Historic Garden Week in Virginia, 200 Beautiful Private Homes and Gardens on Tour

March 24, 2010


Historic Garden Week in Virginia—April 17-25, 2010

Eyre Hall, Eastern Shore Virginia

Eyre Hall, Eastern Shore Virginia, Oldest Garden in Viriginia Dating to 1805, Courtesy Garden Club of Virginia

The owners of more than 200 of Virginia’s most beautiful private homes, gardens and historic landmarks will open their front doors and garden gates for public tours, April 17-25, 2010, to benefit historic preservation.

Properties showcased on Historic Garden Week in Virginia tours span four centuries of American architecture, history and landscape design.  Known as “America’s Largest Open House,” the program is the oldest and largest statewide tour event of its kind in the nation.

Three dozen outstanding tours are sponsored by member clubs of Garden Club of Virginia.  Proceeds benefit the restoration of historic landscapes throughout the Commonwealth.  Many of the private houses and gardens are open to the public for the first time.  All periods of Virginia history are reflected in the styles of homes and landscapes featured, including the Colonial era, American Revolution, Civil War, Victorian period and recent decades.


Bloemendaal, "Valley of Flowers", Named for Ginter Family's Dutch Heritage, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Courtesy Garden Club of Virginia

Event locales range from the ocean to the mountains and include rural, urban and suburban settings at the peak of Virginia’s springtime color.  Inside visits range from stately plantations to renovated farmhouses, suburban estates, city townhouses, hillside retreats and waterfront villas. Lovely gardens include formal 18th century terraces, backyard habitats, boxwood mazes, walled city spaces, and cutting, water, herb and “secret” gardens.   In keeping with “Virginia is for Lovers,” the state’s signature theme, lovers of gardening, architecture and interior design will find much to enjoy on Garden Week’s many and varied tours.

77th Season

Historic Garden Week in Virginia celebrates its 77th season this year. Garden Week tours have been held annually since 1929, except for a period during World War II when members of Garden Club of Virginia took time off to tend their Victory Gardens.  More than 3,300 members of the GCV, along with other friends and supporters, work to produce the tours during the last full week of April each year.  Each tour offers an engaging variety of five to six local houses and gardens for public visiting.  Over the past seven decades, Historic Garden Week ticket sales have exceeded $16 million.


Morven Estate near Monticello, Collection Includes Champion Chinese Chesnut, Courtesy Garden Club of Virginia

For tour dates and details, access the Schedule page of the Garden Week web sitehttp://www.VAGardenweek.orgwww.VAGardenweek.org.  A comprehensive 200-page guidebook, available beginning in February, may be obtained by sending a $6 donation to Historic Garden Week, 12 E. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23219.

Prices for tour tickets range from $10 to $35 per event.  Tickets may be purchased on the day of the tour at any of the properties open, at designated information centers, and in advance from local tour chairmen or via the website.  It is not necessary to buy tickets in advance, although bus groups may wish to make earlier plans. A statewide pass is available for $175 per person/$300 per couple. Tours will be held on their scheduled days, rain or shine.

Visitors typically drive to tour areas and then are greeted by hostess guides at properties open.  All houses will feature superb flower arrangements created by Garden Club members, with emphasis on colorful seasonal flowers and plants native to the state.

Many Special Events Planned

This year, a number of the house and garden tours will also feature special activities for Garden Week guests.  These include flower arranging demonstrations, discussions by Master Gardeners, interludes by local musical ensembles, delicious lunches homemade by church groups, and even fashion shows.  Discussions of Thomas Jefferson as gardener will be held at Monticello during the week.  Visitors will also enjoy guided tours of Jefferson’s beautiful Pavilion Gardens at the University of Virginia, the crown jewels of Garden Club of Virginia’s restoration work with funding from Historic Garden Week tours.

Tours Benefit Historic Preservation Programs

Historic Garden Week tours have restored the gardens and grounds of Virginia’s most prominent historic figures, including those of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James and Dolley Madison, Patrick Henry, George Mason, Robert E. Lee and Woodrow Wilson.  These and other fine historic properties are open to the public. Please visit  “http://www.GCVirginia.orgwww.GCVirginia.org for additional information.

For beautiful color images: Access  HYPERLINK “http://www.VATravelstories.comwww.VATravelstories.com, Image Library section, keyword search for “garden week,” or contact Suzanne Munson, gdnweek@verizon.net

Historic Garden Week

12 East Franklin Street      Richmond, VA 23219

HYPERLINK “mailto:gdnweek@verizon.netgdnweek@verizon.net HYPERLINK “http://www.VAGardenweek.orgwww.VAGardenweek.org

(804) 644-7776 (phone)                 (804) 644-7778 (fax)


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