B/L)

Back to Brandywine this morning and this time to visit Winterthur. This was the home and garden of Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) who developed an appreciation of nature as a boy that served as the basis for his life’s work in this garden. He selected plants from around the world to enhance the natural setting. He created a flowering understory of rhododendrons and azaleas beneath a woodland canopy and was meticulous with colour planning. Close to the house is Sundial garden, Reflecting Pool and Peony Garden that serve to link the house with the wider landscape. Lunch included.

Accommodation: Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown, Philadelphia

DAY 8
Thursday 14 May 2020
Philadelphia – New York (B/D)

Depart Philadelphia this morning bound for New York. First visit Chanticleer, now a “pleasure garden” designed to illustrate the beauty of the art of horticulture. It dates from the early 20th century, the summer home and country retreat of Adolph Rosengarten. The immense woodland garden is a joy at this time with countless rare epimediums and spring “ephemerals” such as the trilliums. The Ruin and adjacent Dry gardens are works of genius and the ‘Old Tennis Court’ garden is an exuberant thrill. Continue to New York with afternoon check-in to your hotel, for the next four nights, centrally located in the heart of the city a short walk from Central Park, Carnegie Hall, Broadway theatres and Fifth Avenue’s famous shops. Dinner is included this evening.

Accommodation: Marriott East Side, New York

DAY 9
Friday 15 May 2020
The High Line (B)

Morning visit to the widely acclaimed ‘High Line’, a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the non-profit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space. The first section opened in 2009 and the second section, which runs between West 20th and West 30th Streets, opened in 2011. The horticulture is as sophisticated as it is unstinting. The design of every detail, from bench to water fountain to steps, is sleek and perfection. A leading figure in the New Perennial planting movement, garden designer Piet Oudolf designed all planting schemes, which emphasize plant structure as the most important aspect of a successful garden. Form and texture are valued as much as colour. Perennials, prized for their beauty throughout a natural life cycle, are used almost exclusively. Oudolf challenges conventional approaches to gardening that rely on short-lived bursts of colour and constant maintenance and shows the delights of working with versatile, expressive perennials to create lasting, ecologically sound panoramas that relate to the greater landscape and the shifting seasons. Free afternoon. Option to visit Chelsea Market Manhattan, a great place to eat as well as shop, a true New York experience

Accommodation: Marriott East Side, New York

DAY 10
Saturday 16 May 2020
Central Park (B)

A guided tour this morning of Central Park designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted, with attractions spread throughout its 843 acres of landscape. There are sprawling waters, green meadows, bridges, performance space, educational facilities, Central Park Zoo and Wildlife Centre, gardens and classical architecture. But above all else, this is a recreation space for the people of New York, one of the busiest cities in the world. The Conservatory Gardens are magical when the crab apples and the wisteria pergola are in bloom. There are three gardens, one on either side of the central wisteria-pergola garden. Bryant Park is delightful with sophisticated gardens flanking a large lawn and throngs of joyful New Yorkers on countless ‘French’ bistro chairs. Free afternoon.

Accommodation: Marriott East Side, New York

DAY 11
Sunday 17 May 2020
The Cloisters Museum (B)

Morning visit to The Cloisters museum and gardens, the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. The building and its cloistered gardens are located in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan. They are treasures in themselves, effectively part of the collection housed there. The Cloisters’ collection comprises approximately three thousand works of art from medieval Europe, dating from about the ninth to the sixteenth century. A guided tour of the gallery will give you an overview of The Cloisters Collection. Return to your hotel via Wave Hill, a public garden and cultural centre in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River. Very dense and sophisticated theme gardens, compliment broad lawns with majestic trees. This is a fantastic site on high bluffs looking across the Hudson River to the palisades

Accommodation: Marriott East Side, New York

DAY 12
Sunday 18 May 2020
New York to Boston (B/D)

Travel from New York to Boston with a stop at a charming private garden, said to be an American interpretation of Sissinghurst, Great Dixter and Hidcote in Connecticut. Soak up fantastic American hospitality! Dinner included tonight.

Accommodation: Boston Park Plaza, Boston

DAY 13
Tuesday 19 May 2020
Boston (B)

A morning guided tour of Boston will show you the home of American democracy. Included is a visit to Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum where the art of landscape has always been a priority. Reflecting Isabella Stewart Gardner’s passion for horticulture and garden design, the museum’s interior courtyard is itself an astonishing work of art, combining plants, sculpture and architectural elements. Then to Harvard University’s Museum of natural History to see the Glass Flower collection. Guided walk of Boston’s Historic Emerald Necklace, a 1,100-acre chain of green space.

Accommodation: Boston Park Plaza, Boston

DAY 14
Wednesday 20 May 2020
Newport (B/L)

Newport Rhode Island is your destination today, a marvellous mix of the colonial, the maritime and the aristocratic at what is termed ‘America’s First Resort’. But first, visit a landmark garden in Rhode Island, a labyrinth of garden spaces, each one exhibiting colour mixing, light, space with exquisite planting schemes. Continue to Newport with a sightseeing tour to show you these elegant properties. Lunch is included.

Afternoon visit to Cornelius Vanderbilt’s summer mansion, ‘The Breakers’, the grandest of Newport’s summer “cottages” and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family’s social and financial pre-eminence in turn of the century America. Today, the house is designated a National Historic Landmark.

Accommodation: Boston Park Plaza, Boston

DAY 15
Thursday 21 May 2020
Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill (B/D)

Morning visit to the private courtyards of members of the Beacon Hill Garden Club, a historic area of Boston. From its first garden tour since the club was founded in 1928, club members have opened their gardens every year on the third Thursday in May, even through the Depression and World War II. We hope you will enjoy the day visiting the nooks, crannies and charming spaces that make Beacon Hill special.

Afternoon free. Farewell dinner this evening.

Accommodation: Boston Park Plaza, Boston

DAY 16
Friday 22 May 2020
Boston to Home (B)

Free morning. A flight this afternoon from Boston to Los Angeles then on to your home port

DAY 17
Saturday 23 May 2020
Inflight
DAY 18
Sunday 24 May 2020

Arrive Home

 

HOW TO BOOK

To secure your booking and make your deposit, please complete our online booking form. You will be contacted by a Ross Tours Travel Manager to confirm your details and preferred method of payment.

CANCELLATIONS

Cancellations received 180-120 days prior to departure will incur loss of deposit.
Cancellations received between 119-60 days prior to departure will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Cancellations received between 59-30 days prior to departure will incur a 75% cancellation fee plus any non-recoverable costs incurred.
Cancellations received within 30 days prior to departure will incur 100% cancellation fee.
Cancellations must be sent in writing.
Cancellation fee is based upon the total amounts paid including tours, airfares and all other travel arrangements.
Please refer to the Ross Garden Tours standard terms and conditions

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TOUR INCLUSIONS
TOUR ESCORTED BY
Sandra and Graham Ross
  • Air-conditioned motorcoach throughout tour
  • Deluxe accommodation for 15 nights with breakfast daily
  • Breakfast daily, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Entrance fees to all gardens and sightseeing including United States Botanic Garden, Mount Vernon, River Farm, Dumbarton Oaks, Longwood Gardens, Winterthur, Chanticleer Gardens, Central Park, Wave Hill Park, Highline NYC, Hollister House, Emerald Necklace, Sakonnet Garden, Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill, Arlington National Cemetery, Washington Monuments, Georgetown, Gettysburg National Park, Amish Country, The Cloisters Museum, Harvard Museum of Natural History, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, The Breakers Mansion.
TOUR PRICE

Twin Share land only $14,495 per person
Twin Share including air $15,995 per person
Single Supplement $3,895
All prices in Australian Dollars.
Prices based on minimum 15 passengers.
Price is based on departure Sydney.

DISCOUNTS

Book and pay in full by 16/12/2019 to receive the Early Bird Discount of $300.00 per person off the final instalment.
Previous Traveller Discount $100.00
Garden Clinic™ Member Discount $50.00

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OTHER TOURS

Western Australia Wildflowers

Let Australian plant lover Colin Barlow introduce you to the diverse natural wonders of southern Western Australia. Meet milkmaids, honeypots, green kangaroo paws and mountain bells in the wild, and catch the extravaganza of the Kings Park Wildflower Festival.

China and Beijing International Horticultural Expo

Your chance to visit possibly the most ambitious horticultural expo ever staged. This International Horticultural Expo in Yanqing overlooks the Great Wall near Baderling just north/west of Beijing. It will run for six months.

Inside New South Wales

Our tour includes all of NSW’s spring flower festivals; Tulip Time Southern Highlands, Floriade in Canberra, Cowra Cherry Blossom and the Leura Garden Festival. We’ll do it in style with time to enjoy the fine food and wines of each region.

Springtime Tasmania Bulbs and Blossom

Tasmania’s cool spring is perfect for flowering trees, bulbs and rhododendrons; colourful shows of spring flowers. Painting with petals. Discover some of Tasmania’s finest gardens on this week-long holiday. Meet some passionate gardeners and share their inspiration.

Inside Victoria

Victoria’s fine country gardens at the peak spring flush. Meet the gardeners behind each masterpiece. See old favourites & exciting new cutting edge gardens: including David Glenn’s Lambley, Paul Bangay’s Stonefields, Dame Elisabeth’s Cruden Farm and Stuart Rattle’s Musk Farm.

Gardens and Ancient Sites of Mexico & Cuba

Home to the frangipani, the dahlia and to chocolate! Visit ancient pyramids of Aztec and Mayan civilisations, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, The Yucatan and finish in Hemmingway’s Cuba at Havana and Vinales.

New Zealand

New Zealand’s gardens are amongst the best anywhere. Marlborough has a festival like no other and based in Blenheim. This gives us the perfect excuse to visit some of the best private gardens in this incredibly beautiful region in the south island with Michael McCoy, your tour leader.

Melbourne Cup

Go ‘behind the scenes’ at ‘The Race That Stops The Nation’. A special preview of Flemington Racecourse Rose Garden before the race, without the crowds.

Jacaranda Cruises

Ses the most beautiful harbour in the world with breathtaking Jacarandas in full flower, with commentary by Graham Ross.