Important: Join our email list for alerts about changes and updates.

Registration for ARS-members only began on Sept. 1st and will extend until Nov. 15th. The registration form is at See the registration page.

Members of other rhododendron or azalea societies are invited to fill out a registration form to be wait-listed for registration after November 15th. Under "Remarks" put wait-list for non-ARS. For "Chapter" put non-ARS

ARS 2018 Convention Overview and Registration - Fall 2017 JARS

Dutch Pre-Convention Tour - Summer 2017 JARS

German Pre-Convention Tour - Fall 2017 JARS

Danish & Swedish Pre-Convention Tour - Fall 2017 JARS

Convention Gardens Tours and Lectures - Fall 2017 JARS

Finnish Post-Convention Tour - Spring 2017 JARS

ARS 2018 Tour & Convention Options

Note: The Pre-Tours and Post-Tour are optional.

The following chart shows which options are available. The Convention in Bremen is not optional. Attendees are responsible to make their own way to the first hotel for each options and to make their way home from the last hotel. All tours connect with the next tour. If choices are not contiguous, you must arrange your own lodging the missing nights. Lodging and bus travel is included from the first hotel, on all tours, and to the last hotel. The Post-Tour includes rail from Bremen to Hamburg and one-way air travel from Hamburg to Helsinki. All of the hotels are listed at hotels. All of the gardens visited are listed at gardens. The organizers of the conference can not be held responsible for changes made necessary by events beyond their control. Travel insurance is recommended.

Option. Start Finish Host Chapter Included
Pre-Tour 1 Mon, May 7, 2018, in Amsterdam Sat, May 12, 2018, in Bremen

Pre-Tour 1: Dutch Gardens, Dutch Chapter ARS

bus tours, admissions, 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners and 5 hotel nights.

Pre-Tour 2 Sat, May 12, 2018, in Bremen Mon, May 14, 2018, in Bremen Pre-Tour 2: Gardens & RHODO2018 German Rhododendron Society bus tours, admissions, 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, no dinners and 2 hotel nights.
Pre-Tour 3 Mon, May 13*, 2018, in Bremen Sun, May 20, 2018, in Bremen Pre-Tour 3: Danish & Swedish Gardens, Danish & Swedish Chapters bus tours, admissions, 6 or 7 breakfasts, 6 or 7 lunches, 1 dinner and 7 or 8 hotel nights*.
Convention Sun, May 20, 2018, in Bremen Sun, May 27, 2018, in Bremen Joint ARS/DRG Convention, German Rhododendron Society bus tours, admissions, 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners and 7 hotel nights.
Post-Tour Sun, May 27, 2018, in Bremen Thu, May 31, 2018, in Helsinki

Post-Tour: Finnish Gardens, Finnish Chapter

transfer from Bremen to Helsinki, bus tours, admissions, 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners and 4 hotel nights.

*Note, this tour starts with an overnight in Bremen on the 13th before leaving for Denmark on the 14th with a stop at Hachmann's Nursery en route. If you sign up for both Pre-Tour 2 and Pre-Tour 3, you will receive a credit for the hotel on May 13th as part of Pre-Tour 3. The duplication of hotel and meals shown in the chart will not actually occur, instead there will be the credit.

The above options do not include airfare to and from the conference nor do they include transfers to and from the airport. The Post-Tour does include one-way airfare and transfers from Hamburg to Helsinki. For more information go to Airline Reservations.

The following chart gives a description of the garden tour options and the convention. For an overview of the tours and Convention with maps, visit the Home page. For a preview of the garden tours, visit the Gardens page. To see the Convention program speakers visit the Speakers page. Note: these are the only options available. You may not leave any gaps.

Note: The Pre-Tours and Post-Tour are optional.

Pre-Tour 1: Netherlands, Dutch Chapter ARS

Dutch Pre-Convention Tour JARS Article

Sunday, May 6
North Americans leave on overnight flights.
Monday, May 7
Arrive in Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport. Welcome dinner by the Dutch ARS Chapter. Stay at hotel near Schiphol.
Tuesday, May 8
Zaanse Schans Village with Windmills; The famous Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse. Stay at hotel near Schiphol.
Wednesday, May 9
Esveld Nursery in Boskoop; Arboretum Trompenburg in Rotterdam; bus to Wageningen. Stay at hotel in Wageningen. Arboretum Belmonte is next to hotel.
Thursday, May 10
Private garden of Dr. Lou Traas in Blaricum; Utrecht Old City Centre tour; Fort Hoofddijk Botanic Garden. Stay at hotel in Wageningen.
Friday, May 11
Van Gimborn Arboretum in Doorn; Appeltern Gardens; Arboretum Belmonte in Wageningen. Evening program with the Dutch Chapter. Stay at hotel in Wageningen.
Saturday, May 12
Palace Garden of Het Loo; go to Bremen
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Pre-Tour 2: RHODO 2018 at Westerstede, Germany, DRG

German Pre-Convention Tour JARS Article

Saturday, May 12
Official welcome for all participants. Dinner on our own. Stay at Swissotel Bremen.
Sunday, May 13
Visit the famous Hobbie Rhododendron Park in the morning, and RHODO 2018 in Westerstede in the afternoon. Lunch on our own at RHODO 2018. Dinner on your own in Bremen. Stay at Swissotel Bremen.
Monday, May 14
Hachmann Nursery in Barmstedt in the morning. Cross into Denmark.
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Pre-Tour 3: Denmark & Sweden, Danish & Swedish Chapters ARS

Danish & Swedish Pre-Convention Tour JARS Article

Note, this tour starts with an overnight in Bremen on the 13th before leaving for Denmark on the 14th with a stop at Hachmann's Nursery and lunch en route.

Monday, May 14
Visit Jørgen Jørgensen garden; Go to Denmark's oldest town, Ribe where we will have dinner. Stay at Hotel Dagmarthus and The Old Jail Hotel.
Tuesday, May 15
Visit Finn & Linda Bertelsen in Farsø and Maren, Søren Tang gardens & lunch in Hadsund, Bangsbo Park at Frederikshaven. Dinner will be at the Møllehuset Restaurant. Take ferry to Gothenburg, Sweden. Stay at Hotel Comfort in Gothenburg.
Wednesday, May 16
Visit Gothenburg Botanic Garden, and after lunch visit Torsten Nilsson garden near Helsingborg. Stay at Hotel Good Morning in Helsingborg.
Thursday, May 17
Visit Sofiero Castle garden near Helsingborg and have lunch. Cross the Oresund to Denmark. Visit Kronborg Castle near Helsingor and Nivå gård Park. Stay at Wakeup Copenhagen Hotel in Copenhagen.
Friday, May 18
Visit Kjelds Have, Zen Garden including lunch, and Henning & Eva Andersen garden on Zealand. Stay at Wakeup Copenhagen Hotel in Copenhagen.
Saturday, May 19
Mogens & Kristen Bendix, Svend & Birgit Hansen at Kernehuset and lunch, and Lulu Tophøj gardens near Copenhagen. Stay at Wakeup Copenhagen Hotel in Copenhagen.
Sunday, May 20
Visit Jørgen Halse and Asperup gård gardens on the island of Fueen, and have lunch on the way back to Bremen, Germany.
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2018 ARS/DRG Convention in Bremen Germany, DRG

Convention Gardens Tours and Lectures JARS Articles

Sunday, May 20
New arrivals join group in Bremen. Stay at hotel in Bremen.
Monday, May 21
ARS Board Meeting and DRG Meeting. More new arrivals join us in Bremen. Lunch on your own. Welcome dinner in evening. Stay at Swiss Hotel in Bremen.
Tuesday, May 22
Convention - Part I: "From the wild...." & Explorer's Club. Lunch is included. Dinner at Town House Cellar. Stay at Swiss Hotel in Bremen.
Wednesday, May 23
Bus 1 & 2: Bremen Rhododendron-Park and Botanic Garden; Bus 3 & 4: Ammerland bus tour: zu Jeddeloh Nursery, Park of the Gardens, Van den Berk Nursery. A light lunch and buffet dinner are included. Stay at Swiss Hotel in Bremen.
Thursday, May 24
Bus 1 & 2: Ammerland rhododendron gardens & nurseries: zu Jeddeloh Nursery, Park of the Gardens, Van den Berk Nursery; Bus 3 & 4: Bremen Rhododendron-Park and Botanic Garden. A light lunch and greenhouse dinner at Bremen Rhododendron are included. Stay at Swiss Hotel in Bremen.
Friday, May 25
Convention - Part II: "...into your life" & Gardener's Club & signing hour. Lunch is included. Gala Convention dinner. Stay at Swiss Hotel in Bremen.
Saturday, May 26
Bus 1 & 2 and Bus 3 & 4: Ammerland rhododendron gardens & nurseries: Schröder Nursery, Bruns Rhododendron-Park and Nursery. Lunch at Schröder Nursery. Dinner at Bruns Rhododendron-Park. Stay at Swiss Hotel in Bremen.
Sunday, May 27
Departure day for those not going to Finland
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Post-Tour: Finland, Finnish Chapter ARS

Finnish Post-Convention Tour JARS Articles

Sunday, May 27
Train to Hamburg, Flight from Hamburg to Helsinki. Stay at hotel in Helsinki.
Monday, May 28
Haaga Rhododendron Park, Porvoo Old Town, Lunch at Arboretum Mustila in Elimaki, Sapokka Water Garden and Fuksinpuisto Park in Kotka, dinner in Espoo. Stay at hotel in Helsinki.
Tuesday, May 29
Ari Laakso's private Ilola Arboretum in Salo, lunch at Wiurila Manor in Halikko, Osmo Jussila's private Arboretum Apaskeri in Kustavi. Dinner in Turku. Stay at hotel in Turku.
Wednesday, May 30
Rhodogarden, Kristian Theqvist's private garden in Korppoo, lunch in a seaside restaurant in Korppoo. Stay at hotel in Helsinki.
Thursday, May 31
Departure day. Depart from Helsinki airport.
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Airline Reservations

Travel to & from the convention and optional tours.
Depending upon your choice of options you will have a wide spectrum of starting dates and cities and also multiple dates to finish. You are responsible to be at the hotel where the tour starts before each tour and to make your own reservations for any days not included in the options you choose.
Starting & ending hotels.

The convention options include all hotels from the start date until the end date.

If you would like to arrive early or stay after the end, you are responsible for booking your hotel. We will attempt to extend the special convention rates to these dates at the convention hotels.

Need a Travel Agent?

We have made arrangements with an experienced travel agent that knows about our convention and has researched what arrangements are available including industry discounts. She can also arrange travel insurance. She is:
    Kathy Blosenski
    KoKo Travel
    Honey Brook, Pennsylvania

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Last Updated: October 17, 2017