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Red Oak Hall
Friday, April 26, 2013
On Saturday, in honor of the 80th observation of Historic Garden Week in Virginia, the Blue Ridge Garden Club of Lexington will offer the opportunity to travel the world — without ever leaving Rockbridge County.
“Around the World in Lexington — No Passport Required” will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature five homes in architectural styles from Asia, England, Italy, France and 18th-century America.
“It’s a smattering of a suggestion of international properties,” said Cecile West-Settle, co-chairwoman of the event.
She said idea came from chairwoman Barbara Lutton, after she saw the Italian-style house Colle Verde. Getting the other homeowners to agree was easy, West-Settle said. Proceeds from the tour go toward the restoration of historic gardens in Virginia, and “people are willing to participate for a good cause.”
There will be special entertainment at each stop, West-Settle said, including lectures on Japanese tea ceremonies; cooking with Italian herbs and spices; folk dancers; and high-school students reciting Shakespeare’s soliloquies.
Master Gardeners and members of the Valley of Virginia Herb Guild will be at each house to answer questions.
Advance tickets are $20 and may be purchased through today at the Lexington Visitor Center, at Hamilton-Robbins in Lexington or online at virginiagardenweek.org. Tickets are $25 the day of the event, and may be purchased at the Visitor Center or any of the homes.
Last year 900 people attended the tour, West-Settle said. This year, around 150 volunteers will be working the event. “It takes lot of community effort,” she said.
Homes on the tour:
Colle Verde, 25 Buckland Drive, owned by Barbara Crawford and Mario Pelliccario
This modern Umbrian farmhouse and garden were designed by the owner, an artist, and house her studio. Salvaged and recycled materials are featured throughout the house and garden .
Red Oak Hall, 125 Buckland Drive, owned by Thomas Goodwin Jr.
This English country-style home is decorated with English and American antiques. Outside is a series of English garden rooms, accented with historic Lexington pavers.
Nara, 1320 Turnpike Road, owned by Carol and Ben Grigsby
This Asian retreat was built to reflect the owners’ years in Japan. Inside are Japanese and Asian antiques, including Meiji-era woodblock prints. Outside are views of the mountains and the grounds, which are decorated with Japanese lanterns and antique Chinese millstones.
Pennoke, 872 Enfield St., owned by Beverly and Spencer Tucker
The owners are admitted Francophiles, and representations of Jeanne d’Arc and Napoleon are scattered around the house. There is also an 8,000-book library and a collection of ship models. The outdoor area includes spacious lawns, statuary and views of a large meadow called “the croquet field.”
Sunnyside House, 160 Kendal Drive
The 18th-century Federal-style brick farmhouse is part of Kendal at Lexington, a retirement community, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Much of the original woodwork survives. Other features include a “secret garden” enclosed by boxwoods and a collection of model trains.
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