Plan Your Visit
1 Central/Southwest Virginia - 4 or 5 Days
Begin in Nelson County, home of the Walton family and the Wintergreen Resort, located about 30 minutes outside Charlottesville. Five outstanding properties, two in Afton and three in the Stoney Creek area of Nellysford, feature hillside homes and woodland gardens. With the Blue Ridge Mountains as an imposing backdrop, this charming area of Virginia is dotted with fruit farms, wineries and breweries along Rt. 151.
Continue southwest to Lynchburg, known as the Hill City. This tour includes five private homes with naturalistic gardens and one large acreage garden located in three neighborhoods: Boonsboro, Garland Hill and Rivermont. Don’t miss Point of Honor and nearby Poplar Forest, both restoration sites of the Garden Club of Virginia using proceeds from past Historic Garden Week tours. Plan for a full day, as it includes a free trolley tour with stops at the Old City Cemetery and the Anne Spencer House and Garden. View and Dowload the Trolley Tour Map.
Continue to Martinsville (additional information coming soon)
Conclude your stay in Danville, near the North Carolina border. Known as the Last Capital of the Confederacy, this tour showcases two older neighborhoods and features four private homes and gardens. There will be a tea and tablescape exhibit featuring a number of vignettes at the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, another GCV restoration site and one of the finest examples of Italian Villa architecture in Virginia.
2 Central Virginia - 5 Days
Suggested for groups or bus tours
Stay in Richmond, the Capital of the Confederacy and headquarters of the Garden Club of Virginia, founded in 1920, using it as a hub. The Orange County tour, a drive of less than 90 minutes from your home base will be a pastoral and picturesque house and garden tour. Since the 18th century, the rolling countryside in Virginia's Piedmont has attracted the establishment of impressive estates. Three historic mansions and their gardens are featured - Annandale, Frascati and Rocklands. In addition, the tour will include a visit to Grelen Nursery, one of the largest retail nurseries in Virginia.
Continue to Nelson County, home of the Walton family and the Wintergreen Resort, located about 30 minutes outside of Charlottesville. Five outstanding properties, two in Afton and three in the Stoney Creek area of Nellysford, feature hillside homes and woodland gardens. With the Blue Ridge Mountains as an imposing backdrop, this charming area of Virginia is dotted with fruit farms, wineries and breweries along Rt. 151.
On Monday, finish the Nelson County tour, as it is a 2-day pass and tour or head to Charlottesville to tour Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. The winding walk flower border was restored by the Garden Club of Virginia in 1939-41 using proceeds from HGW. Special activities will celebrate the 80th anniversary and tours of the Pavilion Gardens at the University of Virginia are free. Founded by Thomas Jefferson, UVA is the only American University designated as a World Heritage site. The West gardens were restored by the Garden Club of Virginia between 1947-1953, and the East Lawn between 1960-1965. Visit the Pavilions, which still provide faculty with living and teaching quarters, as well as Edgar Allen Poe’s student room, which the Raven Society maintains as it appeared in 1849.
On Tuesday, six homes and one significant garden are featured in the Chatham Hills/Windsor on the James Tour, representing Day One of three tour days in Richmond. Both neighborhoods are located on the south side of River Road; Chatham Hills is near the Country Club of Virginia’s Westhampton Clubhouse, Windsor on the James is just a mile and a half west along the River Road corridor. Enjoy lunch, by advance reservation, at the Country Club of Virginia. Finish your day at Tuckahoe Plantation, a complete 18th century working plantation and boyhood home of Thomas Jefferson. Tuckahoe celebrates its 280th birthday this year and is featured on cover of the Historic Garden Week Guidebook. Special guided tours, talks, demonstrations, refreshments and a historic plant sale comprise this unique Tuckahoe experience, offered April 23, 24 and 25; separate ticket required. That evening, visit Maymont, Richmond’s Gilded Age treasure and a Garden Club of Virginia restoration site. A special garden tour begins at 5:00 p.m., followed by a lecture by guest speaker and author Eleanor Reade at 6:00. Separate tickets required.
On Wednesday, the garden clubs of Richmond partner with the Historic Richmond Foundation on their tour of six private homes and garden in historic Laburnum Park. One of Richmond's streetcar suburbs, it was developed in 1919 by the heirs of Joseph Bryan, an important and wealthy businessman whose estate was mostly completed in the early 1930s. The houses are dominated by the Colonial Revival style and the influence of Arts and Crafts and the Mediterranean styles. The tour ends at 4:30 p.m., but you are minutes from Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, yet another restoration project of the GCV, which will offer extended hours.
On Thursday, conclude your five-day tour with a morning walk downtown highlighting the Leading Women of Richmond. Discover the unique history of the city’s remarkable women, the organizations they created and the historic buildings they preserved, courtesy of guides from the Valentine Richmond History Center. This downtown walking tour on April 23, 24 and 25 begins at 9 a.m. at the Kent Valentine House (12 East Franklin St.), headquarters of the Garden Club of Virginia and Historic Garden Week, and includes the Women’s Club of Richmond, Preservation Virginia, Junior League of Richmond and Historic Richmond Foundation. Tickets required. Then experience the beautiful homes and gardens on the Windsor Farms/Rothesay Circle/Loch Lomond Lane tour. Lunch is available, by advance reservation, at the Tuckahoe Woman’s Club. Afterwards, take a scenic drive down Route 5, home to the James River Plantations. Westover Plantation, which was featured on the first HGW in 1929, was built by William Byrd II in 1730 and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in America. Westover’s interior is only open during Historic Garden Week.
3 Southeast Virginia - 3 Days
Suggested for groups or bus tours
The Hampton Roads area includes the historic triangle – Jamestown-Williamsburg-Yorktown, as well as Virginia’s beautiful oceanfront. Intimate historic sites like Lee Hall and Bruton Parish Church, both restoration sites benefitting from proceeds from HGW, and the big-city lights of Virginia Beach and Norfolk make this a diverse and vibrant region of Virginia. Begin in Williamsburg, a tour that includes six private homes and gardens and the plantation site in Kingsmill, as well as an escorted Walking Garden Tour in Colonial Williamsburg and access to the Matthew Whaley Garden.
Spend the night: the Hampton-Newport News tour is only 20 miles away and features the Greater Hilton Neighborhoods. Hilton Village was the first federal, war-housing project established during World War I. The English inspired, planned community was dedicated in 1918, by the U.S. Shipping Board and the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. Brandon Heights was developed in the 1940s. Wide roads and sidewalks make this a wonderful neighborhood for a 6-block walking tour. Nearby Lee Hall Mansion was completed in 1859. The grounds were a restoration project of the GCV with funding from Historic Garden Week tours.
On Thursday, enjoy the historic area of Ghent in Norfolk. These homes are located within easy walking distance of each other and are surrounded by the restaurants and shops of the Ghent Business area. For an unusual treat, stay and see the Virginia Arts Festival present the International Tattoo at 7:30 p.m. (tickets required), a world renown bag piping event.
4 Northern Virginia - 3 or 4 Days
Stay in or near the Nation’s Capital and enjoy day trips, four distinct Historic Garden Week tours and well-known restoration sites such as Mount Vernon and Woodlawn. From the Beltway to country lanes in Virginia’s horse country, from night life and mega malls to world-class museums and Civil War battlefields, opposites coexist in Northern Virginia.
On Monday, the frenetic pace of life continues at an ambling gait in Waterford. This tour invites you to take a leisurely walk into the past through a village settled in 1733. Exclusive of one home, this is a walking tour. It includes six homes and the Old School in Waterford.
Tuesday poses a choice. Stay in the immediate vicinity, touring two areas of Fairfax County or head approximately one hour south on Interstate 95 to Fredericksburg. Within close proximity to Washington D.C., the adjoining communities of Oakton and Vienna have emerged from small rural towns into thriving family-oriented neighborhoods with homes and gardens reflecting a wide range of architectural and personal style. Farther south, that tour includes Belmont in Falmouth, Virginia, The Snowden House, Chatham, Brompton and Fall Hill. All of these properties enjoy spectacular views of the area and the Rappahannock River. Belmont was once the residence of the renowned American painter Gari Melchers and his wife Corinne and is a National Historic Landmark. It is also the location of a complimentary tea hosted by local garden club members. Snowden House is an imposing Greek Revival mansion that sits atop one of the highest points in Fredericksburg.
Conclude with one or two days in gorgeous Warrenton, Virginia. Your Historic Garden Week ticket for that tour is valid both days. The five estates included were all part of the original Northern Neck Proprietary granted to the grandfather of Thomas, 6th Lord Fairfax, by King Charles II. A bachelor, Lord Fairfax left his lands to his nephew Denny Martin Fairfax, who in time sold it to James Markham Marshall and his brother John, Chief Justice Marshall. Both days include special activities. The Ashland Bassets are showcased at Marriott Ranch at 11 a.m. and a demonstration by the Piedmont Driving Club occurs at Leeds Manor Farm at 1 p.m. on both Wednesday and Thursday.