Monday, April 29, 2013

The Old Rectory ... Garden Tour

On Thursday last week, The Husband and I planned to go on the Virginia Garden Week tour in Warrenton.  The computer gods had other things for him to do, however, and he had to stay home to deal with an emergency at work.  With his blessing, I went solo on this tour ... and I am so glad that I didn't miss it.

There were five beautiful properties on this year's tour:  an 1833 inn that was built as a Wells Fargo stagecoach stop, an 1828 home built by Chief Justice John Marshall, a perfectly restored and decorated brick Federal home from 1856, a 1996 beautifully designed English-style Arts and Crafts home decorated with William Morris fabrics and papers, and my favorite ... The Old Rectory, formerly the parsonage for Leeds Episcopal Church.

According to the tour brochure, the home was built in 1855.  The current owners spent a year restoring and renovating the house.  I wish I had interior photos to show you, because every room in this house was PERFECTION!  (Think Restoration Hardware meets Antiques Roadshow, with a little bit of Sarah Richardson, and you'll have the right idea.)  The front porch vignette was a perfect introduction to the wonders that were inside.
The home's garden is the work of the previous owner.  She was a skilled gardener and plant collector, and she worked her magic in the landscape with an imaginative blend of plants over a 25-year period.
The back of the property has a steep drop-off formed by a large rock ledge.  The garden design works WITH this feature, honoring it and enhancing it, with woodland plants and specimen trees and shrubs.
I saved my favorite part of this property for last ... when I walked out the back door, I almost squealed at the sight of  "The Schoolhouse".
Every detail of this little building appeals to me.  I took LOTS of photos to use as inspiration when we finally get around to renovating the little outbuilding on our property.
I already have a big picture window like this in my stash of salvaged windows.  Won't take much to use smaller windows on the sides to create a bay.
This bump-out with narrow windows was a bench in a dining alcove.
With one last look, I bid farewell to this perfect place.  It's rare for me to tour a house and react like I did with this one.

This place got to me, and it will provide motivation and inspiration to fuel some of the remaining projects that I still have looming ahead of me here at our house ... as we continue to put this 'Humpty Dumpty' of a renovation of ours TOGETHER AGAIN.
After I posted this, I did a little bit of Googling to see what else I could find about this place.  Hit paydirt after only a few minutes.  Click HERE to see the listing and photos from when the home was for sale in 2011.  Having seen the current interior, the difference between the Before and the After is amazing!!


  1. I can see why you get inspired with all these fabulous old houses. Too bad your husband couldn't go, but as long as you have a's not as though you're alone.

  2. Oh gosh... I would have squealed at the sight of that little schoolhouse building too. Did you get to go inside?

  3. Love the schoolhouse! Love it!!!

  4. That looks amazing! I love the rock slope landscaping. Thanks for giving me a few insights to our future property!

  5. Beautiful! I love the gardens! That blue door is so inviting! So happy you were able to go see this yourself!

  6. Hey Connie--the details of that little building are talking to me too!


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