Garden week grows in Virginia

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 7, 2010

My journey to Cleveland’s Home and Garden show was disappointing.

The display gardens were great but the “Wonderful Germany” theme was a bust. Picture a school cafeteria with 10 tables covered with cheap plastic blue and white checkered table clothes and cardboard castles taped to walls. The smorgasbord of authentic German cuisine was bratwursts and strudel along with Italian sausages and Hungarian chicken paprikash.

This portion of the show was definitely over hyped and best described as cheesy! Otherwise I enjoyed the gardens and vendors but will not add this to my must return list.

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It seems that my articles electronically posted on The Tribune’s website have caught the interest of garden show organizers around the nation. My electronic mailbox has been receiving notices and invites to a broad range of events and activities.

I could keep myself extremely busy with just this niche travel area but I’ll continue to mix and match travel themes.

There is an upcoming garden activity that is sure to be blooming success. It’s the “Historic Garden Week of Virginia” presented by the Garden Club of Virginia.

Historic Garden Week returns this year to Newport News in the celebration of its 77th anniversary by showcasing more than 200 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks during “America’s Largest Open House,” April 17 through 25, 2010.

On April 21 visitors to the Hampton Roads area can join the Newport News-Hampton club tour, which includes properties in York County from the early twentieth century to the early twenty-first century.

After the tour you can take a short drive to Lee Hall Mansion, a stately, historic antebellum plantation house and stroll grounds and gardens that have been landscaped by the Garden Club of Virginia.

While you are here be sure to visit the Virginia Living Museum’s Virginia Garden.

The entrance to the garden is just as though the visitor is a settler arriving in Virginia in 1607.

Guests can explore four hundred years of gardening in Virginia, including native wild plants and plantings that the colonists brought with them from Europe.

The Garden Club of Virginia awarded the Huntington Garden Club its Common Wealth Award for this interesting project.

The museum is also home to a three thousand-square-foot “Conservation Garden” and a six hundred-square-foot “Living Green House” environmental education center. Visitors can learn all about earth-friendly products and gardening techniques.

The Green House opened on June 20, 2009, and is the first of its kind in Virginia and one of the first anywhere in the United States.

Another must see is the Huntington Park Rose Garden.

This beautifully landscaped area comes complete with a scenic gazebo and features over forty-five different rose varieties.

In 2002, Newport News was named an American Rose City by the American Rose Society, the first city in Virginia to earn that distinction.

Also located in Huntington Park is the Virginia War Museum which showcases America’s military history from the Revolutionary War to the present day.

Additional Garden Week tours are offered throughout the week, including Williamsburg on April 20, Norfolk on April 22, and Virginia Beach on April 21.

You are located in the heart of Virginia’s historic triangle and can add a wealth of historic and cultural activities to your itinerary.

Colonial Williamsburg, historic Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown National Military Park are only a short drive away.

In Norfolk check out the Virginia Aquarium or tour the USS Wisconsin, the world’s largest battleship.

This area of Virginia is also where much of the Civil War Peninsula campaign was fought.

You could easily spend a week or longer here exploring and discovering. For more information call or call (800) VISIT VA.

The Travel Professor talks about passport less Caribbean travel to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands Tuesday Feb 9th at 6:00pm at the Ironton location of Briggs Library.

Got travel? Email the or dial 740-550-9540.