Compiled by Marsha Mercer, Extension Master Gardener
One of the joys of spring is Historic Garden Week in Virginia. Sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia, “America’s largest open house” features tours of historic homes and gardens across the commonwealth from Winchester to Virginia Beach. The 2022 event will feature 28 unique tours organized and hosted by members of garden clubs of 128 private properties from April 23 to 30. Individual tickets are sold for each tour. Details are available at vagardenweek.org.
Here are five things to know as you plan your road trips:
- Garden Week is itself historic: The first tour was in 1929. And it’s unique: It is the only statewide house and garden tour in the country.
- You’ll be able to go inside. Yes, interiors are back. After COVID canceled Garden Week in 2020 and scaled tours back in 2021 mostly to outdoors, visitors will again be welcome inside many homes.
- Not all the inspiration will be outdoors. Garden Club of Virginia members will create more than 1,000 floral arrangements for the historic homes.
- Tickets can be pricey. A tour ticket ranges from $20 to $60, plus a fee if purchased online. But, remember, it’s only for one week a year, and it’s for a good cause. The Garden Club of Virginia uses proceeds on restoration projects as well as for fellowships for graduate students of landscape architecture.
Among the projects that have benefited from ticket sales over the years are Monticello, Beatrix Farrand’s Green Springs Garden, Bacon’s Castle, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, and the State Arboretum. The economic impact of Garden Week over the last 50 years is estimated to be over $518 million.
- Stay safe. You will need to wear a mask indoors, but COVID-19 vaccination cards are not required. Eating, drinking and picture-taking within the private homes and gardens on the tour are prohibited.
Children 12 and older are welcome. Infants are allowed only in front-worn carriers. Strollers are not permitted in the homes. Visitors are encouraged to wear flats. And to avoid spreading boxwood blight: Don’t touch the boxwoods.
For details about what’s open when, ticket prices and where to buy tickets, go to vagardenweek.org.