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Garden Bus Trips

Bus Trip! DC Discovery Tour

August 01, 2019

Get ready for an exciting time on the Rollin’ Garden Party Bus, September 23, 24 and 25, on a DC Discovery Tour. Visit six spectacular, historic gardens in Virginia, DC and Maryland; stay at the Hampton Inn in Old Town, Alexandria (breakfast buffets included); enjoy two catered lunches, shop till you almost drop and enjoy two Old Town evenings on your own.

DAY ONE: As we zip down to Alexandria we’ll stop midway for a quick break and lunch on our own at Maryland House Travel Plaza. A guided tour awaits at River Farm, the American Horticultural Society’s headquarters on the Potomac. Once part of George Washington’s five original farms, the land now is dressed in meadows, perennial gardens, themed children’s gardens, shade and wildlife gardens, an orchard, gift shop and discounted memberships for our bus trippers.

Next, we’ll visit Green Spring Garden, where a garden designed by Beatrix Ferrand surrounds the 18th-century mansion. We’ll have a guided tour of a native plant garden, more than 20 thematic demonstration gardens, a greenhouse, plant shop, two gift shops, and the historic house. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Last stop of the day: Hampton Inn & Suites, Old Town, Alexandria. The evening is yours.

DAY TWO: After a breakfast buffet, we’ll head into DC for a guided tour of Hillwsood Estate, Museum and Gardens, the former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, philanthropist, socialite and collector. We’ll have a guided tour of the mansion, then explore the gardens, the art exhibit: Mid-Century Master: The Photography of Alfred Eisenstaedt, scour gift shops on our own and have a catered lunch.

Onward to: the U.S. National Arboretum, home to many gardens and collections that we’ll tour on our own including Asian Collections, the Fern Valley Native Plant Collections, Flowering Tree Collection, Flowering Tree Walk, the Friendship Garden, the Gotelli Conifer Collection, the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, National Capitol Columns, National Grove of State Trees, and the National Herb Garden.

Back at the Hampton Inn, enjoy an evening on your own in Old Town.

DAY THREE: After breakfast we’ll head North to Baltimore, Maryland, for a guided tour of the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens that boasts the second oldest glass house in the country. It is home to plants from all over the world in duplicated habitats and has three greenhouses, two display pavilions and outdoor gardens.

We’ll have a catered lunch and then off to Cylburn Arboretum with 200 acres of specimen trees and plantings, wooded trails, historic mansion, over 20 beautiful gardens including themed, memorial, habitat, and traditional gardens. Jesse and Edyth Tyson, the original owners of the late 1800s estate, started a collection of native and exotic trees with many still standing. Collections range from tree peonies, magnolias and Japanese maples to huge species, some the largest in the state.

Homeward bound, we’ll stop midway at a rest stop to stretch our legs. We will not stop for dinner, but food is available here.

Please join us on this exciting and inspiring Rollin’ Garden Party Tour!

DATE: Monday, September 23 thru Wednesday, September 25.
BUS: leaves 8:15 SHARP! Returns on 9/25 about 7pm.
PARK: Hilton Garden Inn at Rockaway Mall, Rockaway Township, NJ
COST: $599 for double occupancy; add $100 for single occupancy. Includes bus, garden admissions and tours, 2 catered lunches, 2 nights at hotel in Old Town Alexandria
DEPOSIT: $150/person secures your reservation.
QUESTIONS: Mary at 973-570-0759 or


“I really enjoyed our trip over Tuesday and Wednesday! My head is spinning, and my mind is full of all the beautiful things that I saw and experienced during our tour. It was relaxing at the same time. You planned everything so well. It was lovely. Thank you for all that you do!” – Rosina VS

“The garden was amazing; I did not want to leave. Actually, the whole trip was great which made me very happy because I had talked Noreen, Marge, Elenore and Alice C into going.... and they all enjoyed it.” - A. Ciccarelli

“The planning of the trip was excellent: each selected destination topped the previous stop. The pacing was perfect: there was exactly enough time to take in the beauty each location had to offer and they were different enough from each other to keep it interesting. The enthusiastic docents, the humorous bus driver, the planned meals all made this trip even more enjoyable. Not only would I recommend this trip to my friends, I plan to both come on another one you’ll offer soon and I also plan to return to the places to which you introduced me. Thank you for a lovely time, we all had a blast!” – Inge P

“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. 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. The nursery 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!!!!

“This particular trip was unique, I felt, because you got to see 3 individual gardens in homes very near to one another and the way each person or persons made use of the space they had. Another enjoyable day!” Wayne Lambert

“We had a fantastic time on the last trip. Thank you for all your time & effort to make these trips special. Best regards,” 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.” - Evelyn & Bob Plumb

“Just wanted to thank you again for organizing the great day today. We both enjoyed it very much. Ursula 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 so much for the great garden trip. It was fun to talk to fellow gardeners, see beautiful gardens and be immersed in revolutionary history. You did a great job making the trip educational and a lot of fun!” - Karen Trawin

“Mary’s well-planned trips have provided many wonderful memories for our garden-visiting members and are great fund-raisers as well.” - Lesley Parness, retired Superintendent of Horticultural Education, Morris County Park Commission

“I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed today's trip. I would never have gone to Chanticleer had you not planned it. The gardens are spectacular, and lunch was delicious. It was a memorable day.” - Alice Moskowitz, President of Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum

“I had a stupendous day on your DIG IT! bus trip to Stonecrop Gardens and the private house tour gardens in Courtland Manor, New York. The flowers were exquisite, the tour guides were knowledgeable, the participants were fun to be with, the extra surprise snacks were appreciated and I thank you so much for arranging this memory of a lifetime trip!! Please let me know when the next trip is planned.” – Judy Bjorklund

“Thanks for all your good work!” – Janet Allocca

“The Virginia Voyage was a great weekend getaway! Any avid gardener, ‘a.k.a. Plant Geek’ would have had a fantastic time. Thank you again for another wonderful trip. We are looking forward to the next DIG IT! Rolling Garden Party!” – Dawn & David

“Loved the trip to Ladew, Monticello and Mt Vernon. The conversations were fun and the subject matter very interesting and informative. Will certainly consider future trips with DIG IT!” – Cindy

“Mary, I loved this trip. Stonecrop had such a large variety of plants and in beautiful settings. I bought 5 plants and will be able to remember these two gardens when I look at them. The snacks were over the top. Thanks again.” – Barb Pecca, NJ

“Just a word of thanks for again putting together a wonderful trip. The tour at Stonecrop was informative and the grounds were inspiring but you saved the best for last. The private garden was the best one I have ever visited! Such artistry in the layering of plant material, not to mention the specimen plants too numerous to count. I was in gardener's Eden! Many thanks for a fantastic day (and your brownies and date bars too.)” - April Fisher

“Just a quick note to thank you for a very enjoyable day. Please keep me on your list for future trips. Again, thanks for everything.” - Joanne Matejov, NY

“One of the great things about the Monticello trip -- beside I had never been there and wanted to go -- was that I took a substantial interest in Jefferson's descendants -- who were and are mostly Black people. My friend's pastor right here in Mtn turned out to be one of them and is featured on an advert. It's the same face. I would never have known or cared without the trip! So thanks.” Adrienne

“Thanks very much for organizing and leading Tuesday's tour. I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to more.” - Suzanne Blecker

“Thank you so much for putting together that great garden tour day.” - Alana Steib

“Thank you again for yesterday. The gardens were amazing and lunch was really nice. That was certainly a nice addition and saved the worry of running around trying to decide where to eat on our part. You always find the best gardens to visit. You and Ursula are delightful. Thanks again.” - Barbara Kolb

More Garden Bus Trips

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