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Landscapes To Love

Historic Garden Week proceeds enhance Virginia


The Garden Club of Virginia invites home and garden enthusiasts to see 128 exquisite private properties throughout the state during Historic Garden Week, April 23-30.

From charming city and town homes with patio gardens to country estates with expansive landscaping, visitors will feast on Virginia in full bloom on 28 tours. Many of the properties will open to the public for the first time.

“Historic Garden Week is the only statewide tour of its kind in the United States,” explains Karen Cauthen Ellsworth, GCV’s Historic Garden Week director. “We hold it in late April when dogwood, redbud and magnolia trees bloom above spring-green boxwoods and other shrubs. Azaleas, peonies, lilacs and tulips add to the symphony of color and fragrance.”

Ellsworth says gardens will lure visitors indoors to see home décors, from quaint to grand. “Interiors will display everything from historic antiques to minimalist modern pieces. There’s something for everyone.”

To make each home extra beautiful, GCV members will add floral displays they create. “The flower arrangements are always gorgeous,” Ellsworth says.


“By showcasing beautiful homes, Historic Garden Week generates approximately $12.5 million each year in economic impact for Virginia,” Ellsworth says.

GCV will use ticket proceeds to help restore and preserve nearly 50 historic public gardens, from presidential homes to college campuses, and help support 54 state parks. In addition, proceeds will continue to fund the club’s research fellowship grants.

The oldest house and garden tour in the country celebrates 89 years this spring. PHOTO COURTESY DONNA MOULTON


GCV, founded in 1920, is a federation of 48 regional clubs. In addition to beautifying Virginia and its highways, and preserving historic properties, the nearly 3,400 members work to preserve native trees and plants.

“Trees and plants provide habitats and nourishment for wildlife,” notes Tricia Garner, state chair of Historic Garden Week. “They also help the environment by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.”

The club encourages protecting bees, birds, butterflies and other wildlife pollinators because they are nature’s agents for reproducing plants and food.


Visitors should purchase tickets for each tour in advance at vagardenweek.org. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a few tours have reduced the number of tickets available. Some clubs will sell tickets on tour day at their headquarters sites for an additional $10. Learn more about tour prices, properties, and protocols at gcvirginia.org.

“We invite electric cooperative members and their friends to put on flat walking shoes and face masks, and enjoy our tours,” Ellsworth says. “We’ll be open rain or shine.”

To learn more about Historic Garden Week, visit vagardenweek.org.


Saturday, April 23

• Albemarle – Charlottesville
• Old Town Alexandria
• Ashland – Hanover County
• Franklin
• Gloucester – Mathews County
• James River Plantations
• Morven
• Orange County
• Staunton
• Winchester

Sunday, April 24

• Albemarle – Charlottesville
• James River Plantations
• Leesburg

Monday, April 25

• James River Plantations
• Leesburg

Tuesday, April 26

• Fairfax
• Fredericksburg
• Lynchburg
• Petersburg
• Richmond: Cottrell House
• Richmond: Rothesay Circle
• Williamsburg

Wednesday, April 27

• Northern Neck
• Hampton-Newport News: Yorktown
• Harrisonburg
• Martinsville
• Richmond: Historic Carillon
• Virginia Beach

Thursday, April 28

• Richmond: Cottrell House
• Richmond: Old Locke Lane & Westmoreland Place
• Danville/Chatham
• Norfolk

Friday, April 29

• Middle Peninsula

Saturday, April 30

• Eastern Shore
• Roanoke – Fincastle