Gardens galore

The explosion that is spring in Virginia attracts people from all over the world. Along with the blooming redbuds and dogwoods, houseguests arrive to admire the colors and inhale the scents. So many things grow well here that the desire to take root and plant a garden began with the very first settlers. Many of Virginia’s formal gardens are among the oldest in the country.
    To celebrate and capture some of the glories of our horticultural heritage, plan to attend Historic Garden Week 2002. This year marks the 69th season of America’s largest “open house,” with more than 250 of Virginia’s finest private homes and gardens and historic landmarks open to the public. The member clubs of the Garden Club of Virginia sponsor Garden Week, and over the past six-plus decades, the gardens and grounds of some important Virginia landmarks have been restored with the proceeds of the tour. This year, more than 30 tours throughout the state are expected to attract over 40,000 visitors.
    The number of tours is impressive and much too long to list, but one notable mention is Albemarle House. The gardens here, open to the public for the first time, are part of the estate of Patricia Kluge and her husband, William Moses. Inspired by Villa Rotonda in Vicenza, Italy, they include, among many other things, a statue entitled “Hercules Fighting the Lion,” cascading fountains, hanging gardens, espaliered fruit trees, cottage gardens, a respite garden, and a dolphin sculpture pond.

The Garden Week Tour is April 20-24. The Friendly Gardens Tour will be April 20-21 in the Meadowbrook Hills area. The Country Homes and Gardens Tour will be April 22-23 with Redlands, Enniscorthy, Kinloch, and Westover open to the public. The UVA tour will be April 23 and the Morven Estate will be open April 23-24. Single and block tickets are available at each of the venues. The gardens of Albemarle House will be open April 22-24 for reserved private tours. Separate tickets will be on sale only at the Boar’s Head Inn Store. For advance reservations, call Mrs. Erik S. Greenbaum at 434-974-6440.

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