Friday – Tuesday – July 21 – 25, 2017

Philadelphia Area Garden Tour

You won’t want to miss our first ever Tour of the Gardens of the Philadelphia area. We’ll visit large photo1world-class gardens AND smaller ones such as the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society gardens, the largest mall in America, and two nationally-important flower trials. You’ll also enjoy an Amish country smorgasbord—the largest buffet in the East- and other group dinners, one with a speaker. This tour is sponsored by Dr. Leonard Perry’s Green Mountain Horticulture: Tours, in collaboration with Green Works: the Vermont Nursery and Landscape Association.

Hosting the tour, and providing expert commentary and answers to your questions, will be Dr. Leonard Perry, Horticulture Professor Emeritus at the University of Vermont who is familiar to many through his writings and appearances on Across the photo 2Fence, as well as Perry’s Perennials website ( Joining him will be Charlie Nardozzi, a nationally known horticulturist, author, gardening consultant, and garden coach ( known to many locally from his weekly radio program and appearances on WCAX. Rounding out your experts will be plant diagnostic technician and fruit crops researcher Sarah Kingsley-Richards from the University of Vermont, who will be familiar to those who have gone on our tours before.

DAY ONE (Friday) will begin at the Horticulture Research Center in So. Burlington, with our first stopphoto3 at the King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga, NY ( There we’ll have coffee and a tour of their historic and well-maintained gardens, including the walled garden of Marian Cruger Coffin. After a stretch break and lunch on your own at the New Baltimore thruway plaza south of Albany, we’ll continue to our next stop—the famous Burpee seed company’s Fordhook Farm field trials in Doylestown, PA where we’ll have a tour of their almost seven acres of perennial gardens, trial grounds and vegetable gardens. This is the farm purchased in 1888 by the famous breeder W.A. Burpee, and used in experimentation and seed production of his firm until 1981. A National Historic Site, Fordhook Farm was where hundreds of new flowers and vegetables were developed, including ones still available today such as the Fordhook Lima Bean, Big Boy tomato, Iceberg lettuce, and Gloriosa daisy. In one of the buildings, Mr. Burpee designed his iconic seed catalogs.

After our Fordhook Farm visit, we’ll have a group dinner at the nearby New Britain Inn photo4( This local establishment since 1948 has won many awards and, although styled as a pub and Philadelphia crab house, the menu and beer selection is wide ranging. Our hotel for the tour will be the new Hilton Garden Inn near Valley Forge and King of Prussia, complete with restaurant, bar, free wifi, fitness and business centers, pool and whirlpool.photo6photo5

DAY TWO (Saturday) begins after our hot breakfast at the hotel, with the day dedicated to Longwood Gardens—one of the most famous, known, and visited public gardens in the world ( This former estate of Pierre DuPont of 1,077 acres has over two dozen major outdoor gardens you can tour on your own at your own pace, such as the flower border walk, Pierce’s Woods, the new meadow garden, water gardens and memorable fountain displays. The 21 garden spaces in the indoor greenhouses and conservatories host beautiful displays of thousaphoto7nds of different plants from all over the world. In the latter you’ll see and learn about the Longwood Organ– the largest Aeolian organ ever constructed in a residential setting– composed of 10,010 pipes divided into 146 ranks. You can lunch on your own in Longwood’s extensive buffet-style restaurant, and shop in their large gift shop.

You’ll thSAen have a chance to rest up back at the hotel before our “learning over dinner” meal there that evening. We’ll have a presentation by Penn State University Extension Educator Sinclair Adam. Sinclair also manages the Penn State flower trials that we’ll visit on Monday. He has been a greenhouse grower of perennials, a plant breeder with several introductions including David garden phlox, teacher of many plant courses at Temple University, and currently manages the Master Gardener program of several Pennsylvania counties.

DAY THREE (Sunday) we’ll have a chance to sleep in and have a later breakfast. Then it’s off to nearby Chanticleer Gardens, ( where we’ll tour both the 35 acres of gardens and home (not normally open to the public) of the former Rosengarten estate. Described chantby the London’s Financial Times as “planted to perfection” and Garden Design magazine as “America’s most inspiring garden,” others have called it “the most romantic, imaginative, and exciting public garden in America.”  This pleasure garden “ is a study of textures and forms, where foliage trumps flowers, the gardeners lead the design, and even the drinking fountains are sculptural. It is a garden of pleasure and learning, relaxing yet filled with ideas to take home.”

From Chanticleer, we’ll move on to the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. We’ll have a buffet lunch catered outdoors under their dining morristent, before our tour of the highlights. You’ll see gardens with flowers, herbs, roses, a cottage garden, a rock garden, and much more. There are over 12,000 labelled plants from 35 countries. Of course there are many great trees in this park-like setting. This year’s special exhibit of 50 kinetic wind sculptures by Lyman Whitaker is placed throughout the grounds. After our tour you’ll have some time to explore areas more on your own such as one of the largest outdoor garden railways in the country, or the Tree Adventure canopy walk. Allow time to visit the gift shop befmallore we leave. (

We have options then to finish off the afternoon and evening. If you still have some energy, you can spend time shopping and dining on your own at the King of Prussia Mall—the largest indoor mall in America based on retail space. Or you can return to the hotel to rest and relax, either dining on your own there that evening, or elsewhere locally (by using the free hotel shuttle), or dine at the Mall.

DAY FOUR (Monday) after our hotel breakfast we’ll travel west to the Amish country, where we’ll penntour one of the most established and important trial gardens for new flowers in the country. At the Southeast Agricultural Research and Education Center of Penn State University, in Landisville, trials manager Sinclair Adam will walk us through his over 1000 different new annual flower varieties, and hundred of perennials in the Penn State Trial Gardens ( This is one of the few trials where seed companies worldwide send their newest varieties to be rated and compared to others, and where growers come to decide what is worth growing and selling for the coming year.

A short ride through Lancaster and the heart of Amish country puts us for lunch at the Shady Maple Smorgsbord ( This all-you-can-eat buffet, stretchingshady over 200 feet with authentic Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, provides plenty for any diet and appetite. We should have some time after to take in at least part of their 40,000 square feet of gift shop featuring Amish crafts, gifts, toys, home décor, Pennsylvania Dutch foods and more. You can take a Google maps virtual tour online in preparation (

meadowBack north of Philadelphia we’ll visit the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society gardens at Meadowbrook Farm. These seven acres of 15 gardens around the former home of Liddon Pennock, Jr.—a prominent wholesale florist—include perennials, woodland, and many small space gardens and water features. We’ll have a tour of the gardens, the home, and have time for the PHS retail shop and greenhouses.

We finish the day, as we did the day before, with the options of returning to our hotel to relax and dine on your own, or to take in the King of Prussia Mall one last time.

DAY FIVE (Tuesday) we leave after our hotel breakfast for the return trip north. Our lunch will be at the flagship store of Adam’s Fairacre Farms. This is the largest super farm market in the adamHudson Valley. After lunch and our overview by Sue and Mark Adams, with a preview in their greenhouses of some new flowers for the coming year, you’ll have the chance to shop for many food items, plants, and garden items. After dropping off any who left cars at Ticonderoga, we’ll have a light snack meal on the bus on the way back to SouthBurlington. (

Included in the price are all admissions and guided tours, snacks and refreshments throughout the tour, lodging, many meals (all breakfasts at the hotel, 3 lunches, two group dinners), and driver gratuity. We’ll travel in a Premier luxury coach, with videos periodically on various gardens locally and abroad, lesser known and more famous such as Longwood. Of course you’ll have the chance to network with and get to know other gardeners, and to learn much and have your questions answered by your expert tour hosts. This tour provides the unique opportunity to see both well-known gardens, as well as significant horticultural sites (and parts of them) that you likely wouldn’t know of or see otherwise.

Sign up soon to make sure you get one of the limited spaces. Register for two or more garden tours this summer hosted by Dr. Perry (, and you’ll get a $10 discount coupon good for tours in 2018. If you have any special needs (food, seating and accessibility, or other), please let me know at least one week prior to the tour. Do let me know, too, if you have any questions: 802-318-8453,

Download 2017 Philadelphia Garden Tour Brochure Here


Final registration is due by June 20, 2017.  Register sooner and save $$!  You can pay below or mail in a check. Please download the registration form and send it via email or mail.  See below as space is limited.  Please download and complete a separate registration form for each person here:  Philadelphia Area Gardens Registration Form

Vermont Flower Show Special Rate until April 20, 2017:  $979 per person, double occupancy

Standard Registration Rate April 21- June 20, 2017:  $999 per person, double occupancy

Single Room Supplement:  $306, covers additional hotel costs

Refund Policy: Cancellation before June 1, 2017— complete refund less a $30 processing fee.  Cancellation on or after June 1, 2017 but before June 20, 2017– 50% refund; cancellation on or after June 20, 2017– no refund.  Requests for cancellation must be received in writing.

In the event that we must cancel the tour due to insufficient numbers or other reason, you will get a full refund. Otherwise, note the refund policy. While travel insurance is mainly used for trips abroad or involving flights and cruise ships, you may want to look into this if you want to be covered in case you need to cancel, due to medical or similar reasons. There are many firms you can use and find online, with the cost often about 10% the tour cost for multiday trips. (

Mail Registration Forms by June 20 (early registration dates as above) to:  Kristina MacKulin, Green Works/VNLA, P.O. Box 92, N. Ferrisburgh, VT 05473.

Confirmation receipt, and subsequent details will be mailed prior to the tour. For questions on registration and payment, contact Kristina (802-425-5117);  For other questions about the tour, contact tour host Dr. Leonard Perry (, 802-318-8453).


Attendee – Vermont Flower Show Special Rate Philadelphia Area Gardens – $979


Attendee – Standard Registration Rate Philadelphia Area Gardens – $999


Attendee – Single Room Supplement – $306



Remember to download and email or mail your registration form to the above address.