Garden Tours for 2014

Border Lines was started 28 years ago to take groups to see the very best private gardens in the UK. Thirteen years ago we organised the first garden tours to Italy and France. In 2014, for the first time, we are offering the chance to see some wonderful gardens in South Africa.

UK Day Tours

I am very excited about the tour to Long Barn, the original Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson garden which I have wanted to visit for many years (Tour 5 Kent & East Sussex). But treats abound in all the gardens we are planning to visit over the 15 Tours this summer.

A high point for Border Lines will be the three days of garden tours in Scotland during July visiting gardens in the Borders, Lothian and Lanarkshire and Peebleshire.

Portmore Tour 13

Portmore Tour 13 Lanarkshire and Peebleshire

The successful formula for our Day Tours has remained largely unchanged over the years. Travel between the gardens is usually by coach and we will visit the gardens with the owner, or the head gardener.

Do take a look at the Tours for this summer and remember you may reserve places online by using our booking form or by contacting us directly by email or telephone.

Tours Abroad

The European and now South African Tours are arranged to provide you with the sort of holiday you might construct for yourselves. This year we have arranged, in May, two 5 day tours to Ninfa and the Gardens of the Roman Campagna and two tours to the Villas, Castles and Gardens of Umbria. These tours have been very popular and are now full.

In November we go to South Africa to visit the Private Gardens of the Western Cape.

Gardening in South Africa is brimming with self confidence and enthusiasm. With the perfect climate and amidst magnificent scenery these 19 gardens are not to be missed.

Gardens of the Western Cape South Africa

Gardens of the Western Cape South Africa

More details of our tour to South Africa, our European Tours and to make enquiries or bookings.

What People Say

Robin Lane-Fox  said: ‘For gardens in Britain, insiders and outsiders should head for Border-Lines, offering day tours to pre-selected gardens that attract those in the know.  It is now run by James Bolton who knows how to satisfy critical English gardeners……..he also runs excellent tours to private and public gardens in France and Italy.” Financial Times 25/01/13

Elfreda Pownall said: “James Bolton, the garden designer, lecturer and historian who runs Border Lines, proves time and again… that it would be impossible to replicate the trip he has so carefully planned.” Read Italian Gardens: a spectacular visit to the Roman Campagna 25 July 2013

About us

As well as running Border Lines, I am also a Garden Designer I have designed gardens across England as well as Portugal and the United States. I am also a  Garden History Lecturer and have lectured extensively for NADFAS, the National Arts Collections Fund, The Oxford Italian Association and other groups.

Clapton Manor luxury Cotswolds B&B

Clapton Manor

My wife Karin and I live at Clapton Manor in the Cotswolds, from which we also run a highly rated Bed and Breakfast within easy reach of some of the finest of English gardens.


I hope you enjoy looking at the Tours we offer for 2014 and find one or more enticing. James Bolton