“Virginia is especially beautiful during Historic Garden Week,” explains Lynn McCashin, Executive Director of the Garden Club of Virginia, the sponsoring organization of this statewide house and garden tour. “Richmond is the perfect place to serve as a hub during this annual spring time event.” The state’s capital features three distinct tours highlighting different neighborhoods every year, as do all the tours. “That’s why we have visitors coming from all over the world who have made this a tradition. Every year is different, and this one is extra special because of the anniversary,” Lynn elaborates.
“Since 1929 Historic Garden Week has raised millions of dollars for the restoration of public gardens across Virginia. To celebrate Historic Garden Week is to celebrate these sites, especially this year when so many of the beneficiaries are supplementing the tours of private homes and gardens with additional activities,” notes Historic Garden Week State Chairman, Anne Geddy Cross. Exceptional in its conception and focus, Historic Garden Week has been heralded as “America’s Largest Open House.”
Historic Garden Week 2013 will feature approximately 200 private homes and gardens open on 32 separate tours throughout the state of Virginia over eight consecutive days. It is the largest ongoing volunteer effort in Virginia and represents the coordinated efforts of 3,400 club members. 100% of tour proceeds are used to enhance Virginia’s landscape. For 80 years, the grounds of the Commonwealth’s most cherished historic landmarks have been restored or preserved with help from proceeds from Historic Garden Week including Mount Vernon, Monticello and the grounds of the Executive Mansion in Richmond.
The Williamsburg Garden Club will host it’s Historic Garden Week in Virginia on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tours benefit the restoration of historic gardens and landscapes in Virginia. This year’s tour will feature homes in Colonial Williamsburg and West Landing in Kingsmill. including:
- Tayloe House and Orland Jones House in Colonial Williamsburg
- Three breathtaking homes & gardens in Kingsmill
- Escorted Walking Garden Tour Colonial Williamsburg
- Matthew Whaley Garden Tour
- Kingsmill Historic Plantation Site
Luncheon and Special Event Information: Box lunches will be prepared by the chefs of Kingsmill Resort and served at the Historic Kingsmill Plantation Picnic Site.Cost is $15 per person, prepayment required. For Advance Tickets, General Information and Luncheon reservations contact Cathy Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admission Fee: $35 Full price, $30 Advance
WILLIAMSBURG GARDEN CLUB HOME AND GARDEN TOUR
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Proceeds from Historic Garden Week benefit the restoration of historic gardens and landscapes throughout Virginia
COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG HOMES
Orlando Jones House, Kitchen and Garden, Corner of Duke of Gloucester Street and Colonial Street. This simple house with its distinctive projecting rear porch and compact oval garden is one of the most photographed in Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City. The earliest known owners of this property were Orlando Jones, a planter and burgess, who purchased these two lots from the city trustees in 1716. He was the son of the Reverend Rowland Jones, the first rector of Bruton Parish Church. Jones married Martha Macon in January 1703, and their granddaughter, Martha Dandridge, married George Washington. Jones inherited from his father an extensive estate on Timson’s Neck in York County. Since there was already a substantial brick house on it, Jones maintained his primary residence there. His Williamsburg property was probably a tenement or a rental property.
A fire in 1842 swept away all the houses that once stood on this block including the Orlando Jones House. Archaeological excavations on this lot in the 1930’s revealed numerous brick foundations. The modest size of the structure, its simple weatherboard construction, and the rear porch wing with a room above are typical of Virginia houses of the first quarter of the 18th century. The projecting porch chamber, one of only three examples in Williamsburg, was usually seen in late 17th-century buildings in Virginia.
The house and kitchen are furnished with period reproduction furniture, textiles, artwork and lighting, mainly derived from the Colonial Williamsburg decorative arts collection. The floral arrangements reflect the Williamsburg style using materials from the spring garden appropriate for interiors of these period accommodations. Open for Historic Garden Week by Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Walking Garden Tour of Colonial Williamsburg Gardens. Tours are 10 a.m. to 4p.m. starting at the Orlando Jones Gardens in Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City.
Tayloe House, 207 East Nicholson Street. The house was built about 1755 and purchased in 1759 by John Tayloe II, a member of the Governor’s Council and one of the wealthiest men in Virginia. This property served as a townhome during the public times when the Governor’s Council was in session. Mr. Tayloe owned nine plantations and signs of his wealth are evident in and around the property: two privies, a large exterior kitchen, a detached laundry, a smokehouse, a storehouse, the floor-to-ceiling raised panel walls of the dining room and four interior closets. The 18th-century terraces, as well as a sundial discovered during the home’s restoration, reflect the status of the occupant. John Tayloe III owned the building in Washington, D.C., that is known today as the Octagon House.
After the British burned the President’s House during the war of 1812, the Octagon House became the residence of Dolly and James Madison until the executive mansion was restored. Mt. Airy in northern Virginia is still in the family.
In the entry is a marble and wrought-iron console table attached to the wall. It is one of three known to exist in America and one of two owned by Colonial Williamsburg. The original hanging lantern remains in the entry and dates from about 1815. Although now electrified, the lantern originally burned oil. The tenant enjoys needle arts. Many of the pieces in the home were made by her or were given to her as gifts by friends who share this passion. Open for Historic Garden Week by Ms. Kay Wilkinson.
104 West Landing. Form and function blend beautifully in this Prairie School home that is a text book for the trademark handcraftsmanship of that style. Marked by horizontal lines and broad, overhanging eaves which are supported by Wisconsin stone pillars, the home embraces views of the original Kingsmill Plantation and of the 15th hole of the golf course that carries that name. The property’s encompassing grid-based design unifies the exterior spaces with the open floor plan interior, creating a convivial flow that emphasizes the structure’s thoughtful and well developed use as a comfortable family home. “Green” elements include “Shredded” bamboo flooring and cabinetry, recycled wood, radiant heat polished concrete flooring, a geo-thermal system, metal reflective roof and milk based paints. The entry view of the inglenook-style living area is framed by stacked stone columns. Descending steps lead to built-in seating and a stone fireplace. Vaulted cedar ceilings define the color palette. Double kitchens serve complimentary functions: one in the center of the home is complimented by a walled kitchen garden and the second is near the outdoor entertaining areas. Waterfall features of the infinity pool can be viewed through banks of windows and lend a tranquil grace. A grapevine-covered arbor is reflected in the pool and creates a sanctuary that can be reached from the master suite. Numerous potted gardens are managed with a self-watering irrigation system. Fragrance was an important guide in the selection of landscaping. Built in 2009 and open for Garden Week for the first time by Traci and Richard Alexander.
135 West Landing. Set among the pines, an auspicious red door is flanked by unexpected drama of contemporary black wedge containers at this Georgian-style home. A charming folk art English bull dog “guards” the slate pathway that leads to the terraced back yard and boat dock. Pink floribunda roses cascade toward the James River, and raised stacked stone beds are filled with a mix of color including annuals, hellebore and hydrangea. This riverfront home has an always-on-vacation spirit inspired by a variety of vintage furnishing that create comfortable indoor and outdoor spaces including screened and open porches and, on a lower stone deck, a fire pit that is encircled with well-loved antique Adirondack furniture. A charming pergola awaits a party with whimsical Picasso-inspired chairs which contribute to the endless possibilities for enjoying bright spring days.
The rhythmic zigzag of the entry hall staircase leads the eye to look left to the Story and Clark baby grand piano in the living room but then lures attention to the hallway that introduces the relaxed den and light-filled water front kitchen. The farm-style breakfast table is surrounded by benches and chairs to accommodate this large and growing family. The den’s twin fireboxes and Kilim upholstered ottoman anchor a space whose walls are lined with photos from four generations. The first floor master bedroom overlooks the water and a footed tub offers a private oasis in this busy and youthful home. Open for Historic Garden Week for the first time by Dan and Anne Carr.
143 West Landing. Using architectural and lifestyle plans they have developed over several years, the homeowners designed magnificent living spaces that are a study in curves. The gentle arc of a Nautilus shell recurs in expansive windows, ceilings, walls, bar counter tops, staircases, shower stalls, light fixtures and even in terrace and pool edges. Themes of fire, water and texture unite the design and enliven details of this James River property. Water meets fire as it cascades down the stone fireplace from the soaring height of the living room ceiling. Fire and water combine again on the terrace as the infinity pool is bordered by the curving walls of the fire pit. Floors surfaces include white glass tiles, butterscotch-colored, wide plank birch and a deeply veined, brushed, chiseled and polished marble in tobacco. The ascending spiral staircase lands at a suspended bridge that joins the media room and the second floor bedrooms. Crossing the bridge affords views not only of the entry and living room, but also of the pool and river. On every floor level glass walls open onto terraces. An eclectic mix of furniture includes a bed that is suspended by guide wires. Open for Historic Garden Week for the first time by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Casey.
168 West Landing. The unified vision of Chicago designer Tony Nie created a seamless balance between the landscape and the interior spaces of this gracious home. Gentle curves of low brick walls extend in welcome and seasonal flowers spill from a demi lune planter and draw focus to the entrance. A herringbone pathway leads to the first of several garden rooms including an extensive collection of hybrid tea roses, a passion of the owners. A boxwood crescent slopes down the hill and sweeps the eye to a covered porch featuring statues of the four elements. Deer resistant plants are tucked among mature trees in controlled woodland. A bronze statue draws focus to a softly flowing fountain, intricately patterned wrought iron fences and swirling topiaries. From the second floor terrace the intricate interplay of garden roomscapes presents an astonishing view. It is easy to see why the couple chose to be married in this garden.
Blended French and English traditional interiors are anticipated by the classic facades of the house. The home was featured in the September 2012, edition of The House and Home magazine. Home and Gardens open for Historic Garden Week for the first time.
OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST
Kingsmill Plantation Site. Once the center of a thriving, small riverbank community with an attended ferry landing, the Plantation’s grand mansion was situated on the current Plantation golf course and overlooked the James River. Although the main house was destroyed by fire in 1844, the two flanking dependencies and original garden steps remain.
Bruton Parish Church, corner of Duke of Gloucester Street and Palace Green. Church docents offer free tours at regular intervals. Churchyard restorations n 1936, 1955 and 2003 were funded by proceeds from Historic Garden Week.
Mattey’s Garden, Matthew Whaley Elementary School on Scotland Street. This award winning garden is listed on the National Garden Association’s Children’s Garden Registry and has hosted numerous groups from around the state. Mattey’s Garden will be open from 10 am to 3pm.
Tickets: Full ticket $35, includes admittance into each home and garden on the tour, transportation throughout the Revolutionary City via Colonial Williamsburg buses and the escorted Walking Garden Tour. Single-site admission $15. Children 13 and older, full price; ages 6-12 admitted for half-price if accompanied by an adult. Children 5 and under, free of charge. Tickets may be purchased at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center Monday, April 22, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday, April 23, 9 a.m. to noon. On the day of the tour, full and single admission may be purchased throughout the tour site.
Advance Tickets: Full advance ticket $30 through April 20. CASH OR CHECK ONLY, at the following Williamsburg locations:
G. Bates Studio, Merchants Square; Seasons of Williamsburg, Jamestown Road; Wild Birds Unlimited, Monticello Marketplace, or by contacting Cathy Adams at the information below. Advance tickets may be purchased with a credit card by accessing www.vagardenweek.org.
Luncheon: Boxed lunches are $15 each and will be prepared by the chefs of Kingsmill Resort and served at the Historic Kingsmill Plantation Site and picnic area. Three lunch choices will be offered. Lunches must be reserved by April 10, 2013 and paid in advance. For more information about the lunches please contact Cathy Adams at email@example.com or 757-220-2486.
All checks payable to Williamsburg Garden Club
Advance Tickets, Information and Luncheon Reservations:
Direction and Parking: From I-64 East or West to exit 242A to RT. 199 toward Jamestown/Williamsburg. For Kingsmill Home Tour turn left at stop light on Mounts Bay Road into Kingsmill (about one mile). Please let the guard at the gate knows you are touring homes on the Historic Garden Week Tour, they will provide a special pass and directions. For the Colonial Williamsburg Tour continue on RT. 199 past Kingsmill (Mounts Bay Road) about a mile and half and turn right at the light on Henry Street. Go 1.8 miles to stop light at corner of Henry and Francis. Turn right on Francis, go .5 miles to Tavern Parking on the right.
Visitor Center Parking and use the bus: From I-64 East or West, Exit 242A to RT. 199 toward Jamestown/Williamsburg about 3 miles to the Colonial Parkway toward Yorktown to Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center. Follow parkway signs to Visitor Center parking. Take Colonial Williamsburg Buses to the magazine bus stop.
Homes may be visited in any order. As a courtesy to homeowners, and for your own safety and comfort, please wear flat walking shoes. No interior photography, cell phones or smoking, please.