With August’s arrival come the dog days of summer. During these sultry days when the humidity tends to hover around 90%, Richmonders either stay indoors or escape to water or mountain views. I long to be outside but can only bear my open backyard early in the morning or late in the evening.
The owners of this beautiful mature landscape in town are more fortunate. Their stunning home sits amidst a Charles F. Gillette classic design. Just looking at the pictures of this setting lowers my temperature. Featuring a double axis that Tara Dillard would love,
it is hard to believe that this low maintenance refuge is located in the heart of Westhampton.
Mentioned before here and here, Charles Gillette was the premier landscape architect in Virginia in the 20th century. The man knew his plants, and he created spaces for them to thrive while complementing the buildings that shared the land. Thanks to Historic Garden Week, most Richmonders know that Mr. Gillette designed for some of the most beautiful homes in Richmond, but he also was involved in commercial and academic projects. From the verdant University of Richmond, which first brought him to Richmond, to the modern Reynolds Metals (now Alcoa) office park, Gillette left his mark all over town and throughout the state.
Though he died over 40 years, his legacy still thrives. After visiting a few of his designs, you begin to sense when you have entered another. The hallmarks include lots of green plants, brick masonry, ironwork, outbuildings and gorgeous urns and statuary.
This property is no exception. The fabulous folly at the end of the garden draws visitor down the long green allée.
a round pool, the round green space fronting this centerpiece works just as well. As shown in the plan, this space encircled with magnolias,
offers shade and privacy to the residents.
This property, currently owned by one of the The Gracious Posse, is now listed for sale by another member of the posse. If you are interested in this verdant space
and its stately residence with 5 bedrooms conveniently located near private schools and shopping in the near west end, contact Nancy Cheely at Joyner Fine Properties for more information. This could be your once in a lifetime chance to own a cool Richmond treasure.
August 2, 2013
p.s. Find out more about Charles F. Gillette in George Longest’s thorough biography, Genius in the Garden: Charles F. Gillette and Landscape Architecture in Virginia.