Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Virginia Garden Week ... Fredericksburg Tour

Every year during the last week in April, garden clubs throughout Virginia offer tours of beautiful houses and gardens during Virginia Garden Week ... this is the 79th year!  The tour in Fredericksburg, hosted by the Rappahannock Valley Garden Club, is always on Tuesday of Garden Week.  It's almost like a national holiday for me, and I try not to miss it.

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.


  1. Wonderful homes and blooms :o) Wish I could attend!

  2. Beautiful!!... what a great way to spend a day... and oh, let a rose grow as it will...

    I haven't had luck with that yet.

  3. Oh-I LOVE those tours. I used to work some of the local ones, too. They are so much fun and I always got such great ideas from them. xo Diana

  4. Didn't make the Fredericksburg garden tour this year, :( Fauquier's was awesome on Sunday, even in the rain. Have fun today (I know you are!) donna :)

  5. Beautiful. The Lady Banks rose is spectacular.

  6. fredericksburg is beautiful and i'm so lucky to live here! downtown is just a few minutes from my house. LOVE it. :o)

  7. Gorgeous photos! I bet it was spectacular with both the azaleas and roses in bloom together. Love that Lady Banks rose! The yellow on the house and the blooms compliment each other perfectly.

  8. I love these kind of tours!
    The "cookies" was funny---

  9. It was a lovely day, wasn't it! You captured it with these beautiful photos. The cookie display cracked me up...I had not noticed the crumbs..ha! Guess some people cannot read.

    Do we have a date for next year and can your Mom come...she is a hoot!

    janet xox
    The Empty Nest

  10. Garden walks are like holidays for me too. It is such fun to see gardens firsthand like this. I love the architecture too.

  11. What an inspiring site... incredible roses.. beautiful cats, and lovely dogs!
    We need more people like you on Planet Earth.

  12. What beautiful photos; thanks for taking me along for Garden Week.

  13. The photos are beautiful. Thank you for posting them


  14. Looks like a wonderful tour, the weather was perfect too! Glad you had fun!


  15. Oh my goodness!! I loved the photo of the sidewalk with the flower borders down it. Wow! We're about a month ahead of blooming schedule around here. As long as we don't get hit hard with the heat of last summer, I won't complain ;)

  16. Hey...that's me in the pink sweater 2nd picture down! Loved the tour this year and I think next year I will take the whole week off and visit some of the other towns as well.

  17. Oh, my Gorgeous~stunning~
    thanks for taking us along~


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