My wife and I recently visited the Allerton Gardens near Lawai for the first time and came away very impressed with the site and the tour. Our guide (Frank) is fairly new at leading this tour but still was able to communicate a great deal of the history of the Gardens, their use as a Hollywood set for movies, and the ideas behind their design and construction. The tour is not inexpensive ($45 per person) but this kept the tour size manageable (12 people) and minimized delays in walking. The tour takes about 2.5 hours and involves a modest amount of easy walking. February is not peak season for flowers but this allowed us to consider the ideas behind the design and not just the beauty of the Gardens. We are gardeners but not architects, so the introduction to garden design and what the Allertons were trying to do here was helpful. I have no doubt that the Allertons (father and son) were eccentric as well as rich, but this is often the case with the creation of such sites. We highly recommend the tour for couples and gardeners of all levels but this is probably not a venue for children or teens who could become bored with the discussions. The presence on our tour of a couple who were familiar with the 'other' Allerton Gardens near Champaign, Illinois, was very helpful as they were able to add details about the Allertons that our guide did not know.
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