Monday, January 30, 2017

Volunteer Gardener Goes to Tuscany!
With Volunteer Gardener’s Troy Marden
October 15-26, 2017

Nashville Public Television and Volunteer Gardener invite you to join show co-host Troy Marden on a one-of-a-kind tour of Tuscany, departing the U.S. on October 15 to arrive in Florence and begin your tour in one of the world’s most beautiful cities the following day. From Florence’s famous Duomo (cathedral), Michelangelo’s David, the Medici Tombs, the Ponte Vecchio and more to the grand finale in Rome where you’ll see the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and a long list of other surprises, this is a trip you won’t want to miss.

In between, we’ll explore the hill towns of Tuscany, where the year’s wine production will be in full swing, olive harvest will be underway, truffles will be the feature item in nearly every restaurant and wild boar, only in season in the autumn, will be offered in a variety of ways. We’ll visit San Gimignano, Lucca, Pisa, Cortona, Siena, and Assisi, to name but a few. Private villas with ancient frescoes, Renaissance era gardens, and Chianti’s best wineries will all make the itinerary, too! Best of all, your participation will support Nashville Public Television and help to ensure that Volunteer Gardener continues inspiring gardeners across the state of Tennessee and beyond.

Price: $4,195.00 per person, based on double occupancy.  A very limited number of single rooms will be available at an additional cost of $595.00 per person.

Included: Hotel, daily breakfast, additional meals as listed in the final itinerary (usually 5 to 7 additional meals—lunch or dinner—during the trip), porterage at hotels (one bag per person), ground transportation by private coach and all entry fees to sites visited by the group as part of the itinerary.

***Airfare, travel insurance and driver gratuity are the responsibility of individual travelers, as are a list of other common sense items to be listed in the final itinerary and the Travel Agreement, which will be available on request by anyone interested in joining us on this incredible journey!

 Click Here to download the full itinerary!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Great Gardens & Country Estates of England

With Jason Reeves of the UT Garden Jackson and Troy Marden of Nashville Public Television’s Volunteer Gardener.
August 23 – September 2, 2017

Join Jason Reeves of the UT Garden Jackson and Troy Marden of NPT's Volunteer Gardener on this 9-night excursion to some of the most beautiful gardens England has to offer.
The Abbey House Garden

Beginning in Oxford we will work our way down through the Cotswolds and eventually around to East Sussex. Along the way, we will visit an astounding array of private and public gardens including Chatsworth House, Blenheim Palace, Rodmarton Manor, Througham Court, Great Dixter and Sissinghurst, to name but a few.

CLICK HERE to download the full itinerary

We will also be leading a short, 3-day, optional pre-tour to Yorkshire for this trip and we invite you all to consider joining us on it. That itinerary can be accessed if you CLICK HERE

Great Dixter

About Your Hosts
reeves.head   Jason is the research horticulturist at the University of Tennessee Gardens located at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center in Jackson.  Jason’s colorful plant combinations & unique garden art, made by recycling everyday objects, draws several thousand people to the center’s annual lawn and garden show, Summer Celebration. He also enjoys speaking on all sorts of plant related topics, giving more than 25 talks a year. His past experiences include work at the Missouri Botanical Garden, Longwood Gardens in PA & in private gardens in New Zealand. In 2008 he began leading domestic and international garden tours & in 2010 he became a contributing editor to Fine Gardening magazine. Besides working in his own garden he enjoys throwing pottery and collecting antique watering cans, flower frogs, grinding stones and any old rusty garden related tools. Visit the WTREC web site at to see some of his handy work.

Troy has spent 30 years designing gardens from his home state of Kansas to Florida, mostly in the Nashville, Tennessee area that he has called home for the past 24 years. For 17 seasons, he has co-hosted Nashville Public Television's hit gardening show, Volunteer Gardener, and his photography and writing have appeared in numerous gardening magazines, including Garden Design, Fine Gardening, Horticulture, and many others.  He has authored two gardening books, Plant This Instead! and The Southern Gardener's Handbook and contributed to several others either as an author or an editor. Troy's past work experiences include Callaway Gardens, Longwood Gardens and the job that brought him to Nashville in 1993, Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art. He is in high demand as a speaker and has traveled from coast to coast and to Canada speaking at a variety of garden-related events, from local Master Gardeners groups to international symposiums. In 1997, he made his first trip overseas and was officially bitten by the travel bug. Now, he invites like-minded travelers from around the country to join him as he explores gardens, art, food, and culture both at home and abroad through Troy B. Marden Travel. To keep up with where he's going next and the opportunity to join him, follow his travel blog at