It’s that time of year again. The Garden Club of Virginia’s statewide house and garden tour known as “Historic Garden Week” starts today. After such a long winter, The Gracious Posse is ready to celebrate “America’s Largest Open House”, and the GCV’s Guidebook is a great place to start. These links allow you to review and download it from the comfort of your own home. Then get your walking shoes on, and let’s get touring.
The Garden Club of Virginia is an amazing organization. Consisting of forty-seven garden clubs throughout the state, its mission is
… to celebrate the beauty of the land, to conserve the gifts of nature and to challenge future generations to build on this heritage.
Since the first tour began in 1929, the GCV has used the proceeds from the annual garden week tours to fund the conservation of these over fifty historic properties throughout the state.
This year, thirty-three tours will continue this tradition while highlighting beautiful homes and gardens, gracious Virginia hospitality from over 3,000 volunteers and stunning floral arrangements designed by garden club members throughout the Commonwealth.
Through next Saturday, you can sample the best that Virginia has to offer on these tours, the proceeds of which will be used for restoring and preserving the grounds of many of the state’s historic landmarks, including new restoration at Monticello intended to reunite it with Thomas Jefferson’s original landscape.
2013 Historic Garden Week
Private Home and Garden Tours in VirginiaToday, Saturday, April 20 Ashland-Elmont Old Town Alexandria Orange County-Somerset Smithfield Staunton Sunday, April 21 Albemarle-Charlottesville: Nelson County Chatham Monday, April 22 Albemarle-Charlottesville: Nelson County Loudoun County-Waterford Tuesday, April 23 Fairfax County- Oakton and Vienna Fredericksburg Lynchburg Petersburg Richmond-Chatham Hills/Windsor on the James Williamsburg-Kingsmill Resort/Colonial Area Wednesday, April 24 Harrisonburg Martinsville Newport News-Hampton Northern Neck-Northumberland County Richmond-Laburnum Park Virginia Beach Warrenton Thursday, April 25 Danville Norfolk-Ghent Richmond-Windsor Farms/Rothesay Circle/Loch Lomond Warrenton Friday, April 26 Middle Peninsula Saturday, April 27 Eastern Shore Gloucester-Mathews Lexington Roanoke Warren County-Front Royal Winchester
New this year are special activities throughout the week at many of Virginia’s historic sites. I am looking forward to hostessing on Tuesday at Tuckahoe Plantation, Jefferson’s boyhood home just up the road from me. The events and locations are listed at the beginning of each tour in the Guidebook, but you can find them all here.
After recently attending a talk about Bacon’s Castle by the delightful Margaret Page Bemiss, author of Historic Virginia Gardens: Preservation Work of The Garden Club of Virginia, 1975-2007, I sure wish that I had time to get down to Surry today. A posse trip to this intriguing property is definitely in the future.
This year’s Historic Garden Week has garnered some great national press in the beautiful Flower magazine, Southern Living, USA Today, U.S. Airways magazine and Virginia Living, as well as local coverage in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and House and Home Magazine. With such wide-spread publicity, this year’s edition is bound to be another huge success for the GCV. If you get to visit some out-of-the-way tours, please send us pictures (taken where permissible). We would love to share them with the posse.
Hope to see you at the Richmond tours!