Four Fauquier properties open for garden tours May 1 and 2, 2019
Every spring, the Garden Club of Virginia hosts Virginia’s Historic Garden Week, a statewide week-long tour of a selection of its beautiful estates and gardens. The 2019 event encompasses 31 tours organized and hosted by 47 member clubs. Approximately 200 private homes, gardens and historical places will be open for touring throughout the state. The tour is a fundraiser for the Garden Club of Virginia’s approximately 40 garden restoration and beautification projects in Virginia, which has had broad and significant statewide impact.
The Warrenton Garden Club is one of the Virginia Garden Clubs to participate in this year’s tour. Founded in 1911, The WGC is a volunteer, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that strives to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening and horticulture while promoting environmental conservation and the preservation of historic gardens.
This year, four Fauquier properties are included in this exclusive tour. This self-driving and shuttle tour of the featured historic properties highlights the benefits of protected lands and perpetual open easements.
The Fauquier tour will be headquartered at the Piedmont Environmental Council, where the gardens will be open for touring. The historic 18th-century building underwent extensive renovation and expansion in 2014, which produced the present energy efficient and environmentally friendly building that complements the historic appearance of Old Town Warrenton. The gardens feature native flowers, shrubs, dogwood and oak trees, boxwood, a pollinator garden, and a rain garden fed by gutters and drains. The garden was specifically designed to demonstrate how native plants can be useful and attractive within an urban setting.
Folly Hill Farm
Nestled in the Springs Valley, this 1833 yellow frame farmhouse offers an elegant and comfortable haven for family, friends and animals alike. The home has been renovated to include all the luxuries of 21st century living while maintaining its historic feel. The grounds include stables, a sand riding arena, a tenant house, vegetable gardens and a chicken coop, nicknamed “Cluckingham Palace,” complete with a chandelier and decorative iron hinges.
Wildcat Mountain Farm
Steeped in the history of the rebellious Freestate, this 1906 fieldstone house is currently undergoing a third-generation restoration of a family estate which continues to honor the conservation and horticultural legacy of the owner’s mother and grandmother, both master gardeners and internationally renowned conservationists. The grounds of the estate feature protected native flora, managed pastures and meadow landscapes, stone and brick pathways, a brick walled garden, a formal kitchen garden with historic herbs, and landscaped swimming pool. Pollinator and ephemeral gardens demonstrate harmony between the farm and its adjoining 1,200 acres of protected land previously donated to The Nature Conservancy.
Originally a 1912 two-story fieldstone farmhouse, the home was renovated and expanded in the 1960s to its present structure. An arched main entrance, antique French light fixtures of hand blown glass, custom mercury mirrors, a roundhouse reminiscent of the towers found in fairytales, and a stone staircase leading to a rooftop vista view are a few of the home’s notable features. The lawns are anchored by a stone wall that surrounds an herb garden, peacocks wander the grounds that include an apple orchard and a kitchen garden, complete with an espalier pear tree. Kwanzan cherry trees flank the side of the house, and numerous varieties of naturalized daffodils thrive in the rock outcroppings along the front of the house.
Merry Oak Farm
This 1970s home, adjacent to a log cabin that served as a weekend home before the construction of the main structure, features an intriguing open plan design of the interior common areas combined with a variety of more private rooms. Surrounding the house, a machine shed, stable, chicken coop and flower gardens contribute to the creation of a self-sufficient homestead. A swimming pool with a summer house is connected to the house’s grotto. English cottage-style flower beds backed by low stone walls help frame the views. The entire farm has been preserved in perpetual open space easement ensuring that future generations will be able to experience the beauty of the landscape.
Advance Tickets for the Warrenton tour may be purchased at vagardenweek.org