The venerable Garden Club of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week tour of homes and gardens around the state will celebrate its 80th birthday this spring.
April 20-27, owners of more than 200 homes and gardens across Virginia will open their doors and gates in the annual showcase of historic properties and their gardens, many of them with plantings dating back for more than a century.
The Garden Club of Virginia uses the funds raised during “Garden Week,” as it is familiarly known, to assist in restoration of historic gardens and grounds across the commonwealth—Oatlands being one beneficiary of that largesse in Loudoun.
This year’s local celebration will be held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, April 22. The tour is presented by the Leesburg Garden Club and the Fauquier and Loudoun Garden Club, which alternate different properties in both Loudoun and Fauquier counties.
This year, the tour will be in Loudoun—in the 1733 village of Waterford, seven miles northwest of Leesburg—under a theme of “Where the Past is Always Present.”
Six houses will be tour, including one that has never been open to the public before. The self-guided tour features restored homes and gardens from the 18th and 19th centuries in the Quaker village that once was the commercial hub of western Loudoun. After the Civil War the village suffered a long period of decline, from damage during the war and the railroad when it pushed west of Leesburg, passed it by. The village was saved from further decay in the late 1930s when interest recovered after a Waterford family began buying and restoring some of the old houses.
Houses on tour are: the Griffith Gover House; the Francis Pierpoint House; the Joseph Janney House; the Mahlon Schooley House, Old acre and the Wauchope House (requires a short drive). The Joseph Janney House was named one of the Top Ten Historic Homes for 2012 by The Washington Post, while the Wauchope House will be open to the public for the first time. For details of each home, go to www.leesburggardenclub.org.
The newly restored Waterford Old School and auditorium will serve as headquarters for the tour. Floral arrangements in the tour homes have been created by members of local garden clubs, including the two sponsoring clubs.
Those who would like to reserve a $15 box lunch must do so by April 17. Contact Suzanne Worsham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Admission is $20/single home; $30/in advance (prior to April 21), $35/tour day for all six properties. Ages 6-12 are half price; age 5 and under are free. Leesburg are ticket outlets are: The Marshall House, Loudoun Convention & Visitors Association, Leesburg Vintner and Oatlands Plantation; The Pink Box in Middleburg; and Waterford Old School. Tickets also may be purchased at each home on tour day. Online tickets may be purchased at www.vagardenweek.org. For mail orders or more information, go to www.leesburggardenclub.org. Last, but not least, comfortable walking shoes are advised.