2018 garden tours for Martin Randall Travel
I have been working as a freelance consultant to Martin Randall Travel for a couple of years now, expanding his range of European garden holidays, and have set up a number of tours for him. During the course of this year, I have guided two tours that I have planned, one to Cheshire and the other to the Netherlands.
The Cheshire tour took place in July, to coincide with the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show, and the six day tour featured a number of gardens that we were able to gain special access to, including a couple of delightful Arts and Crafts gardens, one neo-Classical and several of the best modern gardens created anywhere in England – this plus a day at the show itself, while staying in the best hotel in central Chester and a beautiful country house spa hotel near Nantwich.
The Netherlands tour featured the work of Piet Oudolf and Dutch Wave designers, from its origins to contemporary interpretations of the genre. Taking place in mid September, when these gardens and landscapes are at their best, it featured a number of public spaces and private gardens designed by Oudolf, including a private visit to his own nursery garden. We stayed in two lovely hotels, one in the centre of Utrecht, one of the best preserved cities in the Netherlands (a little known gem to rival Amsterdam), and the second in the small moated town of Zwolle.
The Netherlands tour will be running again in 2019, though with a few changes as the Oudolf’s have decided they need quiet, without the pressure of visitors, and are closing the nursery. Watch this space for details, or register interest with Martin Randall – the last tour sold out and is already selling well for next year.
garden tours for the First Lady of Ohio
“Once you’ve been on an Amanda Patton tour you don’t want to go on anybody else’s!”
HOPE TAFT First Lady of Ohio 1997-2007
Over the last 10 years I have designed and led a number of international garden tours for a group headed by Hope Taft, former First Lady of Ohio. While in office, Mrs Taft created an Ohio Heritage Garden at the Governor’s Residence in Columbus – quite a thing with the different Ohio regions represented including prairie, Lake Erie dunes and Appalachian flora. Much of this beautiful natural flora (and the wildlife it supports) has been lost to sterile farming of maize and soybeans and a culture that is currently against any idea of a more naturalistic approach to gardening. The Ohio Heritage Garden is now a Certified Wildlife Habitat which receives thousands of visitors a year. The tours that I run for Mrs Taft are for raising awareness and for fundraising (but also for a lot of fun!). My latest tour with them was to the Netherlands in September 2016 – you can read all about it in my Netherlands Gardens blog, and to see pictures from the 2014 Tuscan tour, please visit my Tuscan gardens tour blog page. Prior to that I designed and led tours for the group to the Cotswolds and Provence, and I’m currently working on a Spanish tour for spring 2019. This will be to the Moorish gardens of Andalucia, and we will be joined by renowned Islamic Gardens expert Emma Clark, as seen on Monty Don’s Paradise Gardens.
talks and lectures
In the last few years I have given numerous talks and lectures mainly to UK horticultural societies but also to an international audience. Talks have included:
The Landscape Show Gardens as Art; Designing with Colour and Value September 2018
The Lurie Garden, Chicago The Art of Planting Design July 2017
Association of Professional Landscape Designers, Columbus, Ohio July 2017
Lakeside Ohio July/August 2017: a series of four lectures under the title of Natural Gardens for the 21st Century; “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home”
London College of Garden Design May 2016, May 2017, April 2018
RAC club, Pall Mall The Art of Planting Design February 2016
Cincinnati University The influence of Art, Architecture and Politics on the Development of the 20th century Garden June 2015
Lakeside Ohio June 2015: a series of four lectures under the title of “All Gardening is Landscape Painting”; towards a New Naturalism
“Thanks so much for a wonderful Tuscan garden adventure – we hope there are more!”
HOPE TAFT First Lady of Ohio 1997-2007
“Amanda, we appreciate your attention to detail in planning a very magnificent tour of Tuscany. Your excitement about nature, your skill in design and your people skills all came together so well – thanks!”
NED and SHIRLEY DW
“This has been such an extraordinary visit to an extraordinary part of the world! Thank you so much for your thoroughness and guidance.”
“Thank you for the most beautiful trip imaginable, for your excellent organisation, sparkling creativity and for your ever cheerful manner!”