Monday, April 26, 2010

Virginia Garden Week Tour ... Mount Sharon

Once a year, during the last week in April, the Garden Club of Virginia and its affiliated local garden clubs put on the largest garden event in the country ... Virginia Garden Week.  There are house and garden tours throughout the state, showcasing some of the finest houses and gardens you'll ever get the chance to see.  Most of the houses are historic, and many have gardens that will make you ooh, aahh, and swoon. 

Most years, I tour at least two of the days during the week.  Generally, it's the tour in Frederickburg and one other within driving distance.  This year, I only made it to one ... Orange County.  Four properties were open, with guides to tell the history and details of the house and garden, and the day was filled with brilliant sunshine (after rain the previous day).

The first stop on our tour was Mount Sharon ... only the gardens were open here. In 1998, the owners collaborated with a design firm in Charlottesville to create their garden from scratch. The only elements in the gardens now that were here originally are the largest trees and the oldest boxwoods. Everything else is new. Everything!

This is what we saw as we got out of our car. (It's the opposite view of the photo above ... all I did was turn around and snap another photo.) Wow!

The garden is divided into many spectacular rooms. The first room was the Knot Garden. There were identical shrub beds on each side with a statue of Mercury at the end of the path. (These photos are not my best work ... I completely forgot to set the white balance on my camera to compensate for the bright sunshine.)

The brick path was enclosed by boxwoods, and it opened up into a circular area, with a statue of Cupid in the center.  (There were lots of statues throughout the garden)

At the end of this path, was the Wisteria Arbor.  The details of this structure are amazing.  Look how huge it is!

This little Lath House was at the intersection of two paths outside the Wisteria Arbor.

This is the view from the Lath House.

As we walked along the path, this Gazebo was below us on the edge of the Rose Garden.

You know I couldn't take you on a garden tour without showing you the Rose Garden, right?  This one was completely over the top.  How about this for a Rose Arbor?

The rose beds below the Arbor were lined with boxwood hedges.  Gazebos anchored each end of the central path.

How's this for a view from one of the Gazebos?

This tuteur would be so simple to build.  Some of these will definitely find their way into the gardens here in Hartwood.  (This rose is Graham Thomas, a wonderful yellow David Austin rose.)

This statue was in the center of the Rose Garden.  Notice that she is holding roses, and there are roses in her hair.

Our next stop was the Cutting Garden, down the hill from the Rose Garden.  One side of this space is dominated by a steel pergola made from (of all things) angle iron and steel rods.  (This is another idea I'll tuck away in case I need it here.)  The plants on the pergola are espalliered fruit trees ... notice the wire fencing to keep out varmints.

I LOVED the design of this garden.  I've been trying to work out something similar for my Ralph Moore mini roses in the soon-to-be-new-garden by the barn.  You can expect to see something like this here later this year ... not as huge as this one, though.

One of the things that facinated me the most at Mount Sharon were the hydrants.  I want these!

I haven't shown you the swimming pool, or the tulip garden, or the shade garden ... I could go on and on.  This place was magical, and we had a beautiful day to enjoy it.  (There were 3 more stops on our tour.  I'll bring these to you soon.)


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(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog)


  1. WOW - what a beautiful place.....I think I'll look around up here in MD to see if they have anything like that around here - I always wanted to go on a garden tour.

  2. I believe that this garden made the cover of the tour booklet. How fortunate you got to go.

  3. What a beautiful place! I love seeing it through the lens of your camera and maybe next year I'll be able to go there in person if it's on the tour! I can just imagine having a romantic dinner under one of those beautiful arbors!

    Kat :)

  4. What beautiful photos... what a place!!

    I had blog issues (long story) but finally got new one up and running.. I missed my blog friends!

  5. That was a wonderful tour. Thank you for taking me along!

  6. What a wonderful tour. The house fits so naturally into the garden. Marcia Baum

  7. I'm not sure I ever told you, but Bob and his partner built all the structures in this garden. This is one of his best clients. Bob did all the restoration work on the inside of the house. A very beautiful estate inside and out. And the Lathe house, actually was at their estate in Warrenton, Leeton Forest (previously on a garden tour), created from the actual plans on file at Gunston Hall. It is my favorite of all the structures at Mt. Sharon. Donna (I know this is an old post, but saw it and had to click)


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