Clarksville homes and gardens to be showcased in Virginia’s 85th Historic Garden Week

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The 85th Annual Garden Club of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week hosted by Brunswick Garden Club will feature a Historic House and Garden Tour in Clarksville on Saturday, April 28.
During Historic Garden Week nearly 25,000 visitors tour homes and gardens across Virginia with the proceeds from the tours going toward funding the restoration and preservation of Virginia’s historic gardens, landscapes and state parks.
The Clarksville tour will feature six historic and contemporary homes and gardens, three places of interest, a wine tasting by Mecklenburg County vintners and painting in selected gardens by Plein air artists including Sarah Bolduc, Joan Cowan, Jim Matthews, Heather Raum, Diana Thorpe and Eve Wesson.
The six properties scheduled to be on the tour are The Somerset in Clarksville, Kingswood Lakeview in Buffalo Junction, Pine Knot Farms (garden only) in Mecklenburg County, Prestwould Plantation in Clarksville, Mill Village Cottage in Clarksville and a property located at 201 Briarfield Road.
The Somerset is a perfect blend of elegance and comfort permeate this Merifield Acres property, with all the accent of past and present. Exterior brickwork has touches of Williamsburg, with the use of Flemish bond pattern brick. A large front porch and a formal rear patio attached by a pathway to a reading garden set the southern feel of genteel living. Accents include crystal chandeliers and detailed millwork. This home, a Southern Living design, has extensive crown molding, decorative baseboards and crystal doorknob accents. The den is centered on a brick fireplace flanked by fluted columns and cherry wainscoting. The home has true divided windows to allow the outdoor views in. The view is of woods and natural green and white landscaping touches. Upstairs is all about entertainment. A designated home theater leaves one with the feeling of Saturday Night at the movies.
Kingswood Lakeview is situated on a cove off the main channel, with a long lake view south to Clarksville including an old railroad trestle that is still in operation. The owner’s home was destroyed by fire in 2013. The resulting new home, a mixture of stone and cedar shakes, is a blend of contemporary and tradition architecture. There are multiple stone fireplaces and interior columns. Having 26 ft. ceilings allow window placement in the living room and open kitchen and dining areas to afford views of the lake. The walkout terrace level, with a barn door of rough sawn lumber, is decorated with tobacco memorabilia in tribute to the owner’s late husband who spent his career in the tobacco business. The owner displays her many Christmas “treasures” on the lower level during the tour. Roses fill the circular drive garden. A pool and surrounding terraces offer excellent spaces for entertaining and recreation. Containers with annuals from the owner’s greenhouse accent the pool and patio spaces during spring and summer with vibrant color.  A deck off the living space leads to a waterfront woodland garden. 6.6 mi (13 min) from tour headquarters.
Pine Knot Farms is nestled in the forest on a former tobacco farm with a shade garden designed by Dick Tyler and his late wife Judith Knott Tyler that features hellebores. The garden was planted as a testing area for plants, but also is maintained for the simple pleasure of watching things grow. The owners love for flowers led to the establishment of the family owned nursery near Clarksville in 1983 as a wholesale source of perennials in the Southern United States. They began working on a hellebore-breeding program in the early 1990’s. The owners traveled to the UK and Europe and traded hellebore stock with growers from all over the world. Tyler credits the J.C. Raulston Arboretum for teaching them more about plants than he knew was possible. The gardens have been featured on the Martha Stewart Living Show. You can view the segment on the farm website that includes pictures of hellebore species with order and shipment instructions; directions to the farm. Hellebores, hardy ferns and other shade perennials are available for purchase on tour day at the nursery. This garden is a 15.5 mi (17 min) from Tour Headquarters-you drive into Granville County, NC to get to the property.
Mill Village Cottage is an English Tudor Cottage c. 1947 was the home to Robbins Mill lead chemist. The cottage was a part of a planned community, Mill Village of Robbins Mill, later known as Burlington Mill. The properties were built to house the upper management moving down to Virginia from New England. Since the chemist who resided in the home was the one who developed a way to add color to plaster, his technique was applied to the walls of his house. The basic design is evident in the asymmetrical layout, arched doorways and catslide roof over the enclosed entry. Over the years, the house has been altered to create a more livable floor plan. In 2016, the present owners renovated to add a country kitchen and deck overlooking shade gardens and the property’s verdant landscape of willow oaks, magnolia, cedars, maples and dawn redwood. Plantings include hostas, epimedium, wild ginger, ferns and hellebores. The owner is an avid gardener who plants distinctive specimens – poets laurel Daphne odora, edgeworthia, Chinese mayapple and a pomegranate are examples. An above ground brick fishpond is stocked with fancy tailed goldfish. Located in the shade, it is a popular spot for visiting frogs.
Prestwould Plantation is a National Historic Landmark, the seat of the Skipwith family for four generations, represents a microcosm of late 18th and early 19th century plantation life in the Virginia Piedmont – life in what were the wilds of America. It was built in 1794 and 1795 by Sir Peyton Skipwith, high above the point where the Dan and Staunton rivers converge to for the Roanoke River. Prestwould is one of the most complete plantations surviving in the South. This distinction represents a legacy of a beautifully preserved house and outbuildings, their contents, garden, records and thorough documentation of the lives played out there. It also reflects the influence of two remarkable women – Lady Jean Skipwith and her daughter-in-law Lelia Robertson Skipwith – who were involved in two distinct periods of American decorative arts. Lady Jean Skipwith’s exquisite eighteenth-century English botanical wallpapers and Federal furnishings remain alongside Lelia Skipwith’s French scenic wallpapers and neoclassical furnishings. The house remains over 80 percent of its original contents – the wallpapers alone form the finest documented collection in the nation. Prestwould stands today not only as a monument to American Decorative Arts, but as a testament to gracious living on the American Frontier.
The home located at 201 Briarfield road is in the cul-de-sac of a quiet lakefront neighborhood, Merifield Acres, this electric Craftsman reflects the owners’ love of nature both inside and out. The inviting circular drive is accented with a small rock wall and Dwarf Globe Arborvitaes. Views of the lake can be seen from both the main level and lower level of the home. A deck runs the length of the upper level and provides lake access. A rock-lined path is a short stroll to the shoreline and boat dock. A bright interior of creams and turquoise accent the wooden floors, rock fireplace and other Craftsman features. In the open concept living design, the kitchen, living room and sunroom blend harmoniously, creating a relaxing ambiance. Downstairs, family and friends enjoy shuffleboard, billiards and an occasional game of darts or the latest release in the theatre room. Connecting the two areas is a more contemporary full kitchen complete with a wine chiller. Crimson Loropetalum, gardenias, a Lace Leaf Japanese Maple and a plethora of perennials accent the pond that is filled with several varieties of goldfish including Shubunkins and Sarasota Comets of all colors, shape and sizes. Ornamental trees and assorted azaleas surround the house with color and texture.
The placees of interested that will be included in the tour will include Occoneechee State Park, Clarksville Regional Museum and the English Cottage and Gardens.
The tour will begin at 10 a.m. at tour headquarters, the Town of Clarksville Council Chambers, located on Virginia Avenue, where guidebooks and tour maps will be available. The tour is set to end at 5 p.m. and tickets if purchased in advance cost $25 or $30 if purchased on the day of the tour. Advance tickets will be available now until April 23 and can be purchased online at vagardenweek.org or in person at the Galleria on the Lake in Clarksville, Exit Town and Lake Realty in South Hill or Bracey, Brunswick Library in Lawrenceville, MacCallum-More Museum and Gardens in Chase City and Blackstone Antiques and Crafts Mal in Blackstone.
Tickets can also be ordered by mail before April 20 by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope with a $25 check to: The Brunswick Garden Club, c/o Jane Stringer, PO Box 67, Bracey, VA 23919 for receipt to confirm purchase. Tickets ordered by mail can be picked up on day of the tour at the Town of Clarksville Council Chambers,
A special reservation-only luncheon will also be available at Cooper’s Landing Inn & Tavern on the day of the tour. If you are interested in viewing the menu or making a reservation both can be done so by visiting the restaurants website at cooperslandinginn.net.
To find out more about the Garden Club of Virginia and Historic Garden Week please visit gcvirginia.org.