We organize tours abroad—not just to see beautiful gardens—but to experience the culture & people of each country we visit.
We are former Virginia Tech professors living in Blacksburg, Virginia. Robert is a Landscape Architect and was a professor of horticulture and director of the Hahn Horticulture Garden. Nancy is a soprano and former head of vocal studies in the Department of Music.
Discover the rich history of Israel, visit prominent botanical gardens, observe wildflowers in native habitat, walk through a Kibbutz garden, explore Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, the Golan Heights, Masada, the Sea of Galilee, and more! It's 12 days of history, botany, and faith.
MCDUFFTOURS is taking the Friends of the Chicago Botanic Garden to visit beautiful gardens in the Pacific Northwest. We stay in Portland, Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle to see extraordinary public and private gardens. This tour is open to anyone who loves gardens.
These two countries have been our most frequent destinations. There are, however, many great gardens in them that we have yet to see. This tour is designed to explore all those beautiful places that we've missed--along with a few exceptional ones that we want to see again. We're calling it a connoisseur garden tour.
Join us for a week of extraordinary private gardens and beautiful public gardens in the windy city. Included are the Chicago Botanic Garden, Lurie Garden, Morton Arboretum, Garfield Park Conservatory, and many beautiful private gardens. Also included is an architectural boat tour of Chicago.
We join forces with author and food blogger, Lauren McDuffie (a.k.a. our daughter-in-law) for a culinary tour in and around Florence, Venice, and Lake Garda. It's harvest time, and we're going full tilt for markets, wineries, olive groves, and cooking schools!
In 1998 we began a study abroad program for students in the Horticulture Department at Virginia Tech. Over the years, the program was opened to non-students who were interested in gardens. For the past 23 years, we have taken over 1300 people to visit gardens in 24 countries. These travels have taken us to England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Costa Rica, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Monaco, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, France, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and the Netherlands.
When we left the University in 2017, we formed a private company called MCDUFFTOURS and began offering five or six tours a year to anyone interested in exploring beautiful gardens overseas. We took the name McDuff since that was the nickname given to Robert by his horticulture students and likewise—but totally separately—Nancy's voice students affectionately called her Lady McDuff.
At the heart of our company is our growing 'family' of traveling friends that together experience our special brand of garden adventures. And on every tour, one or both of us are on board to lead the group, lecture about gardens, and do whatever it takes to make our travel go smoothly. To find out more about what we are offering, please use form below to get on our mailing list.