What Is Garden Tourism?
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.
I think that garden tourism will become more and more popular as people start to get more into organic, sustainable and local produce. There are a number of organic farms that are turning out amazing produce while also being beautiful to look at and fascinating to learn about.
Some of these same farms struggle to raise all the revenue they need. If they could offer tours on the side they could attract interested gardeners while also making a little money to keep the operation going. Everyone wins!
Are there any websites that can help me plan a garden tour? I am headed to England for month next year and they have so many beautiful and historic gardens out there. I would like to see as many as I can but I don't want to miss anything important or go about the process in a haphazard way.
If there was a site where I could plug in my starting and stopping points and the amount of time that I had to spend on the trip that would make things so much easier.
Last summer my husband and I went on a trip to most of the major botanical gardens in Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin. It was beautiful and also really fun.
I was surprised by how much my husband got into it. He is not a gardener himself but has a lot of appreciation for the beauty of the natural world. I was worried that I would be dragging him along but he seemed as enthralled as I was.
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