Burnett: Trip planned to visit gardens in England, Scotland

The excitement of getting to visit these was not unfounded, as the experience was one that will remain with me forever.

  • Nov. 4, 2016 3:00 p.m.

Don Burnett

Canada has several botanical and show gardens which are all fabulous in their own right.

There are about 58 gardens in Canada which are designated as botanical gardens and I have had the pleasure of visiting a number of them—Devonian Botanic Garden Edmonton, Devonian Gardens—Calgary, Olds College Botanic Garden, Queen Elizabeth Park and Bloedel Floral Conservatory—Vancouver, Royal Roads University Botanical Gardens—Victoria, Summerland Research Station, VanDusen Botanical Garden—Vancouver, Woodland Gardens Arboretum—Surrey, UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research—Vancouver and Butchart Gardens—Victoria.

I have also visited a few great Canadian gardens further away from home including the Rosetta Mclean Gardens in Toronto and the Montreal Botanical Garden in Montreal.

We should be very proud of these wonderful Canadian sites and I encourage everyone, including “non-gardeners” to visit as many of these as possible.

Last year, I visited some of the world-renowned gardens of England and Scotland.

The excitement of getting to visit these was not unfounded, as the experience was one that will remain with me forever.

The age of them varies. The youngest we went to was Savill dating to the 1930s, and the oldest the Royal Botanic Gardens at St. Andrews and the RBG Edinburgh, both founded in 1670.

All were quite different from one another and I never felt the least bit “gardened out.”

The most famous of the gardens we experienced is Royal Botanic Gardens Kew where King George III made his summer home and refuge.

The Palace at Kew affords an unbelievable experience much of which is in its original condition, some lovingly restored and areas of exposed innards showing some of the 300-year-old building techniques.

The almost two-century-old Palm House is a shining example of the Chrystal Palace style glass behemoths that holds an array of rare tropical plants and the Lily House is home to the world’s largest water Lily.

The 200-metre Tree Top Walkway takes you on a walk 18 metres high through the trees to observe the wildlife which inhabits this usually inaccessible place.

Japanese Gardens, Rock Gardens, the 1760 Pagoda and the Gallery of Botanical Art are a few other must see attractions at Kew.

So from May 18 to 31, 2017, I am organizing another trip similar to the UK. Because the tickets are limited, in particular the entry into the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show, we need to book before Dec. 12 or we will lose out.

Ticket price includes airfare, hotel accommodation with breakfast every morning, an evening river cruise on the Thames, entry into over six world class botanical gardens, entry into historical sites such as Edinburgh Castle, our own tour guide for both London and Edinburgh and of course VIP entry into the number one flower show in the world, Chelsea and more.

If you wish to see and hear what this fabulous trip is all about I invite you to come to an information session Wednesday, Nov. 9, at Marlin Travel, 110-437 Glenmore Rd.in Kelowna.

Please Call or email Gail Fritsen at Marlin Travel, 250-868-2540, or email gail.fritsen@marlintravel.ca to reserve a seat for the Nov. 9 information session.


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