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.

By Karen Ellsworth

Exclusive to Flower readers: Get $100 off your statewide tickets to Historic Garden Week

Buy Your Tickets

More Must-See American Estate Gardens


Disclosure: Some of the links on this site are affiliate or sponsor links, meaning, at no cost to you, Flower may earn a commission when you click through and make a purchase.