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DAY 1: We are off to our first garden stop on our journey, BARTRAM’S GARDEN in Philadelphia. John Bartram, America’s first botanist, purchased this 102 acre property in 1728. We will have a guided tour of this property which has grown into 10 greenhouses, a collection of over 1400 native plant species, & over 1,000 exotics. Continue on to West Chester, PA where we will enjoy 3 nights accommodations in the heart of downtown at the HOTEL WARNER with comfortable guestrooms, indoor pool, fitness center and within walking distance to many shops and restaurants. Welcome dinner marks our arrival. Dinner DAY 2: This morning enjoy NEMOURS MANSION, built by Alfred du Pont, a spectacular restoration of an incredible 18th century French Style estate showing both French opulence and American ingenuity. Tour the grandest residence ever constructed in Delaware and the largest formal French garden in North America. After time for lunch we will begin our fabulous adventure at the HAGLEY MUSEUM. On the banks of the Brandywine River overlooking the powder mills, E. I. du Pont, founder of the DuPont Company built his home. We will enjoy GUIDED ’TALE OF TWO GARDENS’, an in-depth interpretation of the restored 19th Century potager garden used by the du Pont family contrasted with the garden used by the workers. Time to explore the house and Visitors Center. We will then be guests of David Cole, Executive Director of the Hagley for DINNER WITH THE DIRECTOR. He will share a behind the scenes look at some items from the collection prior to dinner. Dinner will include a choice of either Roasted Breast of Chicken OR Grilled Salmon. Of course a fabulous dessert…Chocolate Layer Cake with Raspberry Coulis. Return to the hotel after dinner. Continental Breakfast, Dinner DAY 3: Today we spend the morning exploring LONGWOOD GARDENS. We will begin with a GUIDED TOUR: THE LONGWOOD STORY. After our tour, time to explore on your own and lunch. Enjoy one of the great gardens of the world, from a 4 acre Conservatory to the splendor of 20 outdoor gardens. See dazzling displays that elevate the art of horticulture, relax and reconnect with nature. Discover the heritage and indelible mark of founder, Pierre S. du Pont. Off to help celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service with a visit to VALLEY FORGE. We will meet our historic guide for a TOUR of the Park. Re-live the Revolutionary times at Washington’s headquarters, Memorial Chapel, the soldiers’ huts, old covered bridges and encampments. Return to the hotel for an evening on your own to enjoy downtown West Chester. Continental Breakfast DAY 4: This morning visit CHANTICLEER GARDEN, the estate of the wealthy Rosengarten family. This 35 acre estate is an elegant pleasure garden. Our guided tour highlights this 31 acre pleasure garden featuring courtyards framing unusual combinations of perennials, punctuated by pots of tropical plants. Vines ramble exuberantly in nooks and crannies, a ‘sculpture’ of wheat and boulders undulates… We continue for a brief lunch stop before our final garden. PAXSON HILL FARM, a homegrown nursery and source of design inspiration for owner and horticulturalist, Bruce Gangawar. Ten acres of public display gardens accompany the nursery specializing in rare, landscape-sized perennials, aquatic plants and domestic and imported koi fish. Our private tour will give access to an additional ten-acres of private estate gardens that include two ponds with swans and geese surrounded by a woodland walk, an orchard with sixty-three trees, a granite-edged formal parterre garden with a knot garden, two reflecting ponds with fountains, a small boxwood garden, a weeping Tupelo tunnel, a yellow garden with a bocce court, a perennial garden with a large antique church bell, an intimate courting garden, and a pair of 330-foot double perennial borders. Continue our journey home with appropriate dinner stop. What a great trip! Click here see trip flyer for more info.
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