Historic Garden Week, presented by the Garden Club of Virginia since 1927, is underway in Richmond. We’ve ordered up some gorgeous weather, so call in sick, grab a buddy, tie up your mucky shoes and see some fabulous gardens.
Wednesday’s tour is the Hermitage Road area. Most of the homes in this Ginter Park neighborhood were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Wrenford, above, was built in 1896.
While you’re out that way, grab a burger at Roy’s Big Burger (make it part of a picnic at nearby Bryan Park), then head down the street to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden to see the Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica), above, and thousands of blooming bulbs, trees, shrubs and perennials.
Also open Wednesday is Westover Plantation, built by the Byrd family in the eighteenth century. If you’re up for a relaxing drive along a country road, head east on Route 5 to see one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the United States.
If you loved your drive east to Westover, turn around and head west to Tuckahoe Plantation, the boyhood home of Thomas Jefferson. Tuckahoe is open Wednesday through Friday as part of the Richmond tour. Mr. Jefferson would be proud that the Thompson family has lovingly restored and cultivated the gardens, providing a feast for the eyes and many lessons for nature lovers and experts.
Thursday’s tour is of the homes and gardens on Kingcrest Parkway, just a stone’s throw from the corner of Malvern and Grove. While touring the homes, take note of the spectacular arrangements created by members of the Boxwood, James River, Three Chopt and Tuckahoe garden clubs. I’ll share more of these arrangements in a later blog post. To see some past Garden Week arrangements, visit my prior blogs.
Friday’s tour takes place along the Cary Street corridor. Robin Hill, above, originally was a farm overlooking the James River. Eventually, some of the property was sold off and developed as the Hillcrest neighborhood, but four and a half acres were preserved, and now contain extensive brick and stone pathways, allees, perennial and shrub borders water features and secret gardens.
After checking off all those homes and gardens on your Green Ticket, go grab a beer in Shockoe Bottom, then check out the 15,000 Daffodils (with a river of Bluebells running through them) along Dock Street. Capital Trees planted the bulbs along the Virginia Capital Trail, after working with the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation to renovate Great Shiplock Park just to the East. Stay tuned to hear about more exciting plans for this area in the near future.