Travelers engaging in garden tourism make a point of visiting notable gardens. In some cases, garden tourism involves escorted tours in which a group of people travel with an experienced guide who takes the group to various garden sites. Some people, however, engage in garden tourism without the services of a guide and instead rely on information gleaned from friends, guidebooks, or websites when selecting gardens to visit. Many gardens encourage visitors, as the income from admission fees and the attractions of the garden can help sustain conservation projects that preserve vulnerable plant species within private and public botanic gardens.
Many people appreciate being able to observe and interact with a variety of plant species. In some cases, these people are gardeners themselves, while in other cases they simply enjoy plant life. These plant lovers will often seek out opportunities to visit gardens while traveling or even when they are closer to home.
In some communities, gardening is a popular pastime, with many home owners taking the time to cultivate impressive gardens on their own properties. One very common type of garden tourism is the so-called garden walk, in which a neighborhood or community group publishes a list of notable gardens along with a map, allowing the curious walk to various private gardens. In some cases, garden walks are also paired with neighborhood parties or festivals, particularly in the summer time.
More ambitious types of garden tourism may involve travel to other countries and regions. Some travel companies, particularly those that specialize in eco-travel or green travel, offer numerous escorted garden tourism options to travelers. These may include hiring a motorcoach to bring groups of travelers to famous botanic gardens within a particular region. This option has the advantage of being able to negotiate group rates on admission fees to gardens. Tourists may also appreciate having access to the expertise of an experienced guide.
Even if a traveler prefers independence while on vacation and does not want to participate in a group tour, he still has some affordable and interesting garden tourism options. These include completing research on famous gardens prior to traveling and then including garden visits in his travel itinerary. Another option is to book individual group tours of gardens. Many walking tour companies, for example, arrange for their own garden walks or conduct day-long garden tours via motorcoach. In all cases, however, a traveler should take the time to ensure that the gardens will be open when he visits, as some may be closed to visitors during the winter months.