Sisley Garden Tours was founded by Tony Sissons of Harrogate, England and Beth Leydon, of Auckland, New Zealand. Beth and Tony are members of the Royal Horticultural Society, the National Trust and the Garden Writers Association and keen gardeners and plantspeople. In his home town Tony is a volunteer member of Harrogate in Bloom and Friends of Valley Gardens. Between them, they have visited hundreds of gardens in many parts of the world.
Beth and Tony started Sisley Garden Tours in 1992 in association with the Automobile Association of New Zealand. Our first tour in 1993 was taking a wonderful group of gardeners from New Zealand to visit the gardens of England and Scotland for three weeks.
In 1994 Sisley Garden Tours appointed an Australian travel agent and Australian visitors joined our tours. In 1995 garden tour pages were first placed on Web, which attracted our first American visitor. From then we welcomed garden visitors from Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, Turkey, Taiwan and the United States of America.
Over the years, we’ve designed and set up a historical tour of British gardens with a US college alumni association. We have set up two early spring tours for members of the American Rhododendron Society, two tours for friends of a Botanic Garden in Portugal and tours for garden clubs in New England and in California. We have run our own tour in New Zealand in association with a UK Botanical Garden. We have selected UK garden locations and arranged support for an in-coming television drama production and had BBC Television on tour with us.
In 2011, following Beth’s retirement, Fran Pride (Tony’s daughter-in-law) and Colette Walker joined the business.
We are small, independent and flexible, with an enviable track record and are backed up worldwide by great contacts, registered travel agents and proven suppliers who value our expanding business. Use our service and you gain from our resources, experience, focus and dedication. We are pleased to deliver group tours direct, or through a travel agent.