Historic Garden Week in Full Bloom

This April, explore the beauty and grandeur of some of Virginia’s most lauded homes and gardens
©craig davenport

The Garden Club of Virginia is thrilled to announce the return of its 90th Annual Historic Garden Week. From Saturday, April 15 to Saturday, April 22, home and garden lovers are invited to take an intimate look into the state’s most prominent gardens and residences. This year’s eight-day showcase features 29 unique tours and over 100 private homes throughout the scenic Shenandoah Valley to the historic plantations and sandy beaches of our very own Coastal Virginia.

Spearheading the tours are the 3,500 volunteers that comprise the Garden Club’s 48 chapters. Private homeowners across the state open their doors and garden gates to thousands of visitors, drawing them into conversations about home decor, floral design and landscape maintenance. The passion and steadfast labor of each homeowner are evident in the brilliance of their exterior gardens and attention to detail in their interior spaces. Complementing the homeowners’ hard work are the over 1,000 world-class floral arrangements that will be displayed inside the homes. Each arrangement is designed and delivered by The Garden Club of Virginia volunteers.

While the breadth of Historic Garden Week makes it impossible for guests to attend every tour, the Garden Club of Virginia offers suggested itineraries for each region. The Club breaks the itineraries down into North, South, East, West and Central and provides key dates and locations for each tour. Some tours offer advanced tickets only, so be sure to note which events require planning and which are available on a day-of basis.

For more information about tour times, tickets and other frequently asked questions, visit VAGardenWeek.org/Tours. A digital Guidebook is also available for download.

Olde Towne Portsmouth. Photo courtesy of Robert Lauer.
Olde Towne Portsmouth. Photo courtesy of Robert Lauer.

Old Towne Portsmouth
Saturday, April 15, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Experience the bounty of Old Towne Portsmouth’s rich maritime history and exquisite gardens during this five-stop tour. Many of the private properties and secluded gardens featured on this year’s tour are newcomers to Historic Garden Week, so you’ll be the first to witness never-before-seen landscapes and architecture.

Historic Berkeley, Shirley and Westover
Saturday, April 15–Monday, April 17, times vary

Three days. Three properties. However you choose to explore these historic grounds, traversing Charles City’s most noteworthy destinations is not an opportunity you want to pass up. Nestled between Richmond and Williamsburg are the expansive Berkeley, Shirley and Westover Plantations. The grounds of each estate showcase centuries-old landmarks, clusters of historic buildings and spacious gardens flush with spring color.

Tuesday, April 18, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

The Williamsburg tour is arguably the most valuable of all Historic Garden Week tours. Admission to this Tuesday tour not only gives you access to four private homes and one garden in the city’s renowned country club community, Marina in Governor’s Land at Two Rivers, but also to two additional properties and five gardens in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg.

Hampton/Newport News River Road
Newport News
River Road

Hampton-Newport News
Wednesday, April 19, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Embark on a self-guided driving tour of Newport News. The Peninsula-based tour traverses four miles of breathtaking James River views flanked by beautiful properties and gardens. Visitors will have access to a number of private dwellings and outdoor living spaces, all of which are making their Historic Garden Week debut this year.

Virginia Beach
Wednesday, April 19,
10 a.m.–1:30 p.m. & 1:30 p.m.–5 p.m.

Whether you peruse the Oceanfront gardens by morning or afternoon, the views from these North End properties are some you won’t want to miss. A shuttle transports guests to the touring area between 47th and 55th Streets where they can explore the sweeping Atlantic Ocean views of two beachfront properties. Guests are also invited to meander through two additional oceanside gardens or reflect in the oceanfront Memorial Garden.

Thursday, April 20, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Dotted along the Lafayette River are a host of architectural marvels and lush, waterfront gardens. Norfolk’s Edgewater neighborhood is the focal point for this year’s tour. Wander the community’s shaded walkways to witness the grandeur of the city’s homes and landscapes. Also on the tour is the Boush-Tazwell House, a relic of the 18th century.

Middle Peninsula
Middle Peninsula

Middle Peninsula
Friday, April 21, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Pastoral beauty and a dive into our region’s religious past await in King William County. The Garden Club of the Middle Peninsula will initiate two 18th-century homes into the tour this year. Joining them are two additional distinguished homes situated among the county’s sprawling fields and farms. Round out your home and garden tour by exploring the historic grounds of two of Manquin’s noteworthy churches.

Eastern Shore
Saturday, April 22, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m

Narrowing down the 70-mile stretch of Eastern Shore splendor to one destination was no small feat. The Garden Club of the Eastern Shore is, however, excited to showcase the agrarian beauty of the peninsula’s northern region. At the forefront of the Eastern Shore tour are some of the country’s oldest continuously maintained gardens and a historic, local landmark, Eyre Hall.

For more information about tour times, tickets and other frequently asked questions, visit VAGardenWeek.org/Tours. A digital Guidebook is also available for download.

Eastern Shore, Eyre Hall. Photo by Megan Ames
Eastern Shore, Eyre Hall. Photo by Megan Ames.
Grace Silipigni Headshot
Grace Silipigni
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Grace Silipigni is an elementary school Spanish immersion teacher based in Virginia Beach and a regular contributor to Coastal Virginia Magazine, covering a wide range of topics such as health and wellness, education and learning, food and drink, happenings and events, travel and getaways and more.

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