• 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

2011 Historic Garden Week In Williamsburg VA

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 .This year marks the  78th anniversary season.  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 16-23, 2011. 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.

Virginia’s crown jewel of historic restoration, Colonial Williamsburg, will have special openings during the April 19 Garden Week tour here.  A ticket includes admittance to four restored Colonial-era houses and taverns, an escorted walking tour of the area’s recreated 18th century gardens, transportation via Colonial Williamsburg buses, and visits to lovely 20th century homes in the Walnut Hills neighborhood.  As always, this tour is an artful combination of old and new, featuring homes filled with handsome furnishings from many periods and origins.

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

imageProperties on the tour this year include the Blue Bell Tavern, Powell’s Tenement Kitchen, the Bracken Tenement and Kitchen, and Bruton Parish Church in the Historic Area of Colonial Williamsburg, the Brooks Home and St. Mary’s Chapel in the Bruton Parish House just outside the Historic Area.  All of these locations are easily accessible by the Colonial Williamsburg Bus, free on Garden Day to ticket holders.  A mile and a half outside the Historic Area, two homes in Walnut Hills off Jamestown Road also are open.  Parking for those is in the Walsingham Academy parking lot, and shuttle buses transport visitors to the homes.

Full Ticket: $30, day of tour, includes admittance into each home and garden on tour transportation throughout the Historic Area via Colonial Williamsburg buses, and transportation via shuttle buses to Walnut Hills homes from Walsingham Academy.

Single-site admission  $10. Children 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 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday, April 19, 9 a.m. to noon. On the day of the tour, full and single-admission tickets may be purchased throughout the tour site.

Advance tickets through April 16: $25, available until April 16 at the following Williamsburg locations: G. Bates Studio, Merchants Square; Seasons of Williamsburg, Jamestown Rd.; Wild Birds Unlimited, Monticello Marketplace. Cash or check only. For internet tickets, please access www.VAGardenweek.org .

Featured Homes and Gardens in Williamsburg for 2011 include :

imageBRACKEN TENEMENT AND KITCHEN, 206 E. Francis St. Bracken Tenement is typical of the Williamsburg residences of prosperous merchants, craftsmen and public officials at the end of the colonial period.  It appears on the Frenchman’s Map of 1782. Documents indicate it was owned but not occupied by the Reverend John Bracken from the mid-1780s through 1810. Bracken was minister of Bruton Parish Church, mayor of Williamsburg in 1800, and President of the College of William and Mary from 1812 to 1814. The plan, brickwork and surviving woodwork indicate it was built in the third quarter of the 18th century.

The original plan consisted of a central stair passage flanked by public rooms and two heated bedchambers above. The entry opens into a nine-foot wide stair passage, where the closed stringer staircase retains turned balusters, newel posts and molded handrail.

The tenement and kitchen both are furnished with period reproductions derived principally from the Colonial Williamsburg decorative arts collection. The floral arrangements reflect the Williamsburg style with an abundance of spring garden flowers appropriate for this period interior. Open for Garden Week by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

imageTHE BLUE BELL TAVERN, 102 N.Waller St.  John Redwood, keeper of the gaol and caretaker of the Capitol, bought this prominent lot in 1703 and a house was built there by 1707 when it was operated as a tavern. Col. Philip Ludwell purchased it in 1708 and his family rented to various tenants until 1832. Thomas Bramer ran a store here and by 1768 it was a tavern called the Blue Bell. Like the Coffeehouse newly constructed west of the Capitol, the Blue Bell had an open-hearth kitchen in the cellar. Today the cellar contains the cozy eat-in kitchen and family room.

The interior architectural details are based on several colonial homes throughout Williamsburg and Virginia; however the furnishings are anything but typical as the residents collect 19th and early 20th century antiques. The living room is richly decorated with elaborate, curvilinear Renaissance Revival furniture; the family room contains simple, rectilinear Craftsman-style pieces. Collections of early 20th century American Art pottery bowls, vases, and jardinières ornament the home throughout. Open for Garden Week by Janine Skerry and Edgard Moreno.

imagePOWELL’S TENEMENT KITCHEN, 108 N. Waller St.    Detached kitchens were placed in this relationship to dwelling houses throughout 18th century Williamsburg.  It sits on a lot bought by John Redwood in 1707, which was sold, along with the Blue Bell Tavern lot, to Col. Philip Ludwell in 1708.  Ludwell rented the dwelling house and outhouses here to tenants until 1832. Little is known about them except that in 1770, Peter Powell, a wheelwright and riding chair maker, lived here. The kitchen was presumably demolished around 1855 when John Mercer erected new buildings.

Reconstructed by Colonial Williamsburg in 1951, the kitchen was designed to comfortably accommodate a tenant rather than a historic exhibit. The cozy residence is furnished with a range of ingenious storage solutions, including a drop leaf table with storage space on both ends, a cedar chest that doubles as a coffee table and a library shelf that also serves as a display piece. The resident’s love for chinoiserie, ceramics, and dining are evident in her collections and books. The chiming, eight-day Sessions banjo clock is her prize possession. Open for the first time by Angelika R. Kuettner.

imageTHE BROOKS HOME, 518 S. England St. Built in 2009, this custom residence blends seamlessly with early 20th century homes two blocks from Colonial Williamsburg’s historic area. Adjoining the former home of the owner’s grandmother, it’s shaded by a decades-old oak she planted. Introduced by pocket gardens, the front porch opens to an interior that melds old with new. The entrance hall leads through a traditional dining room and study to an expansive living space especially designed for entertaining.  It encompasses a gourmet kitchen with hurricane granite countertops and living room with stone fireplace, cathedral ceiling, exposed beams and floor-to-ceiling rear windows. Also on the first floor, a stunning master bedroom with tray ceiling provides the owners with an elegant retreat. An enclosed back porch flows to a yard with brick patio, outdoor kitchen and comfortable furnishings for lounging and entertaining. Flower, herb and rain gardens surround the patio.

In addition to bedrooms, the second floor boasts a sitting room with balcony that overlooks the lower floor, backyard and the Golden Horseshoe golf course with especially stunning sunset views. Noteworthy throughout the home is artwork by the owner and her sister. Open for the first time by Nancy and Charles Brooks.

ESCORTED WALKING TOUR. An escorted walking tour of three gardens in the Historic Area will commence in the yard facing the Blue Bell Tavern. Included are ornamental pleasure gardens with period annuals, perennials and shrubs.  Tour visitors will glean information on garden design and landscape details in the Historic Area.  The gardens on tour are at the following sites: David Morton Shop and House, Christiana Campbell’s Tavern and the Elizabeth Carlos House. Tours begin at 10 a.m. and depart approximately every 15 minutes, each lasting 45 minutes. The final tour departs at 3 p.m.

imageBRUTON PARISH CHURCH, corner of Duke of Gloucester and Palace Green.  Church docents offer free tours at regular intervals. The churchyard was an early restoration of the Garden Club of Virginia in 1936-37, and 1955.  The 2003 renovation was also funded by proceeds from Historic Garden Week.  Across the street from the church is the Colonial Nursery, an interpretive site featuring 18th-century garden plantings, botanical histories, historically accurate plants and reproduction gardening tools.

MATTEY’S GARDEN, Matthew Whaley Elementary School on Scotland St. 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 awarded the Common Wealth Award 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 for guided tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

imageADAMS GARDEN, corner of Richmond Rd. and N. 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 paths meandering throughout. The Williamsburg Garden Club continues its financial support of this quiet place of beauty. The Adams Garden will be open for guided tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on tour day.

Walnut Hills Homes

imageTHE DRISCOLL HOME, 4 Bayberry Ln. The first homeowners received this half-acre lot on Bayberry Lane from their mentor, John D. Rockefeller, Jr.  Built in 1957, the original one-story dwelling, with white-washed bricks set in Flemish bond, was inspired by a home that won a 1932 design competition. It is owned today by a young family who, while preserving its original features, expanded it in 2009 to incorporate their modern lifestyle. The elegant black-and-white marble entrance, flanked by bedrooms and library, leads down to the high-ceilinged living room with long bay window, modillion cornice, random width floors and wood-paneled, marble-surrounded fireplace. The formal dining room is dominated by hand-painted mural wallpaper made by Zuber on early 19th century hand-carved wood blocks.

Renovated into a wet bar passage, the original Pullman galley kitchen opens to the masterfully integrated two-story expansion. The addition features a spacious gourmet kitchen with marble countertops and vivid paint colors that showcase art work, and a lady’s study with custom cabinetry and clerestory. A window-lined hallway with terrace views leads to a private master bedroom suite. The lower level provides additional entertaining space and a mud room leading to the garage. Open for the first time by Margaret and Sean Driscoll.

Walnut hills WilliamsburgTHE JONES HOME, 99 Walnut Hills Dr. A serpentine brick drive leads to a wooded knoll and stately 1983 home inspired by the 18th century Sheldon’s Tavern in Litchfield, CT. At the entrance, columns support a central pedimented-pavilion with Palladian window.  The third story boasts a mansard roof with three dormer windows and balustrade.  Flanking the central hall, the dining room is notable for its wainscoting, crown molding, built-in corner cabinets and formal furnishings. Opposite, a gracious living room features a corner fireplace with hand-painted delftware tiles, carved wooden elephants and a full-length portrait of the owner, a gift from her husband. The family room is complemented by hand-crafted paneling and architectural details from a 19th century church once attended by family in Seymour, IN. Decorated with the owner’s apple collection, an island kitchen contains the back staircase. Overlooking lush gardens and including a casual dining area and sunroom, a 2006 window-filled addition provides the interior family room and kitchen with daytime light.

Home of Marty and Roger Jones.

Directions and Parking

To visit the Bracken Tenement and Kitchen, The Blue Bell Tavern, Powell’s Tenement Kitchen, Walking Tour Gardens and Bruton Parish Church and Churchyard in the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area, from 1-64, take Exit 238 (Camp Peary, Colonial Williamsburg) and follow the official Colonial Williamsburg signs to the Visitor Center, where parking is available for cars and buses.  Full ticket holders may board the Colonial Williamsburg buses free of charge at the lower level of the Visitor Center for transportation to the Historic Area. Disembark at the Capitol Bus Stop on Waller St. to tour the Blue Bell Tavern, Powell’s Tenement Kitchen and the Escorted Walking Tour; and at the Magazine Bus Stop on Francis St. for The Bracken Tenement and Kitchen on Francis St. and Bruton Parish Church and Churchyard on Duke of Gloucester Street.

To visit the Brooks Home near the Historic Area, disembark at the Williamsburg Lodge Bus Stop on S. England Street, and walk two blocks south. The home is on the right.

To visit the Adams Garden, St. Mary’s Chapel and Luncheon in the Parish Hall and Mattey’s Garden disembark at the Merchant’s Square Bus Stop. Turn left on the Duke of Gloucester for the Adams Garden, located one block west at the corner of Boundary and Richmond Rd.  St. Mary’s Chapel and Luncheon is directly across the Duke of Gloucester in the Bruton Parish Hall. For Mattey’s Garden, walk two blocks north on N. Henry St., turn right.

To visit the homes in Walnut Hills, from the Visitor Center take the Colonial Parkway south toward Jamestown. Exit the Colonial Parkway at Rt. 199 West. At the stop sign, take a left onto S. Henry St. Turn right at the traffic light onto Rt. 199 West. Proceed approximately 1.8 mi. to the second traffic light.  Turn right onto Jamestown Rd. At the next stoplight, turn right into Walsingham Academy, where buses will shuttle you to and from the Driscoll and Jones homes.  Parking is not available on neighborhood streets.

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