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Garden Bus Trips

Bus Trip! Virginia Voyage!

July 28, 2016

Join DIG IT! Magazine and the Rollin’ Garden Party Bus on a garden-intensive, 3–day weekend, Virginia Voyage! We’ll visit three historic public gardens in Maryland and Virginia, Friday thru Sunday, September 9, 10 & 11!

DAY 1:
Start the day with a sumptuous breakfast buffet at Hilton Garden Inn before you get on the bus. Then we'll have a 1.5-hour guided tour of the gardens at Ladew Topiary Gardens in Maryland, halfway to Virginia. Henry Ladew (1887-1976), traveler/artist/fox hunter, designed and created 22 acres of formal gardens styled after English and Italian gardens. He was one of the first to bring topiary to the U.S.

The Garden Club of America awarded Mr. Ladew the prestigious Distinguished Achievement Award for “creating and maintaining the most outstanding topiary garden in the country without professional help.” (website)

The gardens reflect his wit, elegance and style and are formed on two axes that meet at an oval pool. Twenty-five garden rooms, based on color, plant or theme, extend off the axes with over 100 topiaries – living sculptures.

After the garden tour, we’ll enjoy a box lunch on us, then still have time to explore the Butterfly House where you can see and learn the life cycle and metamorphosis of native butterflies. And don’t forget to check out the Gift Shop.

That evening, we’ll check in at the Quality Inn in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where you can have dinner on your own downtown. A list will be provided.

DAY 2:
Enjoy a breakfast buffet on us before we head out to Monticello – Thomas Jefferson’s estate where we’ll spend the day. “Monticello is the autobiographical masterpiece of Thomas Jefferson—designed and redesigned and built and rebuilt for more than forty years—and its gardens were a botanic showpiece, a source of food, and an experimental laboratory of ornamental and useful plants from around the world.” (website)

We’ll begin with a guided mansion tour, then you’re on your own to experience the Heritage Harvest Festival with tons of gardening and food-related workshops (most are free), or pay as you go for “Premium Workshops.” There will be music, food, and a myriad of vendors.

Lunch is on your own: either Festival Southern-style food or the Café.

And of course take a guided tour of Jefferson’s gardens, his own “botanic laboratory of ornamental and useful plants from around the world” any time you wish.

The 1,000-foot, terraced Vegetable Garden is an accurate restoration and interpretation of the original 1807-1814 garden with its re-discovered remnants of stone walls, foundations, walkways. “There are a number of differences between the appearance of the original Jefferson garden and the recreated one. In 1811, the most intensive planting year for Jefferson, there were eighty-five plantings of vegetables throughout the year. Today, the garden is planted much more intensively, partly for seed collection, partly to present a fuller interpretive picture.” (website)

There are Flower Gardens galore restored by The Garden Club of Virginia between 1939 and 1941! The West Lawn has a winding flower border, oval flower beds, a fish pond and grove.

Expect to see “warm season annual flowers rule the garden. The gardens include many of the species forms of what are now commonly grown annuals, including zinnia, geranium, heliotrope, French and African marigold, ageratum, and others. These plants reflect the undeveloped flower that, in some cases, Jefferson would have known. Many of these plants have a low proportion of flower to foliage, they are often leggier than modern forms, and some have simple, single flowers. The effect is more like a wildflower garden, especially in August and September as the plants grow up and set seed, which is collected, cleaned, and packaged for distribution.” (website)

The Grove is a respite from the sun and a recreation of Jefferson’s concept with a cleared and thinned forest with young trees, shrubs, and herbaceous flowers, vistas, glades, and thickets.

The eight-acre Fruit Garden or "’Fruitery’ as Jefferson called it, included the 400-tree South Orchard, two small vineyards; ‘berry squares’ of currants, gooseberries, and raspberries, a nursery where Jefferson propagated fruit trees and special garden plants, and ‘submural beds’ where figs and strawberries were grown to take advantage of the warming microclimate created by the stone wall.” (website)

And so much more! &

Around 6:00pm we’ll head back to the hotel and dinner on your own in Fredericksburg.

DAY 3:
Enjoy a breakfast buffet on us before we head north and visit George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. We’ll start with a one-hour, guided Garden and Landscape Tour, followed by a guided tour of the Mansion, then on your own to visit Washington’s Tomb, Outbuildings, Slave Memorial, Blacksmith, Slave Quarters, Greenhouse and education Center.

George Washington designed the landscape and gardens at Mount Vernon. The Four Gardens include: The Lower or Kitchen Garden, overseen by Martha Washington; Upper formal Garden with espaliered fruit trees, boxwood-bordered vegetable and ornamental tree beds, a boxwood parterre clipped into a Fleur de Lis, and a brick greenhouse full of tropical plants imported from around the world. The Botanical Garden is a small space where Washington experimented with exotic plants, bulbs, cuttings and seeds sent to him from around the world. The Fruit Garden and Nursery contains four-acres of espaliered and grafted fruit trees.

We expect to be return by 8-ish that evening.

DATE: Friday, September 9 thru Sunday, September 11
BUS: Bus leaves Rockaway Townsquare Mall, Rt. 80 and Mount Hope Ave., Rockaway Township at 8:30am SHARP and returns Sunday 6:00 to 8-8:30PM
PARKING & BREAKFAST: Park behind the Hilton Garden Inn and have a sumptuous buffet breakfast on us from 6:30-8:15. But get on the bus at 8:15!
SECOND PICK-UP:William Penn Highway Park & Ride, Emrick Blvd, Easton,(5 people minimum)
COST: Double Occupancy-$345; Single Occupancy-add $50. Includes bus fare, garden admissions, guided tours, Heritage Harvest Fair and most workshops, hotel, boxed lunch in garden, 2 breakfast buffets
TRIP SPECIAL: With this trip, get $15 off your next DIG IT! Bus Tour. Get an additional $10 off for bringing someone who has never been on a DIG IT! Bus Trip before.


Thank you for a wonderful day yesterday When I get home from your trips I always feel that I was on a mini vacation. Thanks again
- Alice Corcoran

Mary, Enjoy every trip you give because you take me to places I've never been. Flowers make me smile. I appreciate the love and work that goes into each garden I see. Their diversity and their choices of plantings are always unique. I thought it was so nice that the homeowners greeted you and gave you some history of their property. Paxton Hill Farm was a special treat because it was filled with hidden surprises. I like that we could roam freely and take in its ambience. What really makes the trip is people like "you" that run it. Your pleasantness and Ursula's energy always make for a happy heart.
- Cheryl Uhlig
PS Your cookies are the best!!!!

We had a fantastic time on the last trip. Hope we will see you on the next adventure.
Thank you for all your time & effort to make these trips special.
- Dawn Strubeck

Just wanted to let you know again how much Bob and I enjoyed our first trip with the group. We find it challenging to tell others how awesome and different each venue was, but they certainly sense our excitement. Thank you again for a terrific day and looking forward to September's outing. Enjoy the rest of the summer.
- Evelyn & Bob

Just wanted to thank you again for organizing the great day today. We both enjoyed it very much. Ursala and Elijah were a lot of fun. The blueberry buckle was delicious! Thank you to the baker. Looking forward to the trip in the fall. Please keep us on your mailing list. Thanks again.
- Ron and Carol Stickney

Thanks for all your good work!
- Janet Allocca

In Situ was amazing; I did not want to leave. Actually, the whole trip was great which made me very happy...
- Alice Corcoran

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