HISTORIC GARDEN WEEK 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017 • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Who would have thought that three homes built in the Greek Revival style by the master builder, Major William A. Jennings, could be found in the tiny hamlet of Orange (pop. only 10,670 in 1850)? The style, harkening back to classic Greek architecture, was appreciated in the mid-1800s for being an expression of local nationalism and civic virtue, free of aristocratic and church associations. In addition, Spotswood Lodge, an 1850s farmhouse recently converted into a bed and breakfast, is open for tour.
THE MARKET AT GRELEN
15091 Yager Road, Gordonsville, Virginia 22942
Set at Grelen Nursery’s 600-acre nursery with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Market at Grelen is both a casual café and European-style garden shop with hiking trails and pick-your-own farm. The nursery was founded by Dan Gregg in 1991 and The Market was added in 2013. Open on tour day until 5 p.m.
18454 Monteith Farm Road, Gordonsville, Virginia 22942
The house, a two-story building over an English basement with a hipped roof, is thought to have been built by the local master builder Major William A. Jennings (c. 1844). Built on an L-shaped plan, the brick structure retains most of the original Greek Revival woodwork including the marbleized mantels. Painted to resemble real stone, this technique was popular in the mid 1800s. Noteworthy is the “Maiden staircase” which prevented slaves from entering the front of the house; they had to enter through a door that led to the roof. False windows, apparent from the exterior, are placed to maintain symmetry. The property includes a slave cemetery and a civil war encampment. The current owners have worked to restore the landscape and create a wildlife and pollinator habitat through reforestation. Twenty acres of fallow fields were converted to wildflower and native warm season grass meadows. The surrounding area includes a peony and herbaceous border, a secret fountain garden, a formal boxwood-walled herb and tea garden, plus a Greek Revival chicken coop with vegetable and cutting gardens. The Passarellos are committed to preserving local native plant and vegetable varieties as well as keeping rare and North American Heritage breed chickens.
Carla and Kevin Passarello, owners
12384 Merriewood Drive, Somerset, Virginia 22702
The original section is a brick house built in 1856 by Major William A. Jennings, who built many houses in the area. In this elegant structure, his own residence, Jennings constructed a commanding version of the Greek Revival style. Restored to his original floor plan, the rooms in this section are just as they were in the 19th century. Doors, glass, window molding and decorative carvings are intact. Of interest is the Jennings family graveyard, located on the property. In 1998 the current owners commissioned William Ryall, a New York architect, to design a frame addition.
The new wing is light-filled and airy, and complements the original house. Furnishings include family pieces, as well as a mix of English and American antiques. In the music room is a noteworthy Sheraton secretary that belonged to Mrs. Collins’ great-great-grandfather and a Steinway grand piano from the Manhattan townhouse of Mr. Collins’ great-grandfather, which was a Christmas present to his daughter in 1888. A portrait of Mrs. Collins’ great-great-great-grandmother hangs above the mantel in the dining room; three portraits of Mrs. Collins’ great-aunt show her as a child, as an eighteen-year-old, and as a Red Cross nurse in the First World War. A charming playhouse on the grounds is furnished as a child’s kitchen. Charles J. Stick designed the garden viewed from the 1st floor addition.
James Collins and Virginia Donelson Collins, owners.
EDGEWOOD MILLER FARM
5291 Scuffletown Road, Barboursville, Virginia 22923
Built by William F. Brooking in 1852 and constructed by Jennings, this brick house is two stories over an English basement with two large rooms on each floor. There is a hall and stairs running inside the front of the house. Closed shutters on the west side are false windows. This is similar to the design of Monteith in nearby Gordonsville and used to balance to the exterior. A front porch and frame expansion to the back of the home are 20th and 21st century additions. The kitchen was added by previous owners and renovated in 2011. The Millers added a high tech media room in the English basement and updated many of the outbuildings on the property, including a guest house with an indoor/outdoor stone fireplace, a sunken garden and a garage with an office above it designed in the French Country style. They designed and constructed the chicken palace too. A state-of-the-art horse barn is home to sport horses that are boarded and trained, as well as three thoroughbred rescue horses. Outside the main house is a brick oval patio with raised beds surrounding it. Up the hill to the left is a deer-proof raised bed garden. Everything from from tomatoes, lettuces, raspberries, blackberries and beans are grown there organically. To the right is the field garden, which contains even more vegetables. The 243 acre property is in conservation easement and contains a new greenhouse.
Barbara and David Miller, owners.
16280 Blue Ridge Turnpike, Gordonsville, Virginia 22942
Set on an 11-acre property with a pond in front, the traditionally styled main house has been added onto multiple times but the exact date of construction is unknown. The original one-over-one (the current dining room and one of the upstairs bedrooms) is the oldest part of the house and probably dates to the late 1700s. The Main House and Cottage has eight bedrooms, seven full baths and numerous living spaces. Originally a single-family home, and later a B&B, the owners of The Market At Grelen purchased and renovated the property to be a farm rental for Grelen brides and others visiting the area. The interiors were re-designed by Leslie Gregg, co-owner of The Market. New bluestone and brick paving and natural fieldstone walls were added to enhance the yard. Overgrown boxwood around the foundation have been replaced with trees and shrubs to soften the house while not blocking its view from the road. The Acer triflorum, or “Three Flower Maple”, in front of house to left of front porch has beautiful fall color.
Dan and Leslie Gregg, owners.
Ticket & Tour Information
Saturday, April 22, 2017 • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ticket includes admission to the following four private homes, gardens and outbuildings: Monteith, Merriewood, Edgewood Miller Farm, Spotswood Lodge and Market at Grelen.
Tickets: $35 per person. Available tour day only at Market at Grelen, 15091 Yager Road, Gordonsville.
Advance Tickets: $30 pp at www.vagardenweek.org. Available locally until noon on April 21 at The Arts Center of Orange in Orange, the Laurie Holladay Shop and Colonial Florist in Gordonsville. By mail through April 10. Checks payable to DMGC with a stamped, self-addressed legal sized envelope to: Jacque Johnson, 22386 Village Road, Unionville 22567.
Lunch: $15 per person bag lunches from The Market at Grelen at www.themarketatgrelen.com. Orders required by April 17. Pick up between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (540) 672-7268.
Facilities: Available at The Market at Grelen and Spotswood Lodge.
Parking: This is a driving tour. Parking is available at The Market at Grelen, Monteith, Edgewood and Merriewood. Spotswood Lodge is only accessible by shuttle. Pick up at
The Market at Grelen from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and drop off from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Market at Grelen is located at 15091 Yager Road, Gordonsville, VA 22942.
Directions to The Market at Grelen (Headquarters):
Maps will be available as part of the local brochure posted online at www.dolleymadisongardenclub.org or on Facebook under “Historic Garden Week in Orange, VA.”
Take I-64 west, exit at Zions CrossRd.s, head north on Rt.
15 through the roundabout at Gordonsville. Continue west
on Rt. 33 (Spotswood Trail). Turn right onto Blue Ridge Turnpike/VA-231 for 4.61 miles. Turn right onto Jacksontown Rd./VA 655 for 1.43 miles. Turn right onto Yager Rd. at the Market at Grelen. 15091 Yager Rd., Gordonsville, VA 22942.
Take Rt. 29 North to Ruckersville. Turn right on Spotswood Trail/Rt. 33 East for 6.72 miles. Turn left onto Constitution Hwy./VA-20 for 2.85 miles. Turn right onto Weyburn Rd. for
1.82 miles. Turn right onto VA 231/Blue Ridge Turnpike for
0.29 miles. Take second left onto Jacksontown Rd./VA 655 for 1.43 miles. Turn right onto Yager Rd. at the Market at Grelen. 15091 Yager Rd., Gordonsville, VA 22942.
Places of Interest
James Madison’s Montpelier
13384 Laundry Road, Montpelier Station, VA 22957
James Madison’s Museum
129 Caroline Street, Orange, VA 22960
Arts Center of Orange
129 E. Main Street, Orange, VA22960
Exchange Hotel Civil War Museum
400 S. Main Street, Gordonsville, VA 22942
Many thanks to all the volunteers that make Garden Week possible!
Please enjoy these additional photographs of the properties taken by Dolley Madison Garden Club member Bridget Bryant. Thank you for sharing Bridget! After Historic Garden Week you will be able to find pictures of all the wonderful arrangements here, we are sure they will be as spectacular as ever.
We hope everyone had a wonderful time. Thank you to Bridget Bryant for these pictures. Photos of the arrangements to follow shortly.