The state’s largest Historic Garden Tour gives you a special look at homes, gardens and history.
When gardens and history come together, the result is pure magic! We at Bay Creek are no strangers to the beauty a garden can create. Our community showcases gorgeous flowers, landscapes and colors in every season, by design. That’s one reason we are so excited about the upcoming Eastern Shore House and Garden Tour on Saturday, May 4th. This annual event, part of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week (April 27-May 4) is the very definition of ‘behind the scenes’—visitors have the rare opportunity to have a look inside some of the Eastern Shore’s most gracious historical homes, most of which are never open for public view.
The History behind the History:
The Eastern Shore House and Garden Tour is part of the Garden Club of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week—an event that dates back to 1927, when a flower show organized by the Garden Club of Virginia raised an unbelievable $7,000 to preserve trees on the lawn of Monticello that had been planted by Thomas Jefferson himself.
Proceeds from Historic Garden Week fund the restoration and preservation of Virginia’s historic public gardens, provide graduate level research fellowships and a Garden Club of Virginia Centennial project with Virginia State Parks. Virginia’s Historic Garden Week is the oldest and largest statewide house and garden tour event in the entire nation and showcases over 250 of the state’s most beautiful homes and gardens.
This year, the Eastern Shore House and Garden tour focuses on the maritime town of Onancock. Founded in 1680, this bustling bayside town features a deep-water port, historic buildings and churches. Shops, restaurants, galleries and add to the charm of this unique Eastern Shore town.
This year’s tour of six historic homes and their gardens is slated to be especially interesting—one of the tour’s homes is Scott Hall, the oldest in Onancock, built in 1769. Another home boasts panoramic views of Onancock Creek.
The tour is Saturday, May 4 from 9:30-5:00.
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s on this beloved tour for 2019:
3215 EYRE HALL DRIVE, CHERITON, VA
This acclaimed ancestral home is a National Historic Landmark, and offers an exceptional glimpse of colonial plantation life. Passed down through eight generations of the same family, Eyre Hall is a treasure trove of historic architecture and furnishings. The garden is one of the oldest continually maintained formal gardens in the country. You’ll see boundless blooms and even more impressive, ancient crape myrtles that tower over boxwoods and specimen plants. The home’s old orangery is a must see as are the boundless blooms that cover the gardens.
80 MARKET STREET, ONANCOCK VA
This Victorian 1850’s home with gingerbread trim on Market Street in Onancock is a showcase of 18th and early 19th century American pieces. The interior boasts treasures like a fine collection of Chinese Imari porcelain, a Bombay desk c. 1700s and a rare 18th century British Bermuda hunt board. Enjoy exploring informal gardens colored with drift roses, daffodils, iris, hydrangea, jasmine, salvia, magnolia and more. This home is open for the first time.
GRACE AMES HOUSE
5 AMES STREET, ONANCOCK VA
Originally built around 1927, The Grace Ames House is a classic example of a craftsman bungalow “kit house.” Beginning in the early 1900s, kit houses were sold from mail order catalogues and shipped by train across the United States. The home is a vibrant celebration of light and creek views and offers a diverse art collection by well-known Eastern Shore artists. Enjoy panoramic creek view and a whimsical, unstructured garden where migratory birds enjoy native plants and waterfront perches.
THE BENJAMIN FOSQUE HOUSE
16 MARKET STREET, ONANCOCK VA
This home’s Victorian façade is an eye-catching sight in the heart of Onancock. Built in 1883, the home offers treasures inside and out: the front hall features a long case clock from Bristol, England (c. mid-18th century) and the library holds more historic treasures. Outside, see a lovely example of an elegant white garden. Open for the first time.
2 SOUTH STREET, ONANCOCK VA
You will enjoy visiting this, the oldest house in Onancock. Scott Hall was built in 1769 and when the land was purchased upon which to build it, Virginia was still a colony of Great Britain! From unusual must see features inside (trap doors and elegant floor to ceiling bookcases), to outdoor interest like the cemetery where 17 relatives of early Scott Hall owners are buried, Scott Hall is not to be missed. Open for the first time.
KER PLACE (TOUR HEADQUARTERS)
69 MARKET STREET, ONANCOCK VA
Built in 1799, this brick mansion is home to the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society and is a restoration project of The Garden Club of Virginia.
Feeling your excitement starting to bloom? Then visit and tour these exceptional Eastern Shore homes on this not to be missed annual occasion.
Get there: Eastern Shore House and Garden Tour
Saturday, May 4, 2019
9:30-5:00, RAIN OR SHINE
Tickets are $40 in advance (local outlets or online) through May 2; $50 day of tour, available only at Eyre Hall and Ker Place.
More details about the homes, the event and purchasing tickets at:
See you in the gardens!