Westmoreland County Museum
Spring Garden Tour
April 23 10am-4pm
For the first year, Westmoreland County Museum is holding a Spring Garden Tour in Westmoreland County. The tour offers entry to 7 gardens for $20 per person, $35 per couple, or $15 per person for Westmoreland County Museum members. If you want to tour an individual garden, it will be $5 at the site on April 23; no discounts.
This event will be held on Saturday, April 23rd between 10 am-4 pm. (The rain date will be the following day: Sunday, April 24th) The event is open to everyone. Tickets are available beginning March 20th at the Westmoreland County Museum in Montross (10 am-4 pm, Mon-Sat.), Murphy Seed in Mt. Holly, and Rice Hotel/Hughlett’s Tavern in Heathsville. If you plan on using your museum membership to receive a discount, please bring your card with you. If you are unsure of your membership status, please give us a call at 804-493-8440 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets can also be purchased at each garden on the day of the tour for no additional charge. Only cash or check is accepted.
The gardens on our tour range from coastal and country to formal and traditional. Since every garden is different, there is something for every style. These gardens are truly inspiring. The tour gardens include Westmoreland County Museum’s gardens known as the President’s Garden and the White Garden in Montross, Hilda and Charlie Wilson’s garden in Mt. Holly, Virginia Brown’s tree in Mt. Holly, Mary Young Chinn Tracy’s garden known as Lee Hall Gardens in Hague, Pier Pleasure in Coles Point, Helen and Jim Bell’s garden in Coles Point, and Bill Wine’s garden known as In Arrears Farm in Callao.
Westmoreland County Museum’s Gardens
43 Court Square Montross, Virginia
In 1941, the Westmoreland Garden Club (WGC) began raising funds to create a garden honoring the eight Virginia-born US presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, William H. Harrison, Tyler, Taylor, and Wilson. This aptly-named, Presidents’ Garden, contains a sundial in the center with the names of these eight presidents plus marble busts of Washington, Monroe, and Madison–all born in the Northern Neck. The marble busts are works by the famous New York sculptor, Attilio Piccirelli, who also created busts of Jefferson and Monroe housed in the state capitol Rotunda and the statue of Monroe at Ash Lawn.
This garden, charming in its formal simplicity, was designed by Charles F. Gillette, the Richmond Landscape Architect: “renowned interpreter of Virginia gardens.”
The Presidents’ Garden was completed in 1948, and WGC held a dedication ceremony, attended by former VA Governor Colgate Darden, Jr., VA Poet Laureate Thomas Lomax Hunter, Senator R.O. Norris, and Westmoreland Commonwealth Attorney Ferdinand Chandler. This garden is one of only a few examples of a collaboration between both a great landscape architect and sculptor.
WGC commissioned and maintains this exterior historic site. WGC also maintains the trees, plants, and garden beds around the property. The garden on the opposite side of the museum is called the White Garden.
WGC redesigns the hanging basket on WCM’s main gate to reflect the changing seasons and holidays, in addition to decorating other Westmoreland county buildings for the Christmas holiday.
Excerpt by Joyce P. Hobbs, Presidents’ Garden Chair
Ms. Hobbs will be giving the history of the Presidents’ Garden and answering questions on April 23rd 10 am-11:30 am.
585 Bushfield Road, Mt. Holly, Virginia
The 21 years old Bushfield Road garden belonging to Hilda and Charlie Wilson is a study in working with nature. Partially nestled in the woods adjacent to their home are woodland plants that have spread and matured over the years creating a breathtaking floral display. Moreover, unusual trees (which is their passion) and flowers can be found flourishing all over the property. As of three years ago, the front eight acres are entirely devoted to a wildlife habitat in accordance with a federally-funded program. Some of the flowering plants include:
Bluebells Fothergilla Celandine Poppy
Epimedium Strawberry Bush Pearl Bush
Mayapple Snowflakes Disporum
5005 Cople Highway, Mt. Holly, Virginia
Tour participants are invited to stop at Murphy’s Seed Service from 10 am to 2 pm for complimentary refreshments and encouraged to browse the perennials for sale!
5215 Cople Highway, Hague, Virginia
The black walnut tree at Virginia Brown’s Spring Grove Farm is the largest black walnut in Virginia — the state champion. It is over 100 feet tall and more than 19 feet in circumference. It dethroned two former champions — one in Williamsburg and another at Montpelier. Truly a marvelous specimen that in all likelihood dates back to at least the 1600s!
8257 Cople Highway, Hague, Virginia
Mary Young Tracy’s garden (known as Lee Hall Gardens), as all gardens, is a constant work in progress. The Spring bloomers are her tulips: Pretty in Pink, Double Late mixture, Beauty of Spring, Easter mix, and Casa Grande. These consist of tall, midrange, double, and extra-large blooms. Also included, in the spring, are the daffodils and Hellebores, along with an assortment of Heuchera. The gardens extend from her house to Ms. Tracy’s barns where she ran a garden shop for many years.
245 Grandview Landing, Coles Point, Virginia
Pier Pleasure, this six-year-old urban style garden owned by Bob Clark, demonstrates the beauty and diversity of trees with its collection of both small and large specimens that include Deodara Cedrus, River birch, Japanese black pine, Atlantic cedar, Stewartia, Red twig Dogwood, Allegheny Chinkapin, Northern red oak, Hazelnut and various Japanese maples. The hand-chiseled flagstone pathway that accesses the garden’s various alcoves is nestled with objets d’art including charming pagodas and figurines. This garden features intimate places to sit and enjoy the surroundings.
306 Narrows Beach Road, Coles Point, Virginia
Helen Bell’s NNK garden has been in existence for about 35 years. As a weekender for 24 years, she depended on perennials as the garden’s backbone and used many ground-covers to keep its maintenance as easy as possible. The design is traditional in the sense that the landscaping framing the house and shop area is based in evergreens. Because the gardens continued to expand, especially after the addition of twenty acres and two outbuildings, her husband insisted that last year was the time to consolidate, so tour guests will see a garden in transition. Some of the plants in her garden include:
Little Rascal Holly Daffodils Pink and white Heather Arum
Carex Blue Zinger Narcissus White wisteria Sedums
Various varieties of Lavender esp. ‘Grosso’ Grecian Pattern Plant
Shojo Nomura Japanese Maple Shigitatsu Sawa Japanese Maple
219 Creek View Lane, Callao, Virginia
Bill Wine has been in the Northern Neck for almost 30 years, owning this property since 1987. Since this property once belonged to a waterman, Mr. Wine has quite a collection of old bottles which he will exhibit. His garden is primarily 7.5 acres of pasture and woodland. After a visit to Longwood Gardens in Delaware, Mr. Wine returned to his property, inspired with plans for his woodland.
Over the years, he has introduced into this virginal forest, many native flowers and ferns to create a blooming woodland wonderland. As he says, “It is the reason I get going in the morning.” Some featured plants include:
Jack in the Pulpits Snowdrops Heritage tulips
Hellebores Solomon’s Seal Woodland phlox
Butter and eggs daffodils Bluebells Lilies of the Valley
Press Play to Watch our 3-minute Video
As Thomas Jefferson told Charles Willson Peale on August 20, 1811:
We welcome all garden-lovers that, like Mr. Jefferson, are young-at-heart to take this tour with us!
While you are at the museum, we encourage you to come inside to see the 1768 painting created by young Charles Willson Peale of Sir William Pitt.
If you have any questions, please contact us by phone at 804-493-8440 or by email at email@example.com.