The French Tour

Of course one of the major reasons I didn?t get the return blues from Tuscany this month is that we?re looking forward to the French Tour in September. This is another fantasy trip Linda Thorne and I thought up together.

We sat around in the middle of winter musing on all the gardens we?d love to see: little gardens around Paris, then the major ones such as Versailles, Giverny, Chaumont, Villandry and Chemons; plus the gardens I?ve been prowling around in the south of France for the past twenty years: Hanbury, Les Cedres (unbelievable) and William Waterfield?s Clos de Peyronnet just to name a few.

William is a wonderful gardener and he?s does it on a slope that would intimidate most people. He grows more alliums than anyone I know. It?s his fervent hope that he will have things in bloom every day of the year. And given this incredible microclimate he makes it.

It?s going to be as sensational as the Tuscan Tour in a slightly different way: fewer hills. And there will be even more wonderful gardens. Check out the itinerary on my web site (The Gardens of France) just to whet your appetite.

When we got back from Tuscany too many people said: ?Why didn?t you tell me about it?? Well I?m telling you about France. And I want you to come on this trip. You?ll have all your senses satisfied. It’s a glorious time of year to travel through the Loire Valley (on the TGV no less) as things are being harvested.

We should be getting to everyone of these gardens just as they are hitting a new peak of perfection which is always fun. But these places are so amazing they?ll be great to wander around no matter what.

I want to take you to some of my favourite places to hang out in the south (Paris too but I know Nice and all around there really really well after 20 years of going there). Restos (not ones you?ll finding guide books), vendors (we will have some time to shop) and little out of the way places. ?I adore France and it?s an experience of the country that will be personal as well as merely fabulous on its own.