Europe in full bloom

Tiptoe amongst the tulips, or roam between the roses when the European flower shows are in full bloom this spring. Whether you’re a keen gardener or just enjoy stopping to smell the flowers now and again, Trafalgar’s 2012 In Bloom guided holiday is not to be missed.

Despite its name, this 19-day guided holiday is about more than just flowers. Departing from Rome, you will meander through the canals of Venice, enjoy the view from the shore of the River Danube and cross into Germany through the mountains of Lucerne.

Flower lovers and keen gardeners will not be disappointed by what follows. Only once every 10 years does the world-renowned Floriade set up home in The Netherlands. Floriade is more than a mere flower festival, it’s a theatre of nature where the most exquisite flowers and plants come to life. During the day you can stroll amongst the plants and flowers, then head for the canals at night, where a glass-topped boat is your carriage through Amsterdam’s waterways.

From Amsterdam it’s on to Paris, and a stroll through the gardens of Versailles, a veritable oasis of calm in the bustling city.  After a few days in Paris it’s off to London, but not without a stop in Giverny, home to the gardens that were the inspiration behind Claude Monet’s impressionist works of art.

If you’re looking for some inspiration for your own little piece of paradise, then Hampton Court Gardens, where Henry VIII wooed his wives, will surely give you a few ideas. If it’s something grander that you’re after then the Chelsea Flower Show, arguably the largest and most famous event of its type is home to the most creative and interactive gardens ever produced. Every gardener should visit this spectacular at least once.

View Trafalgar’s 2012 In Bloom itinerary.