I invited my mother and Janet (of The Empty Nest) to come along. My mother is a seasoned garden tour goer, but Janet had never been before ... and she was very excited that I had invited her. With the company of two of my favorite people, and wonderful houses to see, you know that we had a GREAT time.
The houses on this year's tour were in the neighborhood surrounding Kenmore, the home of George Washington's sister Betty Lewis. Most of these homes were built in the late 19th or early 20th century, and they are lovingly preserved as family homes ... a lot our historic home ... though mine is still very much in the 'construction' phase of its preservation.
The mild winter we had this year has made for some strange combinations of plants at peak bloom in most of the gardens. Usually for Garden Week, we are treated to the usual spring blooming Southern plants, like azaleas, daffodils, tulips, hellebores, etc. This year, azaleas are in full bloom, and so were most of the roses we saw ... a full two weeks (at least) ahead of normal.
The homes were staged and decorated with beautiful flower arrangements done by the garden club ... no photography allowed inside the houses, so I can't show you some of the most beautiful of the arrangements. Here are some that were outdoors.
We saw this display in one of the gardens. The little card says, "Cookies are for display only, please." There was only one cookie left, and notice that the top plate is full of crumbs.
My favorite sight of the day, and the first photo I took, was a Lady Banks rose climbing a trellis on this yellow Victorian house. I love it when I see a rose that is allowed to grow to its full potential ... instead of being subjected to radical pruning and torture in an effort to force it to fit into an ill-chosen spot.
Mom and Janet and I had SUCH a great time!!
There is more garden tour for me today. I am hostessing at a home on Richmond's Monument Avenue tour this afternoon, and touring a few of the homes and gardens before my shift begins. I have to hurry now, because I still have to get dressed. (I love hostessing tours and telling stories!)
Stay tuned for photos of Richmond.