Virginia historic garden week

This Middle Peninsula garden is one of the nearly 200 properties included in Virginia’s Historic Garden Week. Photo courtesy of the Garden Club of the Middle Peninsula

The inspiration for Historic Garden Week dates to 1927 when a flower show organized by Garden Club of Virginia volunteers raised $7,000 to save trees planted by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. The idea of opening private homes and gardens and charging admission followed.

Proceeds have continued to fund the restoration and preservation of Virginia’s significant historic public gardens ever since. “Historic Garden Week has raised millions of dollars to keep Virginia beautiful,” notes Lynn McCashin, the organization’s Executive Director. “The grounds of our most cherished landmarks including Mount Vernon and Stratford Hall have been restored with tour proceeds. As the Garden Club of Virginia approaches its Centennial in 2020, we are also supporting our State Parks.”

“It’s the only statewide house and garden tour in the country,” Stephie Broadwater, State Chairman, explains. This spring 29 different tours hosted in communities across Virginia will take place over eight consecutive days. “Our average tour features five properties. Bring comfortable walking shoes,” she advises. “It’s a full day.”

Historic Garden Week Sneak Peek

Here’s a sample of the nearly 200 properties that will be featured this April 21-28.

Virginia historic garden week

Showcased on the Middleburg tour taking place on Sunday, April 22 and Monday, April 23, Kenilworth, a 19th century fieldstone house with multiple stone additions, boasts a tree-lined drive leading past a pond flanked by river birches. Crepe myrtles flank the front of the house while the center circle overflows with old-fashioned roses. Photo courtesy of Missy James

 

Virginia historic garden week

Two Rivers Point, showcased on the Williamsburg tour on Tuesday, April 24, includes a three-story home designed for gracious entertaining. With an infinity pool sited to take advantage of views of the Chickahominy River and stairs leading to the expansive lawn, visitors will walk through a resource-protected area to a sandy beach, where kayaks await. Photo by Craig Davenport

 

historic garden week virginia

On Friday’s April 27 tour in Richmond, a stately c. 1948 brick Georgian in the Westmoreland Place neighborhood will charm guests. The side porch overlooks a rear pergola and English-style gardens. A stone wall separates terraced garden levels planted with ornamental Hawthorn trees, Sweet Bay Magnolias and Limelight hydrangeas. Photo courtesy of Ashley Farley

“It’s hard to conceive of the scope of Historic Garden Week, so we like to share some surprising numbers,” Broadwater continues. “In addition to the amazing interiors and gardens on display, Garden Club of Virginia volunteers will design over 2,300 spectacular floral arrangements to decorate rooms open to the public. This is a favorite time for our top flower arrangers. Most of the plant materials will come from their very own gardens.”

Arrangement of lenten roses, peonies, and hydrangeas. Photo courtesy of Tori Brock
Arrangements of lilacs on mantel and in fireplace. Photo courtesy of Tori Brock
Roses and tulips brighten a welcoming wreath.
Clouds of white viburnum with bright sunset colored roses and carnations perch atop a mantel.


Flower magazine has partnered with the Garden Club of Virginia to offer $100 savings per ticket (regular price $300) on a Statewide Pass. This special promotion on the Statewide Pass for Historic Garden Week in Virginia is offered only through Flower magazine. Visit many of Virginia’s grandest private and public homes and gardens showcasing the Old Dominion’s horticultural tradition. This pass to the popular annual event, celebrating its 86th year, includes nearly 200 stops on 31 distinct tours across the state. Tour proceeds from “America’s Largest Open House” fund the restoration and preservation of Virginia’s historic gardens, landscapes and a project with Virginia State Parks.

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By Karen Ellsworth