On April 22nd, five of Old Town Alexandria's finest private homes and gardens will open to the public, as part of the 84th Historic Garden Week, the oldest and largest house and garden tour in the nation. The homes will feature beautiful flower arrangements created by the members of the Garden Club of Alexandria and The Hunting Creek Garden Club, which are sponsoring the tour, open from 10 am – 4 pm.
The house and garden tour will feature something for everyone:
- Four of the tour houses were built over 150 years ago, in 1794, 1802, 1820 and 1859
- George Washington dined in one of the tour houses in 1797
- A young Robert E. Lee was tutored in mathematics in one tour house
- Founding Father George Mason's grandson owned another of the houses
- One house was designed and built by the man who designed GW's tomb at Mt. Vernon
- Thomas, the ninth Lord Fairfax, lived in one of the tour houses.
Tickets may be purchased in advance for $45 at www.vagardenweek.org and at the Alexandria Visitors Center (221 King Street). On the date of the tour, they may be purchased for $55 at any house on the tour or at the Alexandria Visitor's Center.
Included with ticket purchase:
- Five private homes and gardens in Old Town
- Tea and light refreshments from 11-3:00 in the garden of a private house
- Herb and Craft Sale at Carlyle House: Visit the 18th century mansion house, stroll through its gardens, and buy plants from 8-4:00
- The Marketplace at the Athenaeum will sell clothing and accessories from high-end, distinctive vendors from 9:30-4:00. Also at the Athenaeum will be a display of botanical art showing native plants and pollinators and a photo exhibit of bees and flowers,
- Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden: Built in 1785 and home to several generations of the Virginia Lee family, as well as labor leader John Lewis, this house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
- The American Horticultural Society, headquartered at River Farm, which overlooks the Potomac River with 25 acres of gardens, will be having a plant sale on April 21-22
- George Washington's Mt. Vernon: With funding from the Historic Garden Week, the Garden Club of Virginia has helped restore the bowling green, one of Mt. Vernon's major landscape features
- Green Spring Gardens, which includes a garden designed by renowned landscape designer, Beatrix Farrand
- Gunston Hall, the 550-acre National Historic Landmark 18th century home of George Mason, author of The Virginia Declaration of Rights
Photos courtesy of Louise Krafft