After an outdoor-only tour in 2021, Historic Garden Week returns to Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Known as “America’s Largest Open House”, The Garden Club of Virginia welcomes visitors to more than 100 private and public gardens, homes and historic landmarks throughout the Commonwealth.
The 2022 driving tour features five private homes and gardens in Fincastle, a charming and historically significant community in neighboring Botetourt County. One of the homes on this tour, Santillane, c. 1795, is such a perfect depiction of beauty and history that it was selected for this year’s cover of the state guidebook. This Georgian brick home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural design and connection to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Fincastle became the county seat in 1772 when Botetourt County stretched all the way to the Mississippi River. The town boasts multiple buildings dating to the 18th and 19th centuries including the historic courthouse which houses records that attract genealogists from around the world. It is also the location of Fincastle Presbyterian Church, a restoration project of the Garden Club of Virginia.
Locally planned and hosted by volunteers from both Mill Mountain Garden Club and Roanoke Valley Garden Club, under guidance from The Garden Club of Virginia, this event is one of 30 unique statewide tours April 23-30. For 89 years, visitors have celebrated the beauty of Virginia’s landscapes and gardens. Proceeds from Historic Garden Week fund the restoration and preservation of historic public gardens in Virginia and provide graduate level research fellowships. Ticket purchases and donations have also helped the Garden Club of Virginia to make a $500,000 Centennial gift to support projects at Virginia State Parks.
Since the first statewide tour, over $17 million has been contributed to these worthwhile causes. The estimated cumulative economic impact of Historic Garden Week to Virginia since 1969 is $518 million.
On Saturday, April 30, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., neighboring Fincastle will be buzzing with activity and visitors as Mill Mountain Garden Club and The Roanoke Valley Garden Club host Historic Garden Tour. An annual event, sponsored by The Garden Club of Virginia, the tour raises funds for the preservation and restoration of historic gardens throughout the Commonwealth. The Fincastle tour includes five magnificent homes and gardens of architectural and historic significance to our area. Tickets are available online only at www.vagardenweek.org, and they are $25 in advance or $30 the day of the tour. The tour takes place rain or shine.