Yesterday was a blur. Husband and I left home right on time yesterday morning, with our vehicles loaded with all the miscellaneous large items and supplies necessary to take the roses on the road. We set up our booth, arranged the roses, and even had time for lunch in the Lewis Ginter cafeteria (the food there is wonderful!).
As we walked, I pulled my trusty Canon Elph out of my back pocket to snap some photos to show you some the colorful flowers and booths ... and the camera wouldn't start. The lens is jammed, and I can't get it to do anything.
I will take my Nikon D-SLR with me today. It's not nearly as handy as a point-and-shoot in the back pocket, but it's better than no photos at all.
Today is supposed to be sunny, with temps in the low 80's. Yesterday was clear and warm, and the sun shone all day ... I forgot to put sunblock anywhere but my face and ears, and my neck is sunburned.
Note to self:
sunblock ALL exposed areas,
and remember to wear wide-brimmed hat
the one with the big pink rose on it
so everyone knows that I'm the rose lady ...
(I think everyone knows this already.)
The customers started coming as soon as we returned to the booth after lunch, well before the 1:00 start time. Husband had to go home to let out the dogs and get our little guy off the school bus, so I worked by myself ... as I will do again today.
I was busy with sales and questions all afternoon! By the time 6:00 closing time came, my feet and back were really tired. Twenty two baby roses went home with their new parents ... some to first-time rose growers, some to experienced gardeners, and some to garden friends (Hi, Stephanie).
Gotta go get packed for today. On my feet from 9-5, chatting roses with the public, and making new friends. What a great way to spend the day!
(Today is the last day to enter my giveaway for a New Dawn rose. Click the icon at the top of my sidebar for details.)
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.)
Don't forget to enter my Giveaway. Click HERE (or the button at the top of my sidebar) for details.
Rose season opened this year with a single flower on three China roses ... Climbing Old Blush, Mableton Rouletii, and Climbing Pompon de Paris.
It was a long winter, and these flowers are long-anticipated, and very satisfying. Just looking at their little selves makes me feel happy. I think an appropriate way to celebrate would be to share this feeling, and give a rose to a lucky reader, don't you think?
Which rose, you ask? One of my favorites, of course ...
New Dawn is a classic. It has been a super-star in gardens ever since it was introduced in 1930.
This rose is everything that I love most about roses.
It's a climber.
It's a beautiful shade of pale pink.
and, most importantly, it's FRAGRANT!
My New Dawn is trained onto the fence with my French ramblers. She no longer fits into the garden plan in that spot, so she must move later this year. In preparation for her move, I cut her back pretty drastically last year and pruned her roots. She won't look quite her best this year because of this.
She's a tough old thing, and I know she'll come through her move just fine. It will be better for her in the long run, because I plan to give her a premium spot by the nursery cottage where she can show visitors how lovely she is.
New Dawn on the wall at Chatham.
Enter this Giveaway, and you may win a baby New Dawn for your own Garden.
You can have 3 chances to win.
1. Post a Comment to tell me what you'd like to see featured on my blog in the future or what you've enjoyed so far. Rose season is here, I still have a few house projects under way, and there's SO much I can show you. Be sure you leave an email address, so I can notify you if you win.
2. For a SECOND chance, Become a Follower. All followers will be registered for a second chance. If you aren't already a follower, you can go take care of that right now ...I'll wait. (edited to add: I installed the Followers widget on the bottom of my sidebar. I had resisted doing this, but it looks like this should be an easier way for you to follow.)
3. For a THIRD chance, Post A Link to this Giveaway on your own blog, or Facebook, or Twitter. Be sure to come back and leave a comment to let me know you've posted so that I can add your name for a third chance to win.
This drawing will be open until 8:00 pm, Friday, April 30.
(Because this is a giveaway for a live plant, there are a few little 'fine print' issues that I have to address. I am not licensed to ship to CA, OR, WA, AZ, AK, HI, or anywhere outside the US. I have an alternate prize if someone from one of these states wins.)
I appreciate every one of you who takes the time out of your day to read what I write here. I hope you have learned a few things along the way, and that you will come back often. This little blog of mine is SO much fun to do, and I hope you enjoy it too.
The first time I ever saw our house, itwas a foggy morning in 1992 (a lot like this morning, in fact). We were taking our daughters to a swim meet, at a pool we'd never been to, for the 6:30 (am!) warm-ups. On the country road to the pool, we rounded a curve, and I saw the most wonderful house I had ever seen.
(I took this photo this morning, to approximate what I saw that first time I laid eyes on our house.)
I tell people that it was a good thing my husband was driving that morning, because there's a good chance that I would have run off the road.
This house is everything I love about houses ... it's old, it's brick, it's in the country, and it's really unusual. What it wasn't, however, was for sale.
This is the first photo I took when we came to the house with the realtor in 2002.
In the early 2002, I was in downtown Fredericksburg on my way to have lunch with my husband. In a newspaper-style street-side box in front of his building, I saw MY house on the cover of a real estate magazine ... with a price that we could never afford to pay. My husband spent our whole lunch together trying to console me.
Fast forward 6 months to the summer of 2002 ... MY house is featured with a big article in the newspaper's Friday real estate section. It was still for sale! Seeing it there was so depressing. I looked at the photos, and started reading the article. The author was describing the house's history and its features. It really hurt to read it. When I got to the end of the article, the part where the author tells who is listing the house and for how much, I saw that the price was lower ... significantly lower, and (most importantly) low enough for our budget.
Against his better judgement (at the time) my husband agreed to let me call the realtor. He said, "What can it hurt to take a look." (Famous last words)
The front steps, 2002.
The house was tired. The then-owners were overwhelmed by the maintenance needs of such an old house and its property, and we could see that the place needed significant work before it could be our home. This caused my husband to have second thoughts about even considering the idea ... but, he knew I loved this place, and he agreed (after three visits, and against his better judgement, again) to go forward and make an offer.
Recognize the side of the house that I featured yesterday?
Armed with what we thought was a comprehensive home inspection, we put together a renovation plan that we thought would take 2 to 2 1/2 years. We would continue to live in Spotsylvania during this time, and the house would be finished by the time our youngest daughter graduated high school ... a perfect time to move.
Big surprise ... Every project on our list turned out to be more involved than we thought it would be. All of the things we thought would be fine, weren't. Plumbing, electrical, roof, plaster ... the list is endless. I tell people that the only thing in this house that I haven't either replaced or refinished is the railing on the stairs (I threatened everyone who worked here not to damage that railing, or there would be dire consequences ... and I'm scary enough to back up that threat.) It took five years until we had the house finished enough to move in.
I think our front yard looks like a park.
Here are a few Before and After photos, to give you a taste of how far we've come. All of the Befores were taken on our first visit, with an ancient digital camera.
The Dining Room and kitchen are in the 1967 addition to our house. Since this wasn't the historic part of the house, we didn't have a second thought about removing most of the wall between the two rooms and completely replacing the kitchen.
Dining Room before, with kitchen door on the right.
A big double beam would insure that our upstairs stayed upstairs.
We completely replaced the kitchen. Here's a taste of the former eat-in corner.
Ready for new cabinets.
After, as of today ... but still not quite finished.
The entry, in 2002, was covered with gold, flocked, Chinese-patterned wallpaper ... completely fashionable in 1967, when it was installed. It was time for a change.
Gold wallpaper, Colonial Revival light, and a stair runner that's way past its prime.
No more wallpaper. The plaster is repaired, and the new yellow paint looks beautiful (BM Windham Cream). Countless layers of paint are gone from the woodwork, and it's ready for primer.
Entry, as of now ... still not quite finished, though.
Our Family Room is probably my favorite room in the house. It has windows that face east and north, and it is always bright and happy.
Dark photo of the family room, 2002.
Moldings stripped and primed, and plaster stripped of paint in preparation for the plasterer to do his thing. Notice the new electrical outlets in the baseboard.
Repaired plaster, fresh paint (RH Silver Sage), and refinished floors. I love the light in this room.
This is where I'm sitting right now, with Maggie sleeping in my lap. The coffee table is a future refinishing project.
. This is just an overview to introduce you to this house that I love so much, and to show how far it's come in the 8 years we've owned it. I'll go into more detail from time to time, focusing on various rooms and projects we've worked on.
My name is Connie, and I started Hartwood Roses ... an educational rose garden in Virginia that specializes in rare and unusual antique roses. I know a lot about roses, old houses, carpentry and remodeling, and am an expert day dreamer. You will often find me working in the garden, planning a home project, building something, or hanging out in a cemetery ...all of this has come in handy as my husband and I restore our historic home (built in 1848) renovate the outbuildings, and design the gardens. This blog allows me share whatever is happening in the garden, around the house, or on my mind.
Hartwood Roses ... Heirloom Old Garden Roses and More
Hartwood Roses was a small farm nursery, located just north of Fredericksburg, Virginia. The retail portion of the business closed in 2012, and the mission shifted to my true love … speaking to organizations and garden clubs and giving classes to educate budding rose gardeners. The display gardens here contain over 800 different varieties of roses … with emphasis on rare and historic varieties, and popular classics that are well-suited for modern gardens. Click picture to go to web site. www.HartwoodRoses.com
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