Special Notice: Due to the tragic death of Dr. Raulston he will not lead the trip and it has been cancelled.
The NCSU Arboretum Box 7609
NCSU, Raleigh, NC 27605-7609
This plans for this trip are subject to change and revision.
Evening – Flights from various home ports as appropriate to connect for Munich, Germany – leave early evening to arrive in early morning. Our main group will be leaving via Charlotte, NC – but our travel agent can handle special requests for departures from any place in the country to meet up with us there or direct flights from other cities in some cases.
Arrive and assemble on chartered bus – morning arrivals are normally too early for access to hotels with checkout and cleaning times required – so we will need to "occupy some time" in spite of some desperate need for sleep and recuperation. We will drive to Schlosspark Nymphenburg for touring of the formal French gardens, the palace (exterior), and speciality adjacent gardens.
A summer residence palace of the Bavarian ruling family built from 1664 onwards. Originally constructed as an Italian style design; later coverted to a formal French garden in 1701 by Charles Carbonet – a pupil of Le Notre. Later the noted German landscape architect F. L. von Sckell added English landscape park elements in 1804-23. A 500 acre park with the traditional formal vista, fountains, pavilions, display gardens areas and a small greenhouse display.
As appropriate for hotel entry – we will travel to our hotel for check-in and an hour or two of sleep recovery. We will then go to center city for afternoon exporation of the huge Englischer Garten opened to the public in 1793. With over 900 acres, it is the largest "English Park" in Europe – with faux Greek temples, Chinese pavilions, huge lawns and sweeps of trees, streams, etc. (and several thousand nude Munichers if the day is sunny – parks are different in Germany!). The day and evening are open to explore the innumerable delights of this magnificent city – museums, churches, resturants, etc. Night in Munich area.
Drive southeast to Salzburg, Austria. Tour the Schloss Hellbrunn Garden and waterworks – one of the most completely restored and fully functional Baroque gardens with innumerable water "jokes and tricks" ("Wasserspield" or "Jeux d'eau")- you will get wet before the tour is over. The palace was completed in 1615 in Italian High Renaissance style with the water folly elements added in the 1750's. A unique and remarkable piece of landscape history. Into the city for a brief look at the Mirabell Gardens and have lunch. Schloss Mirabell was a palace built in 1606 and later destroyed by fine in 1818 – the garden area of parterres, statuary, pools and fountains has now become a color display for masses of bedding plants for the enjoyment of visitors to the city center area.
Drive back to Germany to Schlosspark Linderhof – one of the fantasy palaces built by Mad King Ludwig. Built in the 1870's – incredibly ornate – a 90 acre park with smaller areas of intensely formal Baroque French gardens of fountains, stairwells and terraces, exceptional trellage, gilt statues everywhere, etc. Drive west as reasonable to make miles before night – country stop for night likely.
Continue driving northwest to the university city of Tubingen – tour the University of Tubingen Botanic Garden – an outstanding modern university botanic garden opened in 1969 – 25 acres, a unique contemporary design set of conservatories, plant family taxonomic gardens, geographic collections, excellent rock gardens, horticultural displays, etc.
Drive south and tour Mainau Island gardens – the most heavily visited public garden in Europe with spectacular seasonal bedding plant color displays; elaborate topiary floral displays, a significant collection of historic and contemporary roses, and an exceptional collection of old trees in the arboretum. The island covers over 100 acres with over two-thirds of this area in gardens. A monastery existed in the 9th century with other structures over the years – with the current Baroque Schloss constructed in the 1740's. The arboretum (featuring over 750 species – with many exceptional U.S. species – tulip trees, giant redwoods, etc.) was planted in the 1860-1880's. Beautiful views over lake from the island garden. Drive toward Zurich for a night stay.
To Zurich, Switzerland and tour the Zurich Botanic Gardens – a typical modern botanic garden with many collections and varied displays. The first botanical garden outside Italy was in Zurich in 1560 with an interim garden built in 1834, and the present site developed in 1977. The gardens are beautifully laid out and contain unique dome-shaped conservatories with well done displays of tropicals, sub-tropicals and desert plants. We will make a brief stop at a new Chinese Garden opened in 1994 (with elaborate walls, pavilions and other structures – but almost devoid of significant plantings unfortunately), and a look (from street level only) at a remarkable rooftop garden on a commercial building nearby.
We will then drive south and visit Schynige Platte Alpine Botanic Garden – an alpine garden developed in 1928 and landscaped entirely with native plants of Switzerland. It covers 2 acres with over 500 species of flowering plants and ferns and has spectacular views of the Jungfrau and other Alps from the garden. It is reached by a mountain railway. Drive to Geneva area for night.
An impossible day with too much outlined – and unlikely to be able to do all of it – we'll see how roads, distances, time in gardens work as we get there. Tour Geneva Botanic Garden created in 1902 and covering 34 acres. Another typical botanic garden with all kinds of collectons – special features include an unusual conservatory; a very fine rock garden and superb conifers with a spectacular weeping redwood. If time permits, a quick look at a series of 6 contiguous lakeside park gardens on Lake Geneva with some of the finest conifers I've ever seen (very happy in this climate), roses, a floral clock, etc.
Drive to and tour Brissijo Islands Botanic Garden founded by the Baroness of St. Legeer in 1890, and a public garden since 1950. It is the only Swiss garden south of Alps with amazing "subtropical" plantings on an island reached by boat. It is noted for its geographic collections of plants from all over the world – and particularly from the Southern Hemisphere. NIght in the area.
Tour Villa Taranto Garden – huge and wonderful collection of over 20,000 species of plants made by Englishman Captain Neil McEacharn as an attempt at an "Italian Kew" in a remarkable mild lake climate (90" of rain a year!). Certainly one of finest woody plant displays of Europe – indeed the world. Developed since the 1930's and covering 50 acres with great elevation changes. Among its treasures is the first plant of Emmenopterys henryi to flower outside China – endless others.
On to Isola Bella a few miles away – the ultimate Italian Baroque garden on a terraced island with a boat ride out and back to visit. The palace from the 17th Century is a summer residence of the Borromeo family and contains rich collections of art and furnishings with a remarkable stone and shell grotto under the palace. The gardens were inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon as a pleasure ship on terraces. Endless fountains, sculpture, parterres, white peacocks everywhere – an amazing place. Drive on to Verona area for night.
Tour Villa Idania – a plantsman garden and beautiful contemporary landscape. It was created by Kew plantsmen A. Edward and Henry Cocker for the Contessa Ida Borletti. It combines English and Italian styles with spacious lawns, olive trees, an enormous herbaceous border, a fine rock garden, and a floral staircase. There are superb views of Lake Garda and mountains in the distance. Tour Villa Allegri – a spectacular hillside of ancient topiary and parterres impeccably groomed.
If it fits in our schedule we hope to possibly stop in Padua for a visit to the Padua Botanic Garden – the oldest (1545) botanic garden in Europe – classic model for all such gardens since. A garden of about 4 acres with over 6,000 species – with many historic plants and a display of plants from around the world that were first grown in Europe in this garden. The oldest plant in the garden is a Vitex planted in 1550. We will drive as far as possible toward Austria and Vienna for night.
Continue driving with goal of reaching Vienna, Austria by noon. Tour Schonbrunn Palace – a gigantic palace with a formal French terraced hillside built to emulate Versailles in 1714. The garden has mammoth elaborate parterres; the finest pleached hedges in Europe (miles of 4 story high sheared tree walls); a remarkable cast-iron frame conservatory and a small zoo.
Tour Belvedere Palace built 1714-23 with 50 acres of formal French style hillside gardens of parterres; topiary, pools, fountains, sculpture, etc. Associated with the garden is a small but exceptionally choice Alpine and Botanic Garden which has wonderful plant collections. The Alpine garden is tiny (I couldn't find it on my first two visits)but has thousands of plants. Night in Vienna area.
Drive west to Linz and tour the Linz Botanic Garden – a smaller (10 acres) and newer (1961) botanic garden – but intensely planted with rich and interesting collections – the best plant collection in Austria.
Drive on to Munich with a goal of arrival by 3 PM. Tour Munich Botanic Garden – a historic and excellent university botanic garden with exceptional conservatories and plant collections of all kinds. The present garden was created in 1914 and covers 50 acres – it would be considered one of the finest botanic gardens in the world. We schedule the best at the end always (with plant seared brains it takes a lot to excite by this point in the trip!) – and this is a fitting climax to an exceptional trip. Night in Munich.
Return flight from Munich – leave Germany morning – arrive U. S. evening.
Prices will be available by November, 1996. Thirty-five spaces only available – register early.
To make reservations and receive further information on tour details – contact The NCSU Arboretum office in November or thereafter (919-515-3132).
Individual travel cancellation insurance is recommended to protect yourself in case of unexpected need to cancel on trip – as one person had to do last year – the day the trip departed.
Accommodation – Nine nights accomodation in tourist grade hotels, sharing twin-bedded rooms with private facilities. (Single supplement available at extra charge – we will attempt to match roomates if desired by singles).
Meals – Daily continental breakfast. All other meals on your own throughout.
Transportation – Roundtrip airfare from Charlotte, NC to Munich. (Price will vary from other starting points). Services of a coach and driver throughout.
Guide Services – Tour will be hosted by Dr. J. C. Raulston and Ms. Catherine Knes-Maxwell of The NCSU Arboretum with garden guides in a few locations. But most gardens will be visited through individual exploration (knowing from experience one cannot keep the type of avid plantsmen who go on these trips together in any coherent manner).
Admissions – All applicable sightseeing garden entrance fees are included.
Luggage – Porterage of one piece of luggage per person for entire trip. (But our group has the habit of clearing and carrying them ourselves to save considerable time).
Tips – All tips for hotel staff are included – but not for the driver which is at your discretion. A donation of $200 to The NCSU Arboretum is required and eliminates need for any tip for Raulston/Knes-Maxwell guide services.
The NCSU Arboretum tours are designed for enthusiastic plantsmen and garden designers – both serious amateurs and nursery/landscape professionals – who want to experience as much in the way of fine plant and gardens observation and knowledge as possible – at the most reasonable cost for those struggling with limited budgets (which includes all horticultural professionals!). Those wishing more "social" tours with leisurely shopping, concerts in cathedrals, high tea with Lords and Empresses, and luxurious hotel suites overlooking private patios for midnight room service desserts should probably check with the many other tour packages offered by other national horticultural organizations (for considerably higher prices).
Our people enjoy companionship with others and approach the tour with a sense of humor and flexibilty (I've never done a tour in my life that didn't end up with unavoidable small changes - a garden may be dropped; or three may be added – we strive always to make the trip as rewarding and meaningful as possible). To fully take in all the opportunities available – considerable walking will be required in some of the very large properties we will visit; but those who wish to "sample sights" near the bus and rest, write or read while waiting for the semi-demented, hard-core plantophiles to return panting can still experience a rich trip. A measure of the feeling about the tours is reflected in the two-thirds of the members of each tour who repeat and come back the following year to do it all over again (some for the 4th time on this tour). We invite you to join the fun, learning, and companionship of this horticulturally rich 1996 Central Europe tour.