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Historic Garden Week begins in Virginia

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You know spring has arrived when Historic Garden Week begins in Virginia. Each spring, more than 250 of Virginia's gardens, homes and historic landmarks welcome visitors to the beauty of Virginia during Historic Garden Week.

Historic Garden Week 2014 will be celebrated in Virginia April 26 - May 3, 2014. Visiting properties during Garden Week is a great way to get ideas to use in your own home or garden.

This popular event features tours of beautiful homes and gardens across the state of Virginia, open to the public for a fee. Advance tickets can be purchased at various sites and individual tickets can also be purchased.

Many cities participating in Historic Garden Week offer shuttle service between the properties. In addition to private homes and gardens, many public Virginia gardens will be open to the public during Garden Week.

Garden Day tours will be held in numerous locations including Richmond, the Hampton Roads area, Roanoke, Lynchburg, Charlottesville and various locations in Northern Virginia.

The official website, www.vagardenweek.org, is difficult to access during Garden Week due to the heavy amount of traffic on the site. Visit your local tourism office to pick up a free guidebook for Garden Week or check the listing below to find Garden Day in your community.

Saturday, April 26 Garden Day tours will be held in Ashland - Western Hanover, Clarke County - Winchester, Franklin - Courtland, Eastern Shore, Orange County, Old Town Alexandria, Portsmouth and Morven, Charlottesville.

Sunday, April 27 Garden Day tours will be held in Albemarle - Charlottesville, Chatham, Clarke County - Winchester, Middleburg and Westover Plantation - Charles City.

Monday, April 28 Garden Day tours will be held in Albemarle - Charlottesville, Middleburg and Westover Plantation - Charles City.

Tuesday, April 29 Garden Day tours will be held in Fairfax County, Fredericksburg, Lynchburg, Petersburg - Walnut Hill, Williamsburg, Westover Plantation - Charles City and at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Wednesday, April 30 Garden Day tours will be held in Newport News - Hampton: Yorktown, Harrisonburg, Martinsville, Northern Neck - Richmond County, Richmond: Historic Byrd Park and Maymont and Virginia Beach.

Thursday, May 1 Garden Day tours will be held in Danville, Norfolk, Richmond - Glenbrooke Hills and Tuckahoe Plantation - Goochland County.

Friday, May 2 Garden Day tours will be held in Middle Peninsula and Richmond - Hampton Gardens.

Saturday, May 3 Garden Day tours will be held in Boydton, Gloucester, Lexington, Roanoke and Staunton - Waynesboro and Stuarts Draft.

Interior photography or sketching is prohibited. Some homes also prohibit exterior photography, so please check before taking photos at any locations.

Strollers, backpacks and large bags are not permitted inside homes and there are no public restroom facilities in the homes. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Here are some photos to enjoy from Historic Garden Day 2013 in Lynchburg.

Anne Spencer House and Garden
Anne Spencer House and Garden Sandy Wallace

Anne Spencer House and Garden

The dogwoods are blooming across Virginia, including at the Anne Spencer House and Garden in Lynchburg. Anne Spencer was an internationally recognized Harlem Renaissance poet. Born in 1882, Spencer lived in this home until her death in 1975. The beautiful garden, featured on the cover of this year's Historic Garden Week guidebook, is one of the official stops during Garden Day in Lynchburg this year.

Anne Spencer Garden
Anne Spencer Garden Sandy Wallace

Anne Spencer Garden

From the back yard of the Anne Spencer Garden, you can see the cottage where Spencer wrote. The cottage, "Edankraal," is not open to the public; however you can glance in the windows to see the past. The garden is open to the public daily.

Anne Spencer Garden Spring Plantings
Anne Spencer Garden Spring Plantings Sandy Wallace

Anne Spencer Garden Spring Plantings

Spring arrangements are beautifully displayed in front of Anne Spencer's "Edankraal" cottage using watering cans and planters. There are also tulips and other spring bulbs in bloom throughout the garden.

Old City Cemetery Trees
Old City Cemetery Trees Sandy Wallace

Old City Cemetery Trees

With a statue of St. Francis in the foreground, you can see the flowering spring trees in the background at Old City Cemetery. Although not an official stop on Garden Day, Old City Cemetery is beautiful in the spring.

Old City Cemetery Roses
Old City Cemetery Roses Sandy Wallace

Old City Cemetery Roses

The heritage roses have begun to bloom at Old City Cemetery. The Father Hugo's rose in this photograph is one of more than 200 antique roses on the wall at the cemetery. There is a Mother's Day Rose Walk planned at Old City Cemetery on May 11, but the cemetery is open to the public daily.

Old City Cemetery Lilacs
Old City Cemetery Lilacs Sandy Wallace

Old City Cemetery Lilacs

You'll find lilacs, redbuds, dogwoods and other spring trees and shrubs blooming during April at Old City Cemetery. There's also a butterfly garden and pond, a Confederate section with over 2,200 graves of solders from 14 states, and several museums on the grounds of the cemetery.

Garden Day 2013
Garden Day 2013 Sandy Wallace

Garden Day 2013

This garden was one of the private homes and gardens open on Garden Day 2013. You can expect to see azaleas and rhododendron in bloom in many gardens on Garden Day this year. This year's Lynchburg gardens are located at 1108 Greenway Court, 1534 Rivermont Avenue, 1415 Northwood Circle, 203 Colonial Court, 1513 Linden Avenue and the Anne Spencer House at 1313 Pierce Street.

Plein Air Painter, Garden Day 2013
Plein Air Painter, Garden Day 2013 Sandy Wallace

Plein Air Painter, Garden Day 2013

During Garden Day 2013, there were plein air painters on site at one of the gardens. This year, there will be plein air dancers from the Dance Theatre of Lynchburg performing in the garden at the Shahrokhi home at 1513 Linden Avenue at 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m. on Garden Day.

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