Postcard from the garden world

This week’s postcard includes views, reports and travel tips from the world of Ross Garden Tours.

A US First

For the first time ever Graham and I are co-hosting a tour! We’ve handpicked some of our favourite gardens on the East Coast of the US for May 2020. We’ll start in Washington, travel on to Philadelphia and New York and finish up in Boston. I am really keen to see Dumbarton Oaks again  – it’s always been one of my favourites. Graham loves the grand mansions and gardens of Newport, Rhode Island. You can see many of the Newport mansions from the scenic cliff walk, and we’ll visit Cornelius Vanderbilt II’s Breakers – it’s the ultimate summer cottage! Sandra Ross

Perfect Timing

On a fact-finding mission for our new itinerary featuring great Victorian gardens in autumn, I visited the gorgeous Frogmore, a boutique mail-order nursery with incredible gardens set in a valley with a dark green backdrop of conifers. The garden is at its peak in autumn, with amazing displays of perennials and grasses. Owner Jack Marshall told me I was seeing a poor show due to the tough summer. Can you image a good season! Sandra Ross

 

 

Rose dreams

Rose lovers were in heaven at David Austin’s display rose garden in Wolverhampton, on our first ever Rose Gardens of England tour last June. The garden is a showcase of David Austin roses, with 700 varieties planted in garden rooms, each with their own style, enclosed by neatly clipped evergreen hedges. Roses tumbled over pergolas, draped over swags, twined along wires, and smelled divine! Sandra Ross

 

 

Fruity

Our local guide Gary surprised us with an impromptu tropical fruit tasting on our last day in Singapore. We tried longans, jackfruit and the unknown to us, but super-tasty, langsat, a fruit from western Malaysia that’s about the size of an apricot, with a sweet and slightly acidic flavour. We agreed that Gary’s were the best rambutans we’d ever tried but it was the mangosteens that scored top spot. Totally delicious. Linda Ross

 

 

Catching up with the Cherrys

While I was researching our new Tasmania tour I made a detour to see Bob and Derelie Cherry in their new digs in Gawler, not far from Devonport. The Cherrys sold the Paradise Plants business and show garden in Kulnura, NSW, but are still experimenting with sweet peas and Iceland poppies. I loved these in new ones in peach and apricot. A visit will definitely be on the new itinerary. Sandra Ross

 

 

Dinner in the garden

It was a special treat to visit Broughton Hall at the magic hour, with the scent of roses heavy in the early evening air, and the sun backlighting the flowers and making a magic show across the big view. We began with a welcome drink on the terrace, and returned after a walk through the garden to the terrace transformed into an outdoor dining room just for us. The food was delicious and the hospitality amazing. A special thanks to David, Philip and friends! Robin Powell

Join us next November on our Inside Victoria tour.

 

 

Mad for ice cream

Many of our Ross Garden travellers are surprised by the Japanese love for sweets. Not for dessert, which is usually fresh fruit, but any other time of the day there are:  rice sweets; French pastries; donuts; chocolate snacks, cheesecake that comes rare, medium or well-done – and especially ‘soft cream’. While our soft serve ice cream rarely veers past vanilla, the Japanese like to match the flavour to the seasonal highlight. Here are just a few of our favourites. Linda Ross

We will return to Japan for the Spring Flower Festivals in 2020. Contact us to find out more

 

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