Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Beginnings

I have been a bad blogger this year. I admit it. But writing two books in a year's time and getting the travel business off the ground has taken a considerable amount of my time and has turned my attention, for most of the year, elsewhere. And so, I'm making at least one New Year's resolution before New Year's even arrives and that is to get the blog back up and fully running again.  In fact, I have a couple of new things to share and hope you'll continue following along as I gear up and jump headlong into 2014.

To start, my new book, Plant This Instead! (Click the link) will hit the shelves sometime in February.


Plant This Instead! focuses on making wiser plant choices, offering new, improved and more desirable varieties for today's landscapes and gardens.  No more Bradford pears!  It also compares some of the "new and improved" varieties (Are they, really?) with some of their older, tried-and-true predecessors. I hope you'll take a look at the book on pre-sale now at Amazon or in your local bookstores once it does hit the shelves in February.

I will also be writing again this year for Tennessee Gardener magazine.  I will be doing fewer regional features (the ones that appear in multiple states), but will begin writing a regular monthly article about the happenings here in my home garden, Wits' End, each month in Tennessee Gardener.  In fact, the title of the new column will be "The View From Wits' End" and each month I'll relate stories from the garden, feature plants blooming during that month, talk about my successes and failures and much more.  To accompany the new column, I will also be creating and writing a second blog (in addition to this one and with the same name, "The View From Wits' End", as the magazine column) for Tennessee Gardener that will be featured on their website www.tennesseegardener.com   This will give me the opportunity to communicate with everyone on a more personal and detailed level in between monthly magazine articles and feature things from the garden that there just aren't room for in the magazine.



Finally, we are really gearing up for a year of travel.  In October, we announced a trip that will benefit the television show, Volunteer Gardener, that I co-host and that runs weekly on Nashville Public Television. We are actively looking for travelers to fill those seats and I would be most grateful if you would help spread the word!  The itinerary, with pricing and all of the details, can be downloaded from my website www.troybmarden.com (Click the link) or you can email me at tbmgardens@gmail.com and I can send an itinerary via email.  You may also call the number in the image, above, but honestly, it just takes you to a voice mailbox and you will reach me faster via the email address I just gave you.  We have until February 1 to sell this trip out and really need to do that in order to raise as much money as possible for Volunteer Gardener!

We'll have new travel announcements for later in the year coming very soon, too, so stay tuned!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season with family and friends and I'll look forward to seeing you here regularly from now on!  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Join Us In Provence and The Cote d'Azur!

Join us in Provence and Cote D’Azur!
September 20-October 1, 2013
www.troybmarden.com
For more information, email tbmgardens@gmail.com



Sept. 20      Fly to France (Nice)

Sept. 21     After landing in Nice, we will meet our private coach for the trip to Villa Ephrussi Rothschild for lunch, and a tour of the garden and Villa. http://www.villa-ephrussi.com/en/home  Beatrice Rothschild had practically unlimited money when she built this villa and garden in the early 1900’s, and it shows.  We will have lunch in the tea room and tour the upper level of the villa. After lunch, we will visit the garden. Lunch included, dinner on your own. Hotel Victoria.

Sept. 22    Breakfast will be at our hotel, as it will each morning of the trip.  After breakfast, we will visit the garden at Val Rahmeh http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jardin_botanique_exotique_de_Menton followed by our first chance to visit a real French market as we stop in Menton for the Saturday morning market there. After the market, we will have lunch at the Mirazur http://www.mirazur.fr/ which has been listed as one of the world’s 50 best restaurants.  After our lunch we will continue to Villa Hanbury to visit the garden.  This is a vertical garden with some of the most magnificent views you have ever seen! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giardini_Botanici_Hanbury  Breakfast & Lunch included, Dinner on your own. Hotel Victoria

Sept. 23     The world renowned Monaco Botanical Garden will be our first stop today.  http://www.jardin-exotique.mc/en/ After this we will visit Monaco where you will have lunch on your own and have an opportunity to visit the palace and other sites in Monaco. Breakfast included.  Hotel Victoria

Sept. 24     We will head for the heart of Provence today.  Our first stop will be at the Abbey Thoronet which is a Cistercian Abbey built between 1160 and 1230 without mortar. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Thoronet_Abbey  Our next stop will be the Chateau Barben, which we will tour. Barben is one of the oldest chateaus in Provence, dating back to 1054. http://www.chateaudelabarben.fr/index2.php?lang=en Avignon will be our next stop and hopefully we will be there in time to visit the Palace of the Popes.  This is one of the greatest Gothic palaces in the world built in the 14th century.  Pope Clement V moved the papacy to Avignon to flee from political unrest.  The palace housed 7 popes between 1309 and 1378. http://www.palais-des-papes.com/anglais/  Our hotel for the night will be the Mecure which is located in the center of Avignon. Lunch included.

Sept. 25     A visit to the garden of the Abbey of Saint Andre in Villeneuve les Avignon will be our first stop today http://www.fantasticprovence.com/section/nature_r7/the-discreet-charm-of-the-saint-andre-abbey_a733/1 followed Pont du Gard, the magnificent Roman aqueduct.  It is a magical site!  The aqueduct was built in 1 century BC and carried 44 million gallons of water each day from Uzes to Nimes.  It was used until the 6th century AD when it is believed that minerals clogged the passage of the water. http://www.pontdugard.fr/en  Our final sightseeing stop for today will be Nimes.  Nimes is a lovely town with several interesting sites.  We will visit the Maison Carree which is a Vitruvian Roman Temple built in the 1st century AD. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maison_Carr%C3%A9e The temple survived because it became a church in the 4th century AD.  This temple was the inspiration for the Virginia state capitol.  Jefferson had a model made of it when he was Ambassador to France.  Nimes also has a Roman arena, an interesting shade garden, a nice museum, and good shopping.  When we depart Nimes we will go to Isle sur la Sorgue and Hotel Nevons, our home for the next several days.  Lunch included.

Sept. 26     France would not be France if we did not visit a winery.  Today we visit Chateau Val Jonais for a tour of the winery, garden, and lunch. http://www.val-joanis.com/  We will also visit a French hill town. Lunch included. Hotel Nevons.


Sept. 27     Today will be spent in Arles which is a short distance from Isle sur la Sorgue.  We will stop at Abbaye de Montmajour on the way to Arles.  Built on an island, it was founded in 948 by the Benedictines. http://montmajour.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/  Arles has more in a short walking distance than any other place we have been.  We will see the Church of Saint Trophime with its wonderful 2 story cloister.  The church is Romanesque and classified as a world heritage site.  We will also see the Roman arena, the Roman baths, and the Cryptoportiques.  We will also visit one of Ron’s favorite sites in the world, the les Alyscamps.  Greek, Roman, and Christian tombs line the Aurelian way as it passes through Arles.  The sarcophages are magnificent.  You will have free time to visit other sites or shop. Hotel Nevons.

Sept. 28 This Saturday takes us to St. Remy and nearby sites. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-R%C3%A9my-de-Provence  We will stop for a visit to the St. Remy Sat. market.  Our stops will take us to Glanum, a ruined Roman/Greek town, as well as Les Antiques and St-Paul-de-Mausolee where Van Gogh was hospitalized.  We will also visit Les Baux before returning to Isle sur la Sorgue. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Baux-de-Provence Dinner included.  Hotel Nevons.

Sept. 29     The best market in France, the land of markets, is in Isle sur la Sorgue.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Today, you will have the whole day to spend in Isle sur la Sorgue at the market.  Believe us when we say, this market has everything and even if you are not a shopper you will enjoy this day. Hotel Nevons.

Sept. 30     Today we will visit Cassis http://www.beyond.fr/villages/cassis.html and take a boat ride to see the Calanques http://www.marseille-provence.info/places/sights-and-attractions/237-the-calanques.html which are wonderful geological features.  We will stay close to the airport tonight.

Oct. 1         Fly home from Marseilles.


COST:     The cost of this trip is $3250.00 per person based on Double Occupancy. Airfare is NOT included in this price. We will assist in booking plane tickets so that everyone gets the best possible price and that we are all traveling over and back together, unless other arrangements are being made. A single supplement is available.  Please inquire at tbmgardens@gmail.com if you will be traveling singly or have any further questions.

The price of this trip is based on 1.30 exchange rate.  If the exchange rate changes the trip is
subject to an additional charge.  The price is based on double occupancy.  There is a single

supplement.  The itinerary can be changed if required. 


 

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Greetings, everyone!  It has been very quiet here for a very long time.  I've been working feverishly at finishing my book and writing magazine articles for the upcoming year and it has really cut into my time for posting to the blog.  The good news is, the book is very nearly finished and will be out this fall! I have also had my website completely redesigned and updated, so if you haven't visited in a while, please be sure to have a look at www.troybmarden.com 

I have an exciting new announcement to make today!  Our trip to Italy in May has officially sold out and we have been successful enough that we have decided to schedule a trip for autumn. I hope you'll think about joining me in Provence, Monaco and the Cote d'Azur from September 20 - October 1, 2013!  You will find the itinerary below, with pricing details near the end. Here's a photo from the Jardin Exotique de Monaco, one of many amazing stops on this trip. I'll see you in the garden soon!
For more information about the trip, email me at tbmgardens@gmail.com



Gardens and Chateaus of
Provence and the Cote D’Azur
September 20 – October 1, 2013
tbmgardens@gmail.com

Sept. 20          Fly to France (Nice)

Sept. 21        After landing in Nice, we will meet our private coach for the trip to Villa Ephrussi Rothschild for lunch, and a tour of the garden and Villa.  Beatrice Rothschild had practically unlimited money when she built this villa and garden in the early 1900’s, and it shows.  We will have lunch in the tea room; tour the upper level of the villa, before we will visit the garden. Lunch included, dinner on your own.
Hotel Victoria

Sept. 22          Breakfast as always will be at our hotel.  This morning will give us our first chance to visit a French market as we stop in Menton for the Saturday morning market.  Before the market we will visit he garden at Val Rahmeh.  After the market, we will have lunch at the Mizaura which has been listed as one of the world’s 50 best restaurants.  After our lunch we will continue to Villa Hanbury to visit the garden.  This is a vertical garden with some of the most magnificent views I have ever seen.  Breakfast & Lunch included, Dinner on your own.
                        Hotel Victoria

Sept. 23         The world renowned Monaco Botanical Garden will be our first stop today.  After this we will visit Monaco where you will have lunch on your own and have an opportunity to visit the palace and other sites in Monaco. Breakfast included.
                        Hotel Victoria

Sept. 24         We will head for the heart of Provence today.  Our first stop will be at the Abbey Thoronet which is a Cistercian Abbey built between 1160 and 1230 without mortar.  Our next stop will be Chateau Barben which is one of the oldest in Provence that dates back to 1054.  We will tour the Chateau.  Avignon will be our next stop and hopefully we will be there in time to visit the Palace of th ie Popes.  This is one of the greatest Gothic palaces in the world built in the 14th century.  Pope Clement V moved the papacy to Avignon to flee from political unrest.  The palace housed 7 popes between 1309 and 1378.  Our hotel for the night will be the Mecure which is located in the center of Avignon.
                        Lunch included.

Sept. 25          A visit to the garden of the Abbey of Saint Andrea in Villeneuve les Avignon will be our first stop today.  Pont du Gard, the magnificent Roman aqueduct, is a magical site, and our next stop,  The aqueduct was built in 1 century BC and carried 44 million gallons of water each day from Uzes to Nimes.  It was used until the 6th century AD when it is believed that minerals clogged the passage of the water.  Our final sightseeing stop for today will be Nimes.  Nimes is a lovely town with several interesting sites.  We will visit the Maison Carree which is a Vitruvian Roman Temple built in the 1st century AD.  The temple survived because it became a church in the 4th century AD.  This temple was the inspiration for the Virginia state capitol.  Jefferson had a model made of it when he was Ambassador to France.  Nimes also has a Roman arena, an interesting shade garden, a nice museum, and good shopping.  When we depart Nimes we will go to Isle sur la Sorgue, our home for the next several days.  Lunch included.
                        Hotel Nevons

Sept. 26          France would not be France if we did not visit a winery.  Today we visit Chateau Val Jonais for a tour of the winery, garden, and lunch.  We will also visit a French hill town. Lunch included.

Sept. 27    Today will be spent in Arles which is a short distance from Isle.  We will stop at Abbaye de Montmajor on the way to Arles.  It was founded in 948 by the Benedictines.  It was built on an island.  Arles has more in a short walking distance than about any other place I have ever been.  We will see the Church of Saint Trophime with its wonderful 2 story cloister.  The church is Romanesque and classified as a world heritage site.  We will also see the Roman arena,  the Roman baths, and the Cryptoportiques.  We will also visit one of Ron’s favorite sites in the world, the les Alyscamps.  Greek, Roman, and Christian tombs line the Aurelian way as it passes through Arles.  The sarcophages are magnificent.  You will have free time to visit other sites or shop.
                  Hotel Nevons

Sept. 28          This Saturday takes us to St. Remy and nearby sites.  We will stop for a visit to the St. Remy Sat. market.  Our stops will take us to Glanum a ruined Roman/Greek town, Les Antiques, and St-Paul-de-Mausolee where Van Gogh was hospitalized.  We will also visit Les Baux before returning to Isle sur la Sorgue.
                        Dinner included
                        Hotel Nevons

Sept. 29          The best market in France the land of markets is in Isle sur la Sorgue.  You will have the whole day to spend in Isle sur la Sorgue at the market.  Believe me, this market has everything and even if you are not a shopper you will enjoy this day.

Sept. 30          We will visit Cassis today and take a boat ride to see the Calanques which are wonderful geological features.  We will stay close to the airport tonight.

Oct. 1              Fly home from Marseilles.

COST:              $3250.00 per person based on Double Occupancy. Airfare is NOT included in the price. We will assist in booking plane tickets so that everyone gets the best possible price and that we are all traveling over and back together, unless other arrangements are made. A single supplement is available. Please inquire at tbmgardens@gmail.com  if you will be traveling singly.

***Please note that while this itinerary is complete at this time, unforeseen circumstances can always arise and it may be subject to change for the group's benefit if we deem it necessary.
***The price of this trip is based on 1.30 exchange rate.  If the exchange rate changes the trip is
subject to an additional charge.
***The price is based on double occupancy.  A single supplement for travelers traveling by themselves is available on request by emailing Troy at: tbmgardens@gmail.com