Sterling Garden Tours
In 1982, Sterling's founder, Cheryl Nichols, returned from a sabbatical in Europe to resume her teaching career. She believed "you should do what you love", so she decided to combine a love of travel and gardens to create one of the first English Garden Tours. After several successful years of operating the tour she added art, literary, and theatre tours.
The Eighties and Nineties
Cheryl eventually left teaching. The company grew to eight employees with a large office. In addition to the special interest tours, Sterling launched a "Travel to
Britain" department which offered everything needed in the UK from theater tickets to hotels and apartments. Sterling represented Pride of Britain luxury hotels and other British travel products.
After 9/11, for a brief period, few Americans were traveling to Britain and Europe. Once again, Cheryl decided to do what she really loved and to focus solely on the garden tours, incorporating art and cuisine. This cut down on the need for the large office and staff and freed up time for creative thinking.
Sterling now offers a wide choice of domestic and international garden tours. Our philosophy is to offer small group tours for independent people who would not consider a regimented 45 passenger coach tour. We use first class hotels with local character, and offer exclusive private visits to places you could not see on your own. Our guests enjoy meeting the owners of private gardens and appreciate the special meals featuring local cuisine.
We pay attention to detail, we care about our clients, and it shows! One recent tour included 90% repeat guests. Our customers are gardeners, professional landscape designers, and people who just appreciate looking at beautiful things.
All of our current tours are designed for non-profit organizations. We have operated tours for Pacific Horticulture, Berkeley Botanic Garden, many Garden Clubs, The Hardy Plant Society, Berkshire Botanic Garden, CT, the Royal Botanic Garden Cranbourne, Australia and numerous other organizations.
"Cheryl, you continue to be a gracious hostess, you made everyone so comfortable!! We hope that we can meet up with you when you visit NY." Kelly
"Mallorca was an excellent tour. We would go anywhere with our guide Sofia. " Kathryn & David
"A short note to let you know how much we enjoyed our recent Hudson River Valley tour. The Itinerary was outstanding.....well balanced, great gardens, unusual topographies, even Martha Stewart’s fresh apple cider was “special” ! Hotel accommodations were good and well located." Roger & Mary
"Cheryl, We want to thank you for a great trip. Each day was well thought out and you made everything happen seamlessly. A wonderful trip with wonderful people. We had such a great time." Bonnie & Ray
"John and I always appreciate Sterling's awesome customer service. There should be more people like you!" Gaylene
"Thank you so much for such an amazing trip! I loved the entire experience! You are a wonderful, patient host and look forward to more trips with you in the future!" Judi