“Historic Isle of Wight” inspiration for this year’s local garden tour

Published 10:18 am Friday, April 15, 2016

Colonel Thomas Darden Home

Colonel Thomas Darden Home

What has become what some would consider an attraction in Virginia is the Virginia Garden Week, tours put on in different localities every year that offer inside looks of gardens, homes and historical landmarks. This year, local garden clubs have chosen Isle of Wight County as the local site for their tour, inspired by “Historic Isle of Wight,” a book written by Helen King and later updated by the Isle of Wight County Historical Society.

“The purpose of garden tours is to provide an experience for people who appreciate gardens and homes,” Chairman of Franklin Garden Club said. “The proceeds from garden tours fund the restoration and preservation of historic gardens, landscapes and state parks.”

In her book, King went through Isle of Wight and documented historical homes, their history and prior ownership. The Isle of Wight County Historic Society went back and made sure that there were old pictures and updated pictures of each home and site.

This year’s tour will be on Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to the brochure, the following eight properties will be on tour:

• Boykins Tavern: 1746 Monument Circle, Isle of Wight, 23397.

• Colonel Thomas Darden Home: 20485 Orbit Road, Windsor, 23487.

• Woodland United Methodist Church: 20051 Orbit Road, Windsor, 23487.

• The 1850 Darden Farmstead: 19614 Orbit Road, Windsor, 23487.

• Oak Level: 15107 Courthouse Road, Smithfield, 23430.

• St. Luke’s Church: 14477 Benn’s Church Boulevard, Smithfield, 23430.

• Davis Day House: 154000 Mokete Trail, Smithfield, 23430.

• Six Oaks: 14470 Great Springs Road, Smithfield, 23430.

Aside from touring the sites, garden tour participants will get to experience other activities at some of the places. At the tour headquarters, Boykin’s Tavern Lawn, the Isle of Wight Museum will be selling books on local history, master gardeners will be available to answer questions and there will be a display of antique tractors. Plein Air artists will be painting at most sites. There will be a display of antique quilts all day.

Participants will also have the opportunity to indulge in the luncheon. The box lunches are $15 and available for eat in and take out at Woodland United Methodist Church, 20051 Orbit Road, Windsor. Reservations are required by mail by Saturday, April 16, for the lunches.

Checks can be made payable to Woodland United Methodist Church, Attn: Maria Bell. For further information call 357-5810.

Complimentary refreshments will be served from 2 to 4:30 at the Davis Day house. Horses will be on display, as well as musicians performing during this time.

Parking is available at all sites except the Davis Day House, where a shuttle will run from the VDOT parking lot at the corner of Route 10 and Route 258 in Smithfield.

This garden tour is put on by the Franklin Garden Club, The Elizabeth River Garden Club and The Nansemond River Garden Club.

Tickets the day of the event of are $35 at the Information and Ticket Headquarters Tent at Boykin’s Tavern Lawn. Advance tickets are $30, and can be purchased at www.vagardenweek.org, Alphabet Soup, The Peanut Patch and Windsor True Value Hardware.

For further information on the event, visit www.vagardenweek.org.