The Richmond portion of Historic Garden Week in Virginia should be wonderful this year. The tour focuses on houses and gardens in the Windsor Farms neighborhood, which was created as a planned residential development in 1926. It was modeled after a similar development in New Jersey, and it was sited just on the James River. Having lived directly across the street from the River when I was very young and then having spent my later childhood just up the hill from the James, I know how lovely the setting can be. Certainly “buggy” at times, but always beautiful.
The James has been an important body of water for so many, and for so long–as we all know, it was crucial to the Native American Indians and the English Colonists, with the Jamestown Settlement having been established on the banks of The James and the first colonial capital of Williamsburg having also occupied frontage on The James. The River also hosts the modern day capital of Virginia at Richmond. In addition to its status as “landmark”, The River has also served several of the needs of those living on its shores. It has provided drinking water, shipping lanes, a shipbuilding enterprise, as well as recreational space for sailing, fishing and swimming. It seems as though the James has always been part of my life as a Virginian. (How about you? If you’re a Virginian, I would love to hear your thoughts and memories about The James.) And so I’m happy that it plays such a big part of this year’s tour. If you’d like to learn more about the James River and its tributaries, canals, etc, please hurry over to Amazon and order a wonderfully researched and written book entitled Cabell’s Canal: The Story of The James River and Kanawha. It was written by my former father in law (whom I still view as my father in law!), Langhorne Gibson, Jr. I believe in full disclosure!! Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Cabells-Canal-Story-James-Kanawha/dp/0965762114
I arrived in Richmond in the pouring rain on Monday morning, ready to soak up all that Garden Week has to offer. Literally and figuratively.
Today (April 25) is Williamsburg’s day in the spotlight. And although it’s still raining, and the wind is howling outside, it’s a whole lot better than the weather in Boston. According to my husband, it’s basically a November day at home. So I’m glad I’m here. Green abounds!!
Before I head out with my mother, here’s a quick link to the Williamsburg portion of the Guidebook: http://www.vagardenweek.org/main/tourdetails?id=329
Spring Has Sprung–It’s Garden Tour Season!
Let’s Start with Virginia…
Virginia’s State Flower-Dogwood – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IMG_1527Dogwood.JPG
Historic Garden Week in Virginia is my favorite week of the year. It takes me out of the damp, dreary and miserably raw Boston weather and gives me a glimpse of the things I love so much. Flowers, gardens and historic houses. Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to be asked to help with the festivities. Last year, I created an Art in Bloom arrangement for the Williamsburg Garden Club, and the year before that, I found myself as a tour guide at The College of William and Mary’s President’s House. I never know exactly what awaits me, but it’s always fabulous, and it’s always fun.
I live in Boston, but Historic Garden Week in Virginia (or, simply, “Garden Week”, as I call it–because, really, there is no other Garden Week that can even approach Virginia’s in terms of its magnificence) is my favorite week of the year. My flight is always booked months in advance, and I eagerly count down the days until I can leave the cold, gray, Boston “spring” behind for the beautiful blooms of my home state. Even if only for a short time. This year, however, instead of waiting until late April, I made a “preview trip” down to Williamsburg in early March. I wanted to see the daffodils and the hyacinth and the flaming forsythia before they all disappeared for the season. But I also wanted to make sure I caught a very important exhibition at the College of William and Mary’s Muscarelle Museum of Art, one that has been lauded in the press since its Opening Day and one that I hope everyone interested in florals and botanicals will try to catch at the MFA in Boston. Not only because it’s fantastic, but because it also happens to dovetail nicely into Garden Tour season here in New England.