garden tours for Martin Randall Travel
I have been working as a freelance consultant to Martin Randall Travel for a number of years now, expanding his range of European garden holidays. Highlights include UK tours timed around the RHS Flower Shows of Chelsea and Tatton; Italian tours to the Veneto (including one of my favourite gardens which I discovered by accident!); and the Netherlands, which features the work of the Dutch Wave and specifically the renowned Dutch plantsman Piet Oudolf.
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 Moorish gardens of Andalucia in April 2019 when we were joined by renowned Islamic Gardens expert Emma Clark, as seen on Monty Don’s Paradise Gardens. You can read about some of the previous tours in my Netherlands Gardens blog, and to see pictures from the 2014 Tuscan tour, please visit my Tuscan gardens tour blog page. I’m currently designing a tour for them to East Anglia in 2021 – some of the best UK contemporary garden designers can be found working here!
private garden tours
I have considerable experience in planning and guiding garden tours around Europe and I pride myself on having a nose for the best (largely) independent hotels and restaurants. I have considerable contacts within the trade to give me special access to gardens not accessible to the public – even if they knew where to look! So please do contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you are looking for a bespoke tour for your group.
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:
Mid Sussex Camera Club Photographing Gardens March 2020
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!”