News & Press

A Fascinating AHS Journey to Oregon

Welcome to an extraordinary exploration of the verdant landscapes and culinary delights of Portland and the Willamette Valley, courtesy of the American Horticultural Society. Led by esteemed hosts Holly and Osamu Shimizu, our immersive program invites you to discover the region’s magnificent gardens, sustainable farming practices, and farm-to-table culinary excellence.

Join us as we stroll through the renowned Portland Japanese Garden, the tranquil Lan Su Chinese Garden and The Oregon Garden, a breathtaking oasis spanning over 80 acres. Indulge in the flavors of theWillamette Valley with a farm-to-table dining experience at Humble Spirit, followed by Natalie’s Estate Winery where sustainable wine growing practices yield exquisite vintages for our private tasting session. Enjoy the Annual Dahlia Festival at Swan Island Dahlias, where thousands of blooms paint the landscape in vibrant hues and more. 

 

Don’t miss this unforgettable journey celebrating the beauty of Oregon’s landscapes, the richness of its agriculture, and the culinary excellence of its farm-to-table cuisine. Prepare to be enchanted by the sights, flavors, and hospitality of Portland and the Willamette Valley.

Learn more about the program and registration details here. Discover more about the details of the trip from the Q&A with AHS host Holly Shimizu.

News & Press

Exploring Under the Caribbean Sun with the AHS

From January 28-February 5, 2024, a group of enthusiastic AHS travelers escaped the winter chill and headed to sunnier climes in the Caribbean. Accompanied by AHS Hosts Holly and Osamu Shimizu, the AHS group explored several idyllic islands in the Caribbean’s Antilles archipelago. AHS travel programs feature meticulously curated horticultural experiences to showcase exceptional gardens and nature preserves. AHS traveler Duane Partain was inspired to share the account below of the special experience the AHS group enjoyed during their visit to Hunte’s Garden in Grenada.

If you’d like to learn about future Travel Study experiences, visit www.ahsgardening.org/travel or contact Mercedes Bryant at travel@ahsgardening.org

 

HUNTE’S GARDENS – BARBADOS
By Duane Partain     
Photos: Jane Scheidecker                   

Hunte’s Gardens is described as “The most enchanting place on earth,” and a February 4, American Horticultural Society tour set out to discover the truth of that boast.

In and around a collapsed cave (a sinkhole) on 2.5 acres of an old sugar plantation site, Anthony Hunte (and a few helpers) have spent 30 years planning, planting, growing, and nurturing a truly stunning garden creation.  A collection of plants, flowers, fruits, pottery, sculpture, and whimsy has been gathered together to form Anthony’s gardens.  He will invite you to meander, look, muse, enjoy, and discover all you can while you are there.

Now 82 years young, the gregarious, sprightly host invites every visitor to enjoy his garden paradise.  He will play your favorite music, answer all questions, and regale you with the history of the island of Barbados and in particular—his gardens.

The paths are made of bricks that once provided ballast on English ships bringing materials to the islands.  Artifacts from sugar cane production and sculptures by local artisans are layered in among tropical, exotic, unusual, colorful plants.  It almost overwhelms the senses with so much to see, touch, and inhale.

A canopy of palms shades the layers of plants, and each specimen gets just the right amount of water, sun, and air to be its showy best.  There aren’t enough adjectives to describe what you see next to you, above you, below you, and around you.  Huge flowers, tropical fruits, unusual colors, shapes, and combinations in hundreds of shades of green foliage everywhere.

Inclines, sidehills, hollows, and gentle switchback paths help make every bench and seat a private spot you just happened upon.  The layout is as magical as it is easy to traverse.  Each mini-oasis seems as if it was made just for you.

Anthony makes sure all environmental laws, rules, and quarantines are followed for new garden arrivals.  His rigor in all the many aspects of planting,care, and maintenance is proof of the passion he has for his garden creation.  The setting is so lush, so imaginative, you almost expect a hobbit or elf or Ewok to appear.  You just know that dinosaurs lived in places just like this.  Anthony will tell you none of those creatures live in his gardens—just birds, insects, monkeys, and visitors.

After wandering in his gardens, Anthony just might offer you a cold rum punch, more conversation, and a rest in his 100+ year-old home surrounded by ferns, bushes, and flowers.  The house blends in so well, it has become a part of the whole garden experience.

The lushness, the variety, the garden layers, the sheer amount of colorful flowers in Hunte’s Garden prompted AHS lecturer, tour host, and botanical expert, Holly Shimizu, to confess, “There are plants here I’ve never seen before,” and pronounce, “This is the best tropical garden I have ever seen!”  High praise indeed toward the end of a multi-island tour of several  gorgeous gardens.

There is more information about the garden on several websites- https://www.huntesgardens-barbados.com/   The gushing, wondering, enthusiastic, effusive comments on Tripadvisor will add to your desire to experience the beauty of Hunte’s Gardens.  The creator of it all, Anthony Hunte, welcomes you as the inveterate gardener, historian, raconteur, and consummate host and gentleman he is.  He is the gem of the Gardens.

It was the capstone of another fabulous AHS tour—inspirational, interesting, educational, and yes—enchanting!

 

News & Press

Make 2024 Your Year to Explore the World’s Top Gardens

Register for your 2024 AHS Travel Study destination now! The upcoming year promises jet-setting to some of the world’s most amazing gardens. Whether you visit the luscious mountains of Scotland, beautifully manicured gardens of France, the seaside landscapes of Portugal or set sail to explore the flora and fauna of the Caribbean, our programs are designed for garden enthusiasts who love to explore horticultural wonders around the world. Joining an AHS Travel Study program offers an opportunity to travel deeper and connect with fellow AHS members, horticultural experts, and passionate garden hosts. 

At AHS Travel Study, ensuring the health and safety of our guests is our top priority. New this year, we have added Health & Safety Information and Travel Study Activity Level Descriptions for each destination. We have also vetted a Flight and Travel Arrangement Service and Travel Insurance Provider to simplify the booking process and help put our guests at ease.   

Your participation in an AHS Travel Study program supports the AHS’s nonprofit work to increase knowledge among gardeners, inspire passion for plants and the natural world, and encourage responsible stewardship of the earth. 

Space is limited and our travel programs often sell out, so reserve your spot today! Read more.  

Terre-de-Haut Island, Les Saintes, Guadeloupe archipelago

 

Natural Wonders of the Caribbean with AHS Expert and Host Holly H. Shimizu
January 28 to February 5, 2024 

Take an unforgettable journey in the heart of the most enchanting islands in the Caribbean Sea aboard Le Bellot, including Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Barbados, and explore breathtaking island flora and fauna. This nine-day getaway features thoughtfully planned excursions focused on Caribbean gardens and the natural world. Read the program brochure here 

 

 

 


Ponta Delgada, Azores Islands

Blooming Paradise: Gardens of Northern Portugal and the Azores with AHS Hosts Christine and Tim Conlon
March 14 to 23, 2024; Post-trip extension to Madeira: March 23 to 27, 2024

Join us for a captivating journey through some of Portugal’s most enchanting landscapes, featuring the vibrant city of Porto, picturesque São Miguel Island in the Azores, and the coastal gem of Lisbon. We’ll discover the unrivaled splendor of Portugal’s finest camellias. We will also be offering an optional post-trip extension to the paradise island of Madeira, offering breathtaking landscapes and lush botanical gardens. Read the program brochure here. 

 

 


Treasures of Japan: Gardens, Art, and Architecture with AHS Host Holly H. Shimizu
May 11 to 21, 2024 – SOLD OUT

At its core, Japan is a place of tranquility and spirituality, where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoiled. Tour the Land of the Rising Sun via a beautifully appointed small ship and experience some of the most serene and breathtaking gardens in the world. This Travel Study program is sold out. Please contact the AHS Travel Study department at travel@ahsgardening.org or (703) 768-5700 ext. 117, to inquire about future AHS Travel Study programs to Japan. 

 


Gardens of Versailles

Gardens of Grandeur: Châteaux and Gardens of the Loire Valley and Versailles with AHS Host Laura Dowling
June 1 to 10, 2024   

A once-in-a-lifetime exploration of the Loire Valley and Versailles, featuring the awe-inspiring gardens of royal châteaux including Chenonceau, Villandry, and Chambord. We’ll delight in the hidden gems of private gardens, accompanied by their passionate owners, and immerse ourselves in the grandeur of Château du Lude’s Fête des Jardiniers, with Versailles as the magnificent grand finale. Read the program brochure here. 

 

 


Cawdor Castle and Gardens, Nairnshire, Scotland

Secrets of the Scottish Highlands: From Castle Grounds to Highland Glens with AHS Host Katie Tukey
June 12 to 20, 2024   

Join us for an extraordinary expedition through the unspoiled landscapes of Scotland’s Grampian Mountains and The Highlands, beginning with a visit to the vibrant city of Edinburgh and the hidden gems of Fife’s secret gardens. We’ll explore some of the Highlands’ finest gardens and conclude our journey on the picturesque shores of Loch Lomond. Read the program brochure here.  

News & Press

Experience the Best of Great Britain’s Gardens with AHS Travel Study Program

Experience the best of Great Britain’s gardens with AHS Travel Study Program, June 26 – July 5, 2023. Explore legendary and private garden masterpieces in the southern English counties of Kent, Sussex and Hampshire with special visits by renowned horticultural experts. The outstanding tour concludes with a relaxing day at the Hampton Court Flower Festival on the grounds of the historic royal palace.

Led by AHS Host Tracy Ward Violette, Lecturer Garden Historian Marion Mako, and Tour Manager Verity Smith of Specialtours, the meticulous tour includes choice hotel accommodations that embrace the history and allure of England.

For more information and to make reservations, please contact our Development Department at (703) 768-5700 ext. 117, or email development@ahsgardening.org. Our fax number is (703) 768-8700.

Learn more and reserve your space

News & Press

Discover the Beauty of Bhutan

This tour takes us to a land so enchanting that many have compared it to the fictional lost paradise of Shangri-La. That land is Bhutan, a small kingdom hidden behind the peaks of the Himalayas that for centuries was closed to Western visitors. The door is now open, and we welcome you to join us for this unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience.

A 177-ft. tall Buddha statue. The Tashicho Dzong, the seat of the country’s government since 1952. The Royal Botanical Garden, Serbithang, a rescue center for rare and threatened native floral species. The high mountain pass of Dochula, at 10,000 feet.

This is Bhutan.

Join AHS Host Tim Conlon and Tour Leader Susie Orzo for Discovering the Beauty of Bhutan: Land of the Thunder Dragon, April 15-26, 2023, for an exotic adventure behind the peaks of the Himalayas. Top-rated accommodations are included. Space is limited and deadline is this month. To learn more about the Bhutan Travel Study Program, click here or call (703) 768-5700 ext. 127 or email development@ahsgardening.org.