• psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813

Garden Week in Virginia 2010

There is an upcoming garden activity that is sure to be blooming success. It’s the “Historic Garden Week of Virginia” presented by the Garden Club of Virginia.

In Virginia, April marks Historic Garden Week (April 17 – 25, 2010).   This spring, visitors will step through the gates of more than 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks during “America’s Largest Open House,” April 17-25, 2010. Three dozen Historic Garden Week tours present a rich mosaic of some of the country’s finest properties at the peak of Virginia’s springtime color. Sponsored by The Garden Club of Virginia, local events are scheduled from the Atlantic Ocean to the Allegheny Mountains and will span the centuries from the early 17th through the early 21st.


For those interested in horticulture, there will be formal gardens, walled gardens, cottage gardens, cutting gardens, annual and perennial gardens, herb gardens, water gardens, and even secret gardens. Visitors interested in architecture and garden week of vainterior decorating will see beautifully renovated historic properties as well as stunning contemporary residences, exceptional artwork, and some of the country’s  best collections of glass, china, and American, European and Asian antiques. Many houses have interesting family histories intertwined with the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and the Victorian era.

Historic Garden Week is the oldest and largest statewide house and garden tour event in the nation. Sponsored by The Garden Club of Virginia, tours benefit the restoration of important historic grounds and gardens throughout the state. Each event offers an engaging variety of five to six local houses and gardens, most open to the public for the first time for Garden Week.


Visitors to the April 20 tour in the Williamsburg area will enjoy viewing more than two centuries of Virginia architecture and garden design on homes open in the Restored Area and in newer, upscale suburbs. Beautifully restored 18th century residences and a guided walking tour of colorful recreated 18th century gardens will take guests along the charming streets of Colonial Williamsburg.  One garden there is a certified Wildlife Habitat and includes herbaceous borders, flowering hedgerows and unusual tree specimens, as well as a box turtle family that comes to the owners when called.  An Elizabethan-style herb garden contains a diverse collection of herbs used in the Colonial period.

            Moving ahead in time, the tour also opens handsome newer properties in the Coves and Richmond Hill neighborhoods.  The homes are filled with fine antiques, sculpture and other works of art and are surrounded by lovely landscaping, including an Asian garden.  Guests are also invited to visit the award-winning Mattey’s Garden, a project of the Williamsburg Garden Club, listed on the National Garden Association’s Children’s Garden Registry, and various other gardens open on tour day.

Williamsburg VA Tour Details:

ewing house williamsburg EWING HOUSE COMPLEX, 338 East Francis Street.  The Ewing House appears to have been built in the third quarter of the 18th century, and a building of its size is shown on the 1782 “Frenchman’s Map.”  Peter Moyer, a baker, appears to be the first known owner of the property. His name appears in 1762 on the baptismal record of his son George and again in 1763 when his daughter, Mary Elizabeth, was baptized in Bruton Parish.  Ebenezer Ewing, a Scottish merchant, purchased the property in the mid-1790s and it remained in the Ewing family until 1841.  The house, with a gambrel roof and shed dormers, features a central passage with two rooms on the west and one on the east. The presence of only one chimney serving the two smaller first and second-floor rooms, along with evidence that the unheated east room was initially unfinished, indicates that the building might have served as a shop. When the structure was restored by Colonial Williamsburg in 1940, a 20th century porch was removed from the north façade while the original framing was largely retained. On the interior, some of the woodwork—including the stairs, several doors and the flooring—survives from the 18th century. Open for Garden Week by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Williamsburg—Nelson-Galt House

nelson galt house williamsburg NELSON-GALT HOUSE, 425 East Francis Street. Built soon after 1695, the Nelson-Galt House is believed to be Williamsburg’s oldest residence still standing in use.  Around 1717, William Robertson enlarged his modest home, providing it with all the amenities found in the town’s finest dwellings. Later in the century, the house was again renovated when owned by the Thomas Nelson family. General Nelson signed the Declaration of Independence, commanded Virginia’s forces during the Yorktown campaign and succeeded Thomas Jefferson as the state’s governor. At that time the house acquired its present degree of finish, one equivalent to the Brush-Everhard House and others of like caliber.  In 1823, it was sold to Dr. Alexander Galt, a physician at the Public Hospital whose family retained ownership of the home for many generations.  Despite later additions, the original part of the house has been altered little since the late-18th century and needed only repairs rather than extensive restoration when incorporated into Colonial Williamsburg.  Open for Garden Week by Cheryl and Scott Orr.

MATTEY’S GARDEN, Matthew Whaley Elementary School on Scotland Street. A project of the Williamsburg Garden Club, Mattey’s Garden was a gift to the City of Williamsburg for its 300th celebration and was dedicated in 1999. Each grade level is responsible for certain areas of the garden. The garden was accorded the Common Wealth Award from the Garden Club of Virginia, as well as awards from the City of Williamsburg, Williamsburg Land Conservancy and the Historic Triangle Jamestown 2007 Beautification Contest. The garden is listed on the National Garden Association’s Children’s Garden Registry and has hosted numerous groups from around the state. Mattey’s Garden will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  ESCORTED WALKING TOUR.  An escorted walking tour of gardens near Palace Green will originate at Mattey’s Garden, a large children’s garden next to the Matthew Whaley School created as a learning science lab for the students.  The Historic Area gardens featured on this tour include ornamental pleasure gardens with period annuals, perennials and shrubs.  Tour visitors will glean information on garden design, landscape details, and the oldest boxwood in the Historic Area.  The gardens on tour are at the following sites: St. George Tucker, Thomas Everard and John Custis. Tours begin at 10 a.m. and depart approximately every 15 minutes, each lasting 45 minutes. The final tour departs at 3 p.m.

newport house williamsburg va NEWPORT HOUSE GARDEN AND BALLROOM, 710 South Henry Street. Built to museum standards in 1988 from a 1756 design by Peter Harrison, architect of the 1749 Williamsburg Capitol, Newport House is furnished in period English and American antiques and reproductions.  The commanding central stairway leads to a 40-foot ballroom, where Colonial and Scottish dancing groups meet.  In addition to a collection of musical instruments, the ballroom serves as gallery space for numerous dance engravings. 
  The garden, designed and tended by the homeowners, is a certified Wildlife Habitat and includes herbaceous borders, flowering hedgerows and unusual tree specimens, as well as a box turtle family that comes to the owners when called.  The Elizabethan-style herb garden contains a diverse collection of herbs used in the Colonial period. The garden includes a gazebo, a Square-Foot-method vegetable garden, a hard-working beehive and a greenhouse, whose salt-box shape takes maximum advantage of sunlight and serves as winter protection for citrus trees and as propagation space for spring seedlings. Horticulturists and beekeepers will offer discussion throughout the day.  Open for the first time by homeowners Cathy and John Fitzhugh Millar.

Developed in the mid-1960s as a residential community by the Savage and Cocke families, the original neighborhood consisted of 24 lots ranging in size from three-quarter to one-and-three- quarter acres.  The location gave residents proximity to the College of William and Mary and Colonial Williamsburg with the opportunity to site homes in a wooded landscape.  Many original homeowners still reside in the houses they built nearly 40 years ago.
  DONALDSON HOME, 149 Ridings Cove.  This house, built in 1991, is the Asian-inspired design of William Zimmerman, renowned Seattle architect.  Situated in a tranquil wooded setting, the residence is approached through a Japanese walled garden shaded by mature cherry trees and anchored by mammoth rocks, each imparting special meaning in an Asian garden by size and placement.  The varied architectural mix of roof pitches and profiles makes possible the surprising variety of the ceilings throughout the interior spaces.
  The soaring ceiling, angular lines and vivid wall color introduced in the foyer form a fitting backdrop for the owners’ carefully chosen, lively artwork and sculpture. “Songs of the Soul,” a bronze work by David Pearson, a Santa Fe sculptor, takes a welcoming stance by the front door.  The meandering floor plan offers multiple views of a charming garden accented with sculptural pieces and leads to rooms infused both with creative spirit and a bold use of color.  The kitchen and bedrooms are oriented to the rear of the house with oversized windows providing not only an abundance of natural light, but also unobstructed vistas of the woods just outside. Open for the first time for Garden Week by owners Sue and John Donaldson.

HOUGHLAND HOME, 145 Hunting Cove. A pathway draws the visitor through a collection of mature plantings and sculptural art before opening to a wooden footbridge that crosses to the entry.  If the axis of this bridge is followed, its line passes through the dining area and ends on a cantilevered deck which projects into the treetops. The home’s design appears to advance and recede in the landscape.  The natural setting has been enhanced by a brick pathway that winds through ravines, bending and resting at special plantings, a fountain and numerous pieces of sculpture before returning to the home through an arbor. Not only did the homeowner/architect design and build the house, but also he is creator of the garden sculpture in this woodland art gallery.
  Angles created by the irregular roofline allow for placement of skylights which provide natural light to showcase artwork and furnishings, even in lower-level rooms. Windows fill with native woodland vistas. Selected interior spaces are enhanced by louvered walls.  A set of owner-made and Asian-inspired, nesting and slatted screens expands to enclose the dining room. The unexpected curve of the kitchen counter delights the eye and gently separates the kitchen workspace from the living area.  Paintings by family members, photo galleries, heirlooms and an extensive collection of Oriental rugs warm and accent each room. The house was built in 1974 and is opened for the first time for Historic Garden Week by homeowners Wright B. “Chips” and Sarah Houghland. 

  Richmond Hill was envisioned as a pocket community of urban homes that maintained in-town convenience while providing the grace and elegance of manor living.  The design premise was drawn along the classic Federal style found in the cities of Richmond, Alexandria and Georgetown.  The intent was to reproduce the richness of detail and pleasing scale of this style of architecture while keeping the building facades, landscaping, sidewalks, fences and exterior lighting both appropriate and compatible.

  CORSON HOME, 125 Richmond Hill. Architecturally traditional, the layout of this house affords a perfect setting for the owners’ collection of English antiques, artwork and blue and white earthenware, much of which was acquired when the couple resided in England. Symmetry of design is conveyed by a matching pair of 18th century demilune tables and gilded mirrors flanking a classically styled mantelpiece.  An English gentleman’s portrait centers the design.  Detailed white moldings and chair rail add definition and character not only to the vibrant yellow walls of the living room, but also to the blue and white toile wall covering of the adjacent dining room. The dining room conveys an English sensibility while the collection of 18th and early 19th century English Chinese motif transferware displayed in the corner cabinet adds an Oriental verve.
  The deeply hued walls of the study provide a fitting backdrop for a collection of political cartoons by James Gillray, a late-18th century British caricaturist and printmaker known for his etchings of political and social satire. An unexpected surprise in the light-filled kitchen area is a charming collection of miniature porcelain Delft houses.  Open for the first time for Historic Garden Week by David and Jeanne Corson.
KROCHMAL GARDEN, 128 Richmond Hill Court. This charming, loose-knot garden is nestled just off the brick terrace to the rear of the home. Two mature Harry Lauder walking stick shrubs flank the entrance to the garden, while two stately juniper topiaries provide vertical interest.  A bubbling fountain takes center stage, bringing tranquility to the exciting mix of colorful spring blooms teeming within the brick-enclosed bed.
  A second small garden planted in memory of Lily, the owner’s beloved Cavalier King Charles spaniel, is backed by a soaring climbing hydrangea rising from a flower bed planted with bleeding hearts, astilbe, creeping speedwell, dwarf iris and a myriad of other spring flowers.  Open by owners Bonnie and Glenn Krochmal.

   bruton_parish_churchBRUTON PARISH CHURCH, corner of Duke of Gloucester and Palace Green. Church docents offer free tours at regular intervals. Churchyard restorations in 1936, 1955 and 2003 were funded by proceeds from Historic Garden Week.  
  On display in St. Mary’s Chapel at Bruton Parish House, one block west of the Church, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., are the 17th century Jamestown Communion Silver, the 18th century set given to Governor Botetourt in 1768 by King George III “for use in his private chapel,” and the newly restored Prayer Book used at Bruton in the 18th century. A charming Biblical herb garden with adjoining benches borders the brick walkway to the Parish House.

  ADAMS GARDEN, corner of Richmond Road and North Boundary St. Dedicated in 1986, the garden has become a popular spot for outdoor lunches and study breaks. Originally planted with azaleas and small bulbs, this enchanting garden now includes interesting collections of woody and herbaceous material which can be viewed from the crushed oyster-shell path meandering throughout. The garden has been lovingly cared for by Madelynn Watkinson, a volunteer who has worked with support from College of William and Mary staff to create and maintain this quiet place of beauty. The Williamsburg Garden Club continues its financial support. The Adams Garden will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on tour day.

WILLIAMSBURG Garden Tour Information:
Sponsored by the Williamsburg Garden Club
Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Advance Tickets, Information and Luncheon Reservations:
Cathy Adams
Telephone (757) 220-2486
E-mail cbtbka@cox.net
ADVANCE TICKET SALES: Through April 17: Full advance ticket $25, cash or check only, at the following Williamsburg locations: G. Bates Studio, Merchants Square; Seasons of Williamsburg, Jamestown Road; Wild Birds Unlimited, Monticello Marketplace;  
  Advance tickets may be purchased with a credit card by accessing www.VAgardenweek.org.

Full ticket $30, includes admittance into each home and garden on tour, transportation throughout the Historic Area via Colonial Williamsburg buses and the Escorted Walking Garden Tour. Single-site admission $10. Children 13 and older, full price; ages 6-12 admitted for half-price if accompanied by an adult. Children 5 and under, free of charge. Tickets may be purchased at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center Monday, April 19, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday, April 20, 9 a.m. to noon. On the day of the tour, full and single admission tickets may be purchased throughout the tour site.

By reservation only. A box lunch will be available at the Bruton Parish Church Parish House from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. for $15.  The Parish House is located next to Barnes & Noble Bookstore on Duke of Gloucester.  Reserve your lunch by April 12 by contacting Cathy Adams at the telephone number or e-mail address listed above.


A number of historic James River plantations will have special openings during Garden Week. Tuckahoe Plantation, a boyhood home of Thomas Jefferson with exquisite gardens, will be open. The National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places in partnership with the James River Plantations of Charles City County, Virginia, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers,  invite you to explore the James River Plantations. Information about other plantations will be outlined in the Historic Garden Week in Virginia guidebook.

Check the Guidebooks/Tickets page and Tour Highlights page for details. 

Garden Week tours are held rain or shine and do not “sell out” in advance.  Tickets may be purchased at any of the properties open on the day of the tour and online.

The events are house and garden tours.  Please read the property descriptions carefully in the guidebook (also attached by tour name to the Schedule page in January).  If more emphasis is given to the house than the garden, it is likely that the house is the greater attraction.  However, there are many lovely gardens open on tours throughout the state.

Click here for a beautiful preview of Historic Garden Week on the PBS program, GardenSmart.

Future Garden Week dates in Virginia are April 16-24, 2011 and April 21-28, 2012.

Garden Tours will be hosted in the followings areas and dates in Virginia for the 2010 season:

Saturday April 17

Albemarle-Charlottesville: The Morven Estate Gardens
Lunch at Monticello
Alexandria:Old Town
Chase City: MacCallum More Museum and Gardens
Orange County

Sunday, April 18

Albemarle-Charlottesville: Country Homes and Gardens

Monday, April 19

Albemarle-Charlottesville:Country Homes and Gardens
Brandon Plantation (grounds and gardens)

Tuesday, April 20

University of Virginia Pavilion Gardens and House
Fairfax Club Tour
Fredericksburg Club Tour
James River Plantations:
Brandon (grounds and gardens)
  (Please check guidebook for other listings.)
Richmond: Windsor Farms

Wednesday, April 21

Hampton-Newport News
Harrisonburg-Rockingham County
James River Plantations:
Brandon (grounds and gardens)
  (Please check guidebook for other listings.)

Martinsville-Henry County
Northern Neck: Richmond County
Richmond: Church Hill
Virginia Beach

Thursday, April 22

James River Plantations:
Brandon (grounds and gardens)
  (Please check guidebook for other listings.)
Richmond: West Avenue
Richmond:  Evening Hours/Special Events at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Friday, April 23

James River Plantations:
Brandon(grounds and gardens)
  (Please check guidebook for other listings.)
Middle Peninsula: King William County
North Suffolk

Saturday, April 24

Brunswick-Mecklenburg Counties
Eastern Shore
James River Plantations:
Brandon (grounds and gardens)
  (Please check guidebook for other listings.)
Winchester-Clarke County

Sunday, April 25

Winchester-Clarke County

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