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.
“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.”
By Karen Ellsworth
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