Monday, January 30, 2023

Historic Garden Week to bring tourists and provide plenty of flowers

Historic Garden Week in Virginia is celebrating its 85th anniversary. (Courtesy photo/Garden Club of Virginia.)
Historic Garden Week in Virginia is celebrating its 85th anniversary. (Courtesy photo/Garden Club of Virginia)

Various homes along the Peninsula will open their doors for Historic Garden Week in Virginia.

Historic Garden Week begins on April 21 and runs until April 28. During the week, 250 of the state’s gardens will be on display and 29 tours will be offered by 47 garden clubs.

“We’re really excited about the possibility of people seeing gardens from a perspective that they don’t usually see,” said Mary Johnson, chairwoman of the Hampton Newport News Garden Club.

Historic Garden Week is dedicated to showcasing the state’s formal gardens, cottage gardens, herb gardens, water gardens and various floral arrangements.

Johnson said she expects anywhere from 800-1,000 people to attend Garden Week at the five homes that will be on display in Hampton and Newport News.

Over the past five years, Johnson said the tour has bought in on average 961 attendees and raised $27,000.

Tour proceeds from the week fund the restoration and preservation of Virginia’s historic public gardens, a fellowship program and a centennial project with Virginia State Parks, according to a news release from the organization.

At the state level, the week-long event attracts 25,000 visitors and has bought in an estimated $425 million over the last 45 years, said Karen Ellsworth, state director for Historic Garden Week.

Ellsworth said the estimated figure factors in money spent on ticket sales, hotels, meals and gas.

“When you look at the economic impact, it’s not just ticket sales,” Ellsworth said.

Since 1920 the Garden Club of Virginia has grown from eight founding clubs to 47 clubs with more than 3,300 members, according to a news release from the Historic Garden Week.

Organizers estimate 2,300 floral arrangements will be made specifically for the 85th Historic Garden Week.

The Hampton Newport News Garden Club tour will feature four Hampton University landmarks, including the college’s president’s house, memorial church, the Emancipation Oak and museum.

The tour will also include a pair of homes on Chesapeake Avenue.

Tickets for the week are on sale, prices vary depending on the garden.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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