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Our spectacular 11 day English Garden Tour has ended, but what amazing memories it has given us.

45 gardeners spent 11 days together exploring 14 gardens,

Gallery: England Trip 2019

the Chelsea Flower Show,

Windsor Castle,

a city tour of Oxford,

and London sites.

It was a whirlwind of scheduled activities, and many added plays, family or friend visits, or additional activities to their journey. Yesterday we left four behind to go on to additional adventures, while the rest of us headed back to the states.

It was a fairly easy flight and all but one were on the same flight to Atlanta, and then we parted with others going to NW Arkansas, Tulsa, and North Carolina. When we arrived in Little Rock, we did our own rendition of the Walking Dead! As much as we all enjoy traveling, we also enjoy coming home and getting to sleep in our own beds and see family and pets.

We could not have asked for better weather. We had a few hours of rain one day, and the rest was sunny and warmer than expected. We saw many, many plants we wish we could grow, (but cannot) --like these lupines

and ceanothus

while we also got ideas of plants we need to try and grow, like this cistus or rock rose.

I am betting a lot of us will be planting alliums next fall, since they were everywhere and just stunning.

I also think a lot of us will be trying tree peonies. They will grow in Arkansas, just not as easily as herbaceous peonies, and they were stunning in their beauty and size.

We saw so much wisteria

and some of the largest and oldest plants I have ever seen,

but interestingly enough, it is not invasive there.

The edible gardening trend is not just in the US. Almost every garden we saw had a vegetable, herb

or fruit garden somewhere on the property.

We learned all about topiaries,


and lots of interesting staking techniques.

There were so many plants to see, design ideas, hardscapes and trendy furniture and garden art that it will take time to absorb. Good thing I took over 2000 photos, so I can reminisce! I have labeled them all by garden, but will now go back and label by plants as well.

We had a larger than normal group, but we bonded. Traveling together is a great way to get to know each other,

and gardeners are just nice people.

We had some interesting meals with the highlight of the pudding club with a tasting of 7 puddings,

to afternoon tea at Hever Castle.

We had many meals together,

and some we did independently.

This was my first trip as a retiree, so I don't have to rush and get everything done so I can go back to work on Monday. I have unpacked, done all the laundry, and went to the grocery store. I also walked my own garden. After the stunning gardens we saw, I have to admit it was a bit of a let down seeing my own, but it still brings me great joy, and I don't have a fleet of gardeners to help me. Weeding is definitely in the plans for the coming week! I also have to readjust to this heat and humidity. Thank goodness for air conditioning!

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