Historic Garden Week turns 90: Five Old Town homes and gardens will be open for tours

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Historic Garden Week turns 90: Five Old Town homes and gardens will be open for tours
Visitors are able to tour remarkable historic homes and gardens in Old Town. (Photo/Hunting Creek Garden Club)
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By Ruth Gates Brightbill

On April 15, five Old Town private homes and gardens will open to visitors for the annual Historic Garden Tour. This one-day-only event is part of the 90th annual Historic Garden Week in Virginia during which visitors are able to tour remarkable historic homes and gardens in Old Town.

The properties on tour were specially selected for their historic restorations and architectural design. Beautiful floral arrangements will adorn rooms throughout each home. Painstaking attention to de- tail is evident in the displays created by the members of the Garden Club of Alexandria and Hunting Creek Garden Club, which host the annual event. Club members serve as docents in the homes, offering insights and history on the homes and gardens.

“We are excited to welcome visitors to the tour, and to share this unique glimpse into rarely seen parts of Old Town,” tour Co-Chair Katherine Murphy said. Murphy and Co-Chair Barbara Warder have organized the event with the help of homeowners and garden club volunteers during the past year.

“We are particularly grateful to the generous home- owners who are opening their homes for the tour – some for the first time ever,” Warder said. “The gorgeous homes and gardens on this year’s tour have been lovingly restored and updated and are sure to delight visitors.”

Among the homes on tour is the Dr. William Brown House, which George Washington frequently visited. The home integrates original features from Brown’s era, including a 1790 hand-hewn stone sink and bake oven, with updated interiors and exteriors. Magnificent examples of Federal and Greek Revival architecture and neighboring frame homes provide a sense of day-to-day life in 18th century Alexandria.

“The beautiful gardens and floral arrangements are sure to inspire on tour day. Visiting these homes and exploring Old Town is the perfect way to spend a Saturday in April,” Murphy promised.

The writer is a member of the Garden Club of Alexandria.

 

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