Caroline Holmes’ Tours, Cruises,  Lectures and Courses

The diary dates as listed are all open to the public

I divide my work into three categories ACADEMIC BUT NOT DRY, INFORMATIVE AND ENTERTAINING, and PRACTICAL AND ENGAGING – all are experienced on the tours and cruises. My watchwords are learning not teaching and enjoyment – this is equally applicable to my books, lectures, talks, courses or tours. By its nature ‘academic’ anticipates an appetite for a deeper study of a subject whilst ‘informative’ seeks an insight into a body of knowledge, and then there is the more sensory process of practical handling of plants and food.

Tours and Cruises 2019 and 2020

2019

30 April – 4 May Merchants, Popes & English Peers: Siena & the Gardens of Southern Tuscany
We will be based just outside Siena to combine exploring this remarkable city of art and culture with visits to some of the most important and influential villas and gardens which garland it. From the paintings of Duccio and the Lorenzetti to historic villas and gardens, such as Cetinale, restored by the late Lord Lambton, this will be a feast for both the eye and the mind. It will be ‘crowned’ by a private visit to the peerless La Foce where Iris Origo and Cecil Pinsent worked together to create one of the iconic gardens of the twentieth century.
https://www.ciceroni.co.uk/tours-study-days/siena-tuscan-gardens

Pinsent is the key figure in the twentieth-century revival of the formal gardening style that evolved during the Renaissance, especially under the patronage of the Medici family. Pinsent’s client list was a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of the Anglo-American elite who had settled around Florence. It is this group and their remarkable villas and gardens, both from the renaissance and later centuries, which will form the theme of …

7-11 May Otium et Negotium; Villas & Gardens of Florence
We will be based just outside Fiesole, overlooking the city of Florence. Villas at Poggio a Caiano, Medicea di Castello and La Petraia will introduce the Medici era. The modern ‘greats’ such as Le Balze, Fonte Lucente, La Pietra and the enchanting Villa Gamberaia (where our group will be entertained privately to lunch) will all be included.
https://www.ciceroni.co.uk/tours-study-days/villas-gardens-of-florence
This makes a perfect ‘Spring’ break, also you might consider participating in both of these tours? If this is the case, do get in touch with Ciceroni as they can easily arrange for you to stay in or near either Siena or Florence between the two tours, indeed, even including before or after…

 19-25 May  Chelsea Flower Show and London gardens
A week around the greatest botanical extravaganza in the world, the Chelsea Flower Show and a programme of London horticultural highlights from the glass and class of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew to inspirational private city gardens. We will be based in London.  For full details: 
https://www.roadscholar.org/find-an-adventure/23258/london-s-greatest-gardens-and-the-chelsea-flower-show/dates/

 7-15 June The French & Italian Rivieras: Emblematic Private Villas, Estates and Gardens
organised by Pamela Huntington Darling, Consultant & Creator of Exclusive Cultural Programs. 9 days visiting exceptional private estates, gardens and historic sites. Meeting distinguished hosts and leading experts. 8 nights at 5 star hotels.
For more information, to receive the Program, and to register: please email Pamela Huntington Darling This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (Paris, France) +33 1 45 67 62 81

15-19 June Provence Art de Vivre: Exceptional Estates, Art Collections & Gardens
organised by Pamela Huntington Darling, Consultant & Creator of Exclusive Cultural Programs. 5 days visiting exceptional private estates, gardens and historic sites. Meeting distinguished hosts and leading experts. 4 nights at 5 star hotels. For more information, to receive the Program, and to register: please email Pamela Huntington Darling This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (Paris, France) +33 1 45 67 62 81
20 June – 4 July Cruise Lecturer on Viking Homelands: Bergen to Stockholm SE1900620

www.vikingcruises.com
3-16 October Cruise Lecturer on Aegean Odyssey – Athens to Athens AEG101007

www.voyagestoantiquity.com

2020

17-23 May Chelsea Flower Show and London gardens
A week around the greatest botanical extravaganza in the world, the Chelsea Flower Show and a programme of London horticultural highlights from the glass and class of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew to inspirational private city gardens. We will be based in London.

www.roadscholar.org

13-21 June Paris & Beyond: Exemplary Private Sites, Residences, Chateaux & Gardens
organised by Pamela Huntington Darling, Consultant & Creator of Exclusive Cultural Programs. 9 days visiting exceptional private residences, chateaux and gardens. Meeting distinguished hosts and leading experts. 8 nights at 4 star hotel. For more information, to receive the Program, and to register: please email Pamela Huntington Darling This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (Paris, France) +33 1 45 67 62 81

4-17 July A Gardener’s Dream – New York to London on Queen Mary 2
Trace the history of horticulture and the English garden at some of the world’s most spectacular gardens on this transatlantic voyage. Then visit an inspirational variety of botanical, public and private gardens in London.

www.roadscholar.org

4-13 September Brussels & Antwerp: Exceptional Private Residences: Architectural, Decorative Arts & Garden Gems
organised by Pamela Huntington Darling, Consultant & Creator of Exclusive Cultural Programs. 10 days visiting private residences, meeting their distinguished owners and leading experts to appreciate the architecture and collections as well as gardens. 9 nights at 5 star hotels. For more information, to receive the Program, and to register: please email Pamela Huntington Darling This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (Paris, France) +33 1 45 67 62 81

10-18 October Treasures of Sicily: Exemplary Private Palaces, Villas & Gardens
organised by Pamela Huntington Darling, Consultant & Creator of Exclusive Cultural Programs. 9 days visiting private palaces, villas and their eclectic gardens, meeting their distinguished owners, hosts and leading experts. 8 nights at 5 star hotels. For more information, to receive the Program, and to register: please email Pamela Huntington Darling This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (Paris, France) +33 1 45 67 62 81


 

2018

15 March- 3 April Road Scholar World Academy, HAL 'Amsterdam' Singapore to Cape Town www.roadscholar.org
11-17 April Gardens of the Riviera www.martinrandall.com
19-26 April

Gardens of the Rhone

www.noble-caledonia.co.uk
5-11 June A Feast of Ornament - the gardens of Dordogne www.ciceroni.co.uk
25 August - 6 September

Gardens Afloat: Queen Mary II and London

www.roadscholar.org
 

See also Français for 2018 tours in French for Clio Voyages

 

Lectures and courses

ACADEMIC BUT NOT DRY

2019

University of Cambridge ICE (Institute of Continuing Education)
5 -7 April
English Houses and Gardens – defining Englishness
Which defines Englishness best, the house or the garden? A combination of both. International influences adapted to the English climate fostered their development by owners, talented architects and garden designers. We explore the works of Kent, Brown, Morris, Lutyens and Jekyll and classical properties such as Stourhead, Sissinghurst and Highclere Castle Residential weekend at Madingley Hall, Madingley, Cambridge CB23 8AQ.
Course code 1819NRX026
https://www.ice.cam.ac.uk/course/english-houses-and-gardens-defining-englishness-0
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01223 746222

International Interdisciplinary Summer Programme
8-19 July Term I
C15 Built on a fortune – British status homes
Huge wealth lies at the root of great British houses, collections and gardens, sources range from wool, coal and lead to sugar, branching and flourishing with ongoing gambling and investment. We will explore riches exploited in the British Isles and Empire with special reference to stately homes such as Chatsworth and Cardiff Castle, concluding with an overview of contemporary mega-rich architecture. Visit to the treasures of the Fitzwilliam Museum.

17 July Literature Cambridge Virginia Woolf’s Gardens
contributing lecture focussing on Darwin and the University Botanic Gardens, Cambridge including field trip to gardens www.literaturecambridge.co.uk

5-16 August Term III
B31 English houses and gardens - defining ‘Englishness’
Which defines 'Englishness' best, the house or the garden? A combination of both. International influences adapted to the English climate fostered their development by owners, talented architects and garden designers. We explore the works of Kent, Brown, Morris, Lutyens and Jekyll and classical properties such as Stourhead, Sissinghurst and Highclere Castle.
For full details www.ice.cam.ac.uk/course/english-houses-and-gardens-defining-englishness

C31 Castles, palaces and houses of English Monarchs
Whether stronghold or private domain, there is a romance to royal dwellings: fashions, tastes and social mores, ancient and modern, can be traced in their architecture and gardens. We explore the designs and settings of royal residences such as Stirling, Windsor, Hampton Court, Buckingham Palace, Balmoral and Sandringham. For full details www.ice.cam.ac.uk/course/castles-palaces-and-houses-british-monarchs-0

 

2018

University of Cambridge ICE (Institute of Continuing Education)

29 June -1 July
Humphry Repton - landscape gardener of 'beauty in addition to profit'.

2018 marks the 200th anniversary of Repton’s death. A career of picturesque landscapes, family and friendships, financial mismanagement and professional disappointment. A trendsetter with before-and-after views in his Red Books and three major books on garden design. Trade, politics, tourism, flowers, music and finally gardening from a wheelchair all provide an insight into the new social geography of Regency England.

For full details www.ice.cam.ac.uk/course/200th-anniversary-landscape-designer-humphry-repton or call +44(0)1223 746262

6-17 August International Summer School Programme
B31 English houses and gardens : defining ‘Englishness’.

Which defines 'Englishness' best, the house or the garden? A combination of both. International influences adapted to the English climate fostered their development by owners, talented architects and garden designers. We explore the works of Kent, Brown, Morris, Lutyens and Jekyll and classical properties such as Stourhead, Sissinghurst and Highclere Castle.

For full details www.ice.cam.ac.uk/course/english-houses-and-gardens-defining-englishness 


C31 Castles, palaces and houses of English Monarchs.

Whether stronghold or private domain, there is a romance to royal dwellings: fashions, tastes and social mores, ancient and modern, can be traced in their architecture and gardens. We explore the designs and settings of royal residences such as Stirling, Windsor, Hampton Court, Buckingham Palace, Balmoral and Sandringham.

For full details www.ice.cam.ac.uk/course/castles-palaces-and-houses-british-monarchs-0 

2017

7-18 August International Summer School Programme

C31 Castles, palaces and houses of English Monarchs Whether stronghold or private domain, there is a romance to royal dwellings: fashions, tastes and social mores, ancient and modern, can be traced in their architecture and gardens. We explore the designs and settings of royal residences such as Stirling, Windsor, Hampton Court, Buckingham Palace, Balmoral and Sandringham.

2016

Sunday 24 January 10.00-16.45
Early eighteenth century taste when the South Sea Bubble burst into song and landscapes.
Who wants to be a millionaire and eradicate national debt? 300 years ago people inflated the South Sea Company into a wondrous bubble. Scene-setters are Alexander Pope and John Gay, before we explore three resulting landscapes. A founder and Chancellor of the Exchequer, John Aislabie, created the sublime Studley Royal. Political winner, Robert Walpole stamped his ego across Houghton, his virtuoso Norfolk neighbour but loser, Thomas Coke, postponed his Palladian and naturalised Holkham.
For full details www.ice.cam.ac.uk/short-courses or call +44(0)1223 746262

8-10 July, Friday evening to Sunday lunchtime
The Renaissance Garden in Britain – nature produces better fruit if cultivated Italian Renaissance design and intricacies arrived in Britain via France and the Low Countries, manifesting a revolutionary attitude to the ‘taming’ of nature. Compare Tudor England with Stuart Scotland. Explore gardens as settings for collections of antique sculpture, courtly dalliance, philosophical discussion, meditation, theatre, allegorical and moral instruction, horticultural encyclopaedias and centres for botanical and medical research.

1-12 August International Summer School Programme
B32 English houses and gardens I: defining ‘Englishness’ from 1130 to 2016 ‘English’ architecture and gardens from Court to cottage. We examine regal tastes at Hampton Court Palace, the Royal Pavilion, Brighton and Buckingham Palace; the English classical landscape at Stourhead. We compare quintessential Englishness at The Manor Hemingford Grey and Gertrude Jekyll’s Munstead Wood with its eccentricities at Sissinghurst and Chatsworth.

C32 English houses and gardens II:
Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown: transforming England’s great estates

Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown – England’s first ‘celebrity’ gardener - made major changes to England’s great estates in the 18th century. Was he a visionary or a vandal? We explore his astonishing achievements as earthmover, engineer, builder and architect, and consider his legacy in the mature sinuous ‘natural’ landscapes that still surround so many English royal and aristocratic houses.
For full details of the ISSP (International Summer School Programme) visit www.ice.cam.ac.uk/courses/summer-schools

5-7 August, Friday evening to Sunday lunchtime including field visit
Moving Heaven and Earth – Lancelot Capability Brown – co-tutored by Caroline Holmes and Steffie Shields. 2016 marks the tercentenary of Brown, England’s Shakespeare of Gardening’s birth. The setting of Madingley Hall illustrates just one of his earth-moving projects. His inspirations as well as engineering, hydraulic, architectural and artistic skills will be analysed through his major works. And still capable? We will explore his ongoing relevance to landscape and water management.
For full details www.ice.cam.ac.uk/short-courses or call +44(0)1223 746262

6 November 10.00-16.45
Gardens with a Gainsborough perspective. Gainsborough House gardens are dominated by its magnificent gnarled mulberry tree which sets the scene in fruit and silk. Contemporary with ‘Capability’ Brown, Gainsborough was an originator of the English landscape painting school. We examine his Bath connections not least Bampfylde-Warre, taking us to Hestercombe and Stourhead, contrasting socially and morally with the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and Hogarth engravings.
For full details www.ice.cam.ac.uk/short-courses or call +44(0)1223 746262

INFORMATIVE AND ENTERTAINING

2019

8 January Not just Gardens of Remembrance - other memorials in Suffolk
7.30pm Barrow History Society at the Barrow Village Hall near Bury St Edmunds

6 March William Robinson, Gravetye Manor and Bory Latour-Marliac – a story of water lilies, prunes and wine
Monet and waterlilies are inextricably linked but when it comes to water gardening, Bory Latour-Marliac and William Robinson are far more important. The former engineered daring water lily couplings with consummate skill whilst forging a delightful professional and personal friendship with the latter not least in breeding the Nymphaea Robinsoniana. Caroline Holmes will navigate the launching of kaleidoscopic colour across Gravetye’s lakes matched by their enthusiastic letters, presents and gossip from the 1880’s to WWI.

Gathering at 12.00 noon for the talk followed by lunch at 2pm at Gravetye Manor, Vowels Lane, West Hoathly, Sussex RH19 4LJ. £85 per person – includes aperitif, 3 courses, drinks and the talk. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 01342 810567 https://www.gravetyemanor.co.uk/special-occasions/whats-on/

Copies of Water lilies and Bory Latour-Marliac, the genius behind Monet’s water lilies will be available to purchase

9 March Art and Gardens – exploring the interplay and connections between all forms of art and the landscape. Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust Study Day at the Village Hall, Hemingford Abbots. Details to be finalised. Visit www.cambridgeshiregardenstrust.org.uk

11 March – 8 April A Grand Tour of the Norfolk Landscape
Far from flat the history of five Norfolk landscapes is one of royal peaks and innovative troughs. A Grand Tour of cutting edge designs and horticultural revolutions. Roots back to Harold, Earl of East Anglia and King of England continuing with our present Queen. Shoots that shock such as Damien Hirst. A course of 5 Monday morning lectures at the Suffolk Record Office, 77, Raingate Street, Bury St Edmunds IP33 2AR
  1. 11.3 Two monarchs and two queens – Blickling Hall
  2. 18.3 Thomases and Edwards - the Cokes of Norfolk
  3. 25.3 Walpole to Damien Hirst - Houghton Hall
  4. 1.4 Sheringham Hall – Reptons at home and his enchanted fairy tale
  5. 8.4 Royal Sandringham House

For more details email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01284 741212

23 March Design and diversity – the University Botanic Garden, Cambridge
For over 160 years scientists and gardeners alike have been able to imbibe diversity in design and natural history. Native or exotic, one of Professor Henslow’s founding principles was to study plants in their own right, starting with trees. History is pressed and dried in the 1,000,000+ herbarium collection and is being made by the Gatsby Plant Science programme.
For full details and booking http://www.suffolkgardenstrust.org/events.php

1 June Cedric Morris – irises and beyond
The artist Cedric Morris (1889-1982) and irises are encapsulated in his paintings of his former home and gardens at Benton End near Hadleigh where, following a devastating fire in Dedham he relocated the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing. A legacy of 100 of his works was donated to Gainsborough’s House Museum in 2017. We will explore his zest for life, plantsmanship and pupils.
For more details email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01284 741212

2015

Friday 9th October at 11am Gainsborough House, Sudbury, Suffolk
A Palladian mansion, ‘Englished’ and naturalised: Thomas Coke and Holkham Hall William Kent had acted as cicerone to Thomas Coke during his Grand Tour before the latter returned to marry in 1718. Then Coke lost £38,000 in 1720 when the South Sea Bubble burst. Nine years later they started to design including the marble hall and grand enfilade of rooms at Holkham Hall, whose Palladian grandeur acted as centrepiece to the natural landscaping of its Norfolk setting. Stand-alone lecture, final in a series of four www.gainsborough.org
For more information: call 01787 372958 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday 20th October from 10.00 to 16.00
The Royal Gardens of Newmarket
Caroline Holmes with John Sutton. Morning lectures at Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds. Afternoon field visit to Newmarket where Caroline Holmes and John Sutton will lead a field trip tracking down three of the town’s hidden royal corners.
Please book at Bury Record Office reception or Tel: 01284 741202

Saturday 7th November, 10.00-12.00 at the Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds
Water Lilies and Bory Latour Marliac, the genius behind Monet's Water Lilies. Colour and exuberance in tropical water lilies inspired Bory Latour-Marliac to create such beauty for temperate pools in France and beyond. His most-celebrated customer, Monet, memorialised them in Nymphéas to the First World War. Suffolk grandee, James de Saumarez of Shrublands is to be thanked for their popularisation by Robinson and Jekyll.
Please book at Bury Record Office reception or Tel: 01284 741202

2016

JANUARY/FEBRUARY
January, Tuesdays 10-12.00, 12, 19, 26 and February 2 and 9 at the Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds
Capability Brown, intelligent landscaping for England and East Anglia Lancelot Brown saw capabilities when he surveyed England, but was he a visionary or a vandal? In five sessions I will explore with you his commissions as earthmover extraordinaire, engineer and builder and the outcomes in his mature sinuous English landscapes including sites within our region.

  1. Lancelot Brown - the man who saw capabilities
  2. The Brounian scene - moving earth and planting trees
  3. Sinuous and serpentine – Brown, the water engineer
  4. Capability Brown – architect and builder
  5. The Brounian legacy, le jardin anglais and intelligent landscaping

Please book at Bury Record Office reception or Tel: 01284 741202

Tuesday 23rd February from 10.30am at The Linnean Society, Piccadilly
Painting the Modern Garden – Monet to Matisse
Inspired by the RA’s ‘Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse’ Caroline Holmes explores four surviving gardens and their artistic associations that can be viewed in the exhibition. Two lectures: Paris and Argenteuil – Monet and Renoir: Childe Hassam and Celia Thaxter – an American Impressionist and his muse; and Joaquin Sorolla, his family and their Madrid garden: Monet’s water lilies from source to Giverny to Les Nymphéas. Timed entrance to RA exhibition.
For full details Ciceroni Travel www.ciceroni.co.uk or telephone +44(0)1869 811167 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PRACTICAL AND ENGAGING

2019

To be announced

2016

Friday 18 March, 10:30 – 3pm
Essential Herbs at RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Rettendon, Chelmsford Essex CM3 8ET An interactive day showing colourful images and inspirational uses of herbs in gardens, the down-to-earth practicalities of getting them to thrive in a variety of settings and finally handling a dozen key herbs. We will concentrate on edible herbs but also ways of using them to formalise or naturalise your gardens and pots with scent and shape. In all there is more to herbs than green leaves. Fee: RHS Members £55, Non-RHS Members £65 Maximum 20 places
Booking essential on 020 3176 5830 from mid November 2015

 

 

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