Virginia Historic Garden Week 2016 Is By Tradition April’s Last Week

by DerdriuMarriner

Virginia Historic Garden Week 2016 welcomes the Garden Club of Virginia’s 83rd annual set of building and landscape-lovers from April 23 to April 30, 2016.

Virginia Historic Garden Week 2016 applauds outdoor looks:

About 30,000 visitors are expected to participate in 34 Virginia Historic Garden Week 2016 tours hosted by 47 member clubs at just under 250 locations from April 23 to April 30, 2016.

The 2016 guidebook, downloadable from the Garden Club of Virginia’s website, begins with the enchanting statement “America’s largest open house is Virginia’s oldest volunteer tourism project.” The Garden Club of Virginia’s 3,400 members continue an 83-year-old volunteer fundraising tradition that dates back to the first statewide tour of 73 properties in 1929. Eight days of five to eight-hour-long tours draw gardens, historic sites and private residences into an event whose total economic impact is projected at $17 million.

A survey conducted by Chmura Economics & Analytics of Richmond, Virginia, estimates the 45-year-impact of Virginia Historic Garden Week at $425 million between 1969 and 2014.

Cover of 2016 Historic Garden Week guidebook spotlights historic landscape of Fort Monroe National Monument.

Garden Club of Virginia Historic Garden Week April 23-30, 2016
Garden Club of Virginia Historic Garden Week April 23-30, 2016

Virginia Historic Garden Week 2016 brings in history


The monetary total of revenue from admissions to garden and historic restoration projects and from charges for hotel stays and restaurant visits fits into economic impact. 

The guidebook gives information on 34 Virginia Historic Garden Week 2016 tours, on 48 Garden Club of Virginia restoration projects and on non-tour places to visit. The first guidebook entry has particulars on Ashland’s college, cemetery, five tour sites, local businesses, museum and visitor center 15 miles (24.14 kilometers) north of Richmond. The last entry identifies Roanoke’s five tour sites and Fincastle Presbyterian Church, Hollins University, Mill Mountain wildflower garden, "Salvage Dawgs" film set and Taubman Art Museum.

Proceeds from sales of the 80,000 guidebooks printed and sold worldwide join those from yearly tours to support conservation, landscape restorations, research fellowships and state parks.


Kent Valentine House: historic headquarters for Garden Club of Virginia

Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS)
Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS)

Virginia Historic Garden Week 2016 communicates fresh fragrances


Headquarters in the 171-year-old Kent-Valentine House built at 12 East Franklin Street from Boston-born architect Isaiah Rogers’ plans keep the Garden Club of Virginia centrally located.

Situation at the center of national communication and transportation networks lets 3,300 volunteers move 507 tour signs and 2,000 arrangements filled with 5,730 tulips to sites. It means that 365-day preparations between Virginia Historic Garden Week 2015 and Virginia Historic Garden Week 2016 pay off, just like original triggers 89 years ago. Garden Club of Virginia archives note the need in 1927 to plant trees at Monticello and to save trees planted by 3rd U.S. President Thomas Jefferson.

Online inflation calculators offer $95,000 as today’s equivalent of the $7,000 raised by the Albemarle Garden Club flower show and serving as historic garden week’s inspiration. 


Virginia Historic Garden Week

Published on Apr 22, 2016 by Culpeper Media Network ~ URL:

Virginia Historic Garden Week 2016 deserves repeat visits


Records place first-ever garden week project restorations at 240-year-old Kenmore Plantation, home of Fielding and Betty Lewis, brother-in-law and sister of 1st U.S. President George Washington.

Mulberry Row’s Kitchen Road to Monticello’s enslaved and freed labor, qualifies as one of the more recent restorations targeted by Virginia Historic Garden Week proceeds. Other projects range from Bacon’s Castle to Bruton Parish Church, John Handley High School, Ker Place, Monticello, Mount Vernon, Poe Museum and Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. 

The Garden Club of Virginia subdivides the Commonwealth into six regions, from whose foremost, signature garden restorations and historic preservations the current year’s rotation is selected. The 84th and the 85th Virginia Historic Garden Weeks take place from April 22 to April 29, 2017, and from April 21 to April 28, 2018.


Historic Garden Week 2016 Guide Book Cover Shoot

Published June 3, 2015, by plantPOP ~ URL:



My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.


cover of March 2016 issue of The Garden Club of Virginia Journal:

The Garden Club of Virginia's quarterly magazine presents activities and interests of the association and member clubs.
cover painting by Nan Mahone Wellborn, a professional artist and member of the Roanoke Valley Garden Club
cover painting by Nan Mahone Wellborn, a professional artist and member of the Roanoke Valley Garden Club

Sources Consulted


Cadwallender, Jeanette Rowe. 9 April 2016. “Cadwallender: The Surprising History of Garden Week in Virginia.” Richmond Times-Dispatch > Opinion > Columnists and Commentary.

  • Available @

Ellsworth, Karen Cauthen. 26 February 2016. “America’s Largest Open House is Virginia’s Oldest Volunteer Tourism Project: Historic Garden Week April 23-30, 2016 in its 83rd Year.” Garden Club of Virginia > Historic Garden Week > Pressroom > Historic Garden Week 2016 Press Release.

  • Available @

“Historic Garden Week April 23-30, 2016.” Garden Club of Virginia > What We Do > Historic Garden Week > Tour Guidebook > Historic Garden Week Guidebook > 2016 HGW Guidebook.

  • Available @

Tyre, Alex. 4 April 2016. “Garden Club of Virginia Presents Restored Landscape to Monticello.” Monticello > Press > News Releases.

  • Available @


the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Historic Virginia Gardens: Preservation Work of The Garden Club of Virginia, 1975-2007

Margaret Page Bemiss is a current member and former president of the James River Garden Club. She has been a member of the Restoration Committee of The Garden Club of Virginia, and served on the Archive of American Gardens Committee of The Garden Club.
Garden Club of Virginia

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 11/13/2021, DerdriuMarriner
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DerdriuMarriner on 05/07/2021

WriterArtist, Thank you for coming by and showing a love for historic gardens.
Virginia Historic Garden Week organizers arranged a lovely itinerary that showcased Commonwealth gardening without jeopardizing anyone's health. They're always respectful of area wildlife, which is wonderful since the last week of April nesting birds and spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) are quite busy, visible and vocal.
Thank you for mentioning Brindavan Garden, about which the internet has some interesting articles and lovely images.

WriterArtist on 05/07/2021

I love historic gardens that have a history to narrate. In India, we have Brindavan garden which is arranged in 3 terraces. I can imagine the mighty Tipu Sultan (Mughal Emperor) riding on his horse and inspecting the beauty of nature in peaceful and turbulent times. Some of the parts of this forest garden are so inaccessible that one needs to be an adept horse rider to venture there. One requires a lot of energy going on foot as the vastness of it gives a picture of immense expanse and what emperors could afford at their time.

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