Festivals & Events
Historic Garden Week in Charlottesville If you want to get an exclusive peek at some of Virginia’s most stunning private properties, visit Charlottesville during Historic Garden Week from April 22-29. During “America’s Largest Open House,” you’ll walk through gardens awash in springtime blooms, visit antique-filled homes and tour famous landmarks, all facilitated by the Garden Club of Virginia.
On Saturday, April 22, Morven, a magnificent 19th-century estate built in late-Georgian and Federal style on the National Register of Historic Places will open its doors. A part of the Historic Garden Week since it began over 80 years ago, Morven has selected antiques, Oriental rugs and documentary reproductions that complement the elegant wallpapers, carpets and fabrics. The grounds of this 7,400-acre estate contain unusual trees, including a pair of Osage oranges, the state champion Chinese chestnut and a lovely dove tree. Also on April 22, three private homes built by Major William A. Jennings in Orange County are also open for tours, as well as Spotswood Lodge.
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Photo: Catriona Tudor Erler
At Monticello, enjoy talks by the estate’s experts and discover the flora that define our horticultural heritage. Scheduled events include free lectures (registration required) about the estate’s historic landscape by Monticello’s flower gardener Debbie Donley and vegetable gardener Pat Brodowski. On April 23, enjoy tours of five stunning Albemarle County properties with Blue Ridge Mountain views, like Fox Ridge Estate, an active equestrian farm on 280 acres. The property, which is part of the Farmington Hunt Club territory, has a Quaker Cottage, a Williamsburg-inspired garden and 1945 Neo-Georgian home that was recently updated. You can see more of the Fox Ridge home featured in the upcoming book four of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living. Photo: Catriona Tudor Erler
The Southfield gardens are another stunning part of this year’s tour with a pastoral view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the hardwood and understory trees and azaleas. The Southfield home was built in 1982 and the current owners have lived there since 1999. On Monday, April 24, join free tours of the gardens surrounding UVA’s world-famous Academical Village. Stroll through some of the Pavilions, which are still used as teaching facilities and faculty living quarters as Jefferson had intended, as well as nearby Carr’s Hill, Photo: Rivanna Garden Club home to eight of UVA’s presidents, completed in 1909. Pavilions in the tour include Pavilion IV, home to Larry Sabato. While visiting the Pavilion’s, attendees can also see West Range Room 13, the room where Edgar Allen Poe stayed during his year at the University of Virginia. Go to vagardenweek.org for more information and tickets. 48