Diggin’ In: Historic Garden Walk, a fine art and flower exhibition

April 25, 2016

In Williamsburg, Historic Garden Week in Virginia takes on a day of "Art and the Garden" with more than just pretty plants and fine furnishings in the homes open to visitors on April 26.

Historic Garden Week in Virginia, April 23-30, features 250 private homes and gardens open for public tours statewide. Sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia — – since 1929, the annual event raises funds for the restoration and preservation of public gardens at historic sites, including Monticello, Mount Vernon and Montpelier.

The garden club estimates the cumulative economic impact of the country’s only statewide home and garden tour for the past 45 years is $425 million, according to a news release. The event attracts 30,000 visitors, and includes local residents and out-of-state tourists. For more information, including a downloadable guidebook and tickets, visit

Williamsburg’s $50 ticket for the day includes admission to five sites, an "Art in Bloom" fine art and flower exhibition, escorted College of William and Mary landscape tour, Virginia Glass Guild show and sale, lectures on botanical art and landscape design and even a vintage car display. In addition, there’s "Birds, Bugs and Plants: Observing the Natural World in the 18th Century" at the Art Museums at Colonial Williamsburg; Chamber Music Candlelight Concert at Bruton Parish Church; lunchtime food trucks near the Wildflower Refuge at William and Mary.

Two homes — Lindsey Home and Bed-Mede — on tour are sure to catch your attention and make you stay awhile, according to Terry Buntrock, tour spokeswoman and member of the Williamsburg Garden Club, which hosts the event.

"I’m a huge fan of woodland gardens and shade-loving plants, and Ed and Glenda Lindsey have transformed a woodland ravine behind their home," says Buntrock.

"The Lindseys added a brick-lined path through the woods that expands their usable property in a beautiful creative way; it adds some mystery and adventure to their property. I think a lot of our tour guests this year will be inspired by the use of a part of the yard that is often ignored."

Owners Jim and Pam Penny have carefully restored Bel-Mede, which was built in 1770 near Wakefield, Virginia and moved to Williamsburg in 1947 by a William and Mary art professor, according to Buntrock.

"Looking at the property from the front garden, tour guests will never imagine the surprise that is in store when they enter the house," she says.

"In addition to the careful restoration, the Pennys added an art gallery wing to house their collection of folk art. I don’t want to say too much about it, because the surprise of it will be spoiled, but I will say, it is an enviable art collection and the room that houses the collection is joyful and just makes you smile to see it."

In addition, members of the Williamsburg Garden Club will escort guests on a tour of the gardens, art and architecture on the William and Mary Campus, and this year’s tour ticket includes admission to the Art Museum at Colonial Williamsburg.

"You can also visit the Williamsburg Arts District, which starts at the 800 block of Richmond Road," says Buntrock.

"There you will find 21 sculptures that make up the Outdoor Art Gallery. As always, Mattey’s Garden at Matthew Whaley elementary school and the Adams Garden at William and Mary are part of the tour."



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