Historic Garden Week in Virginia

Morven House in Charlottesville
Morven House in Charlottesville

The Garden Club of Virginia will continue to nurture Virginia’s deeply rooted history during Garden Week, April 16 – 23, showcasing some of the finest properties the state has to offer. For the 78th year, Virginia’s Historic Garden Week will feature dozens of walking tours, winding through privately owned estates and renowned historic landmarks.

From 17th century plantations to state-of-the-art gardens, the Garden Club presents a vast array of botanical beauty in over 250 homes and gardens, much of which coincide with restoration work that has been ongoing since Garden Week 1929. Proceeds from the tours of “America’s Largest Open House” have financed the restoration of more than 40 grounds and gardens as the Club strives for conservation and preservation of Virginia’s scenic landscapes.

Charlottesville and Albemarle County

The area that Thomas Jefferson once called home will be highlighted in a four-day tour featuring historic estates, including Monticello and Jefferson’s University of Virginia.

The Morven house and garden, a 7,378-acre estate built in 1820, still holds its 19th century ambiance. Oriental rugs, documentary reproductions and elegant wallpapers keep the estate true to its Jeffersonian era.

The grounds are filled with unusual trees including Osage orange, Chinese chestnut, and a dove tree. The gardens boast thousands of tulips, pansies, forget-me-nots, lilacs, wisteria, spireas, deutizia and a rose garden. Owned by the University of Virginia, Morven will be featured on the Historic Garden Tour April 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Travel to the Farmington neighborhood and stroll through the Periwinkle home and garden owned by Donna and Albert Ernest, evident art lovers who have decorated their home with 18th century décor. A number of paintings line the interior of the home designed by Marshall Wells in 1939.

The garden’s two-acre landscape boasts an English-style cottage garden filled with roses and peonies. Eden roses climb up to the dormer windows. An American boxwood garden, formal rose garden and a kitchen garden makes up with a backyard enclosed by apple trees. A small stone chapel, designed by the owners, gives way to a path leading to a secret garden. The Farmington tours take place April 17 and April 18.

The Cielo Rosso estate, comparatively modern for the Farmington neighborhood, was built in 2000. The house, inspired by the owners’ Italian travels, features handmade French tiles on the roof and extensive exterior stonework.

The three-acre garden is filled with atlas cedars, honey locust, blue cypress and mature cryptomeria trees. An herb garden sits outside the kitchen and a Roman swimming pool occupies the backyard not far from a boxwood garden, sitting below a fish-filled fountain with a vanishing edge that cascades downhill. The garden is open April 17 and 18.

Near Farmington is the historic University of Virginia. The University’s Pavilion Gardens, restored by the Garden Club of Virginia, will be featured during Garden Week, along with the University. The Colonial Revival gardens, designed by Colonial Williamsburg landscape architects Alden Hopkins and Donald Parker, are also on the campus. University tours April 19 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pavilion Garden tours 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Jefferson’s lifelong passion for botany can be enjoyed at his Monticello home. The gardens and orchards have been restored to their appearance during Jefferson’s retirement years by the Garden Club of Virginia. Here you can see a vegetable garden that stretches 1,000 feet long, winding flowerbeds, two orchards, two vineyards, and an 18-acre ornamental forest, which resembles the foliage grown by Jefferson himself. Monticello is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with special events April 16- 19.

Alexandria

George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate and gardens feature a distinctive replica of Washington’s 16-sided barn and displays of his farming tactics. The plantation’s bowling green has been restored by the Garden Club of Virginia. Mount Vernon is open 365 days a year.

George Mason’s Gunston Hall Plantation consists of a brick mansion furnished with colonial period décor. The estate was built around 1755 and is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Eastern Shore

The Cedar Creek Farm is opening up its three-story home for the first time. The rich wood interior adds warmth to every room throughout the house and beloved hunting dogs lounge on the wide screened porch as Mr. and Mrs. A. Thomas Young welcome visitors to their estate April 16, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

James River Plantations

The Brandon Plantation dates back to the beginnings of English settlement. Its beautiful grounds lead from the grand, historic mansion to the James River. Old boxwood and a series of garden rooms are some of the plantation’s featured attractions. Today, the 4,000-acre property functions as a working farm with 1,600 acres still being cultivated. During Garden Week, self-guided tours are offered April 18-23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Louisa County

Fair Oaks’ recently restored house sits atop a hill at the area’s highest point of elevation. Purchased by Mrs. Nancy Daniel in 1997, the house has undergone two major renovations. Osage orange trees, each 150 years old, stand in front of the house. Woodwork on the stairs and most of the flooring is original heart pine. The house is open for the first time April 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Petersburg

Centre Hill Mansion, built in 1823, is now a museum in the City of Petersburg showcasing aristocratic 19th century Virginia. The house has been updated and restored after a number of ownership changes. During the Second World War, the property was a Red Cross headquarters. The museum’s grounds, restored by the Garden Club of Virginia, will be open April 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Warrenton

The Orlean house, a late 18th century stone and clapboard home, sits on a beautifully landscaped park. The woodland garden, bursting with spring bulbs, faces the swimming pool outlined by a rocky hillside. Mr. John Krumholtz and Mr. Kevin DiLallo own the house, of which several barns and servants’ quarters make up the estate. Open April 20, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and April 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Sat, 30 Aug 2014 10:12:12 -0400

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