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Staunton Historic Garden Week to showcase three homes in city’s north end

Waverley Hill
Photo courtesy Augusta Garden Club.

Each spring, visitors are welcomed to some of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes, and historic landmarks during “America’s Largest Open House” sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia.

This week-long event across the state provides visitors an opportunity to see unforgettable gardens at the peak of Virginia’s springtime color, as well as beautiful houses sparkling with flower arrangements created by Augusta Garden Club members. With home interiors open for the first time in three years, this 2022 tour is a celebration of beauty, color and design.

This year, Historic Garden Week will take place in Staunton on Saturday, April 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All three homes on this year’s Staunton tour are located in the city’s north end.

Waverley Hill (3001 N. Augusta St.) is one of Staunton’s grandest historic homes. It was designed by renowned architect William Lawrence Bottomley and features gardens by Arthur Shurcliff, the landscape architect who restored the gardens at Colonial Williamsburg.

Ancient trees tower over the front of the house, and to the side is a beautifully terraced swimming pool. It provides views of the mountains beyond as does the sweeping back lawn surrounded by perennial gardens.

American, English, and French antiques fill the stylish and comfortable interior, and early 20th century and contemporary American paintings and photographs adorn its walls.

During the tour, string performances by acclaimed musicians from the Staunton Music Festival will be held in Waverley Hill’s gardens.

Across the street is Baldwin Place, a neighborhood that features extensive, beautifully landscaped grounds and architecture inspired by that of Colonial Williamsburg.

Penny Farthing Cottage (103 Smithleigh Circle) was built in the tradition of a New England cottage, and is named after the garden’s distinctive High-Wheeler bike weather vane.

The charming interior features the owner’s remarkable basket collection including Nantucket Lightship baskets.

The second home in Baldwin Place (105 Smithleigh Circle) is a spacious, two-story, L-shaped brick house with a covered porch.

Wonderful collections, including antique furniture, lovely paintings, Chinese export, and Asian rugs decorate the interior.

Perennial gardens, terraces, slate and pebble pathways, and beautiful trees enhance both exteriors.

A short distance from these two homes is an enchanting gazebo built on one of Baldwin Place’s designated open spaces. Here at 10:30 am and 12:30 pm, there will be a talk by floral designer Tamara Gibson on floral arrangements inspired by nature’s forms, colors and textiles. At 2:30 pm, Kim Davidson of the Allegheny Mountain Institute will speak about its partnership with Augusta Health, and Pat Banks, Director of Farming, will provide tips on growing nutrient-rich veggies.

Garden Tour Notes

  • Tickets ($30) are available online from the Garden Club of Virginia’s website and must be purchased in advance. Go to org and click on Tickets.
  • Parking is at Covenant Presbyterian Church (2001 Coalter St.). A shuttle van will be available if needed. Parking and shuttle service are free.
  • Music: Artists from the Staunton Music Festival will perform short live classical music concerts at Waverley Hill at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Art: Plein air artists representing Beverley Street Studio School will be painting in the gardens during the tour. Their paintings will be on sale from 5 to 7 p.m. at the BSSS Gallery at 217 W. Beverley St.
  • Lunches may be pre-ordered from the Central United Methodist Church. (To order, go to myvanco.com/YP52/home and then call 540- 886-3441 to make your selection.) Pickup is at the gazebo at Baldwin Place.
  • If you plan to walk, wear comfortable shoes, but a van will be available if needed.

All garden tour proceeds fund the Garden Club of Virginia’s restoration and preservation of more than 40 of our state’s historic public gardens and landscapes and a research fellowship program.

Visitors to Staunton are additionally encouraged to enjoy the city’s award-winning downtown, scenic parks, and museums.  Of special interest are the gardens of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum.


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