Raising a glass to gardens

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D ELIVEROO, Uber, Facebook, Google—these are some of the great ‘disruptors’ of the 21st century. After food delivery, search engines, dating and transport, it was only a matter of time before the great wave of progress reached ‘garden tours’. However, that time is now, thanks to the efforts of Simon Tiffin and COUNTRY LIFE columnist Jason Goodwin, who, over dinner on a dark winter’s night in 2021, used their love of writing, eating, gardening and drinking to create the ‘immersive’ G&T Garden Tours.

A ‘crack team’ of contributors has been assembled, including the Bannermans, Howard Sooley and Caroline Donald, with Johnnie Boden on wines, as well as ‘notable contributions from the West Country great and good’. May saw the inaugural get together of garden lovers from all over the world, who accompanied Mr Goodwin and Mr Tiffin on tours of Jasper Conran’s Bettiscombe Manor, the Countess of Sandwich’s home at Mapperton (above), the late John and Caryl Hubbard’s garden at Chilcombe—all three in Dorset—and the latest Bannerman effort in Somerset. Next year’s tour is already being planned, with three new itineraries ‘reflecting changing seasons’. These will include new garden visits, established favourites and ‘old friends’. For more information on the tours, email info@gtgardentours.co.uk or visit www.gtgardentours.co.uk

More like a country-house invitation than a garden tour: Simon Tiffin and Jason Goodwin’s immersive G&T Tours will go behind the scenes at some of the West Country’s greatest homes and gardens
Juliane Schaub puts the finishing touches to a Christmas tree in the Great Hall at the launch of Christmas in Neverland at Castle Howard. The North Yorkshire country house has been transformed with floristry, installations, props, soundscapes and projections, creating a Peter Pan-inspired festive experience that is open to the public until January 7.

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