Ring in spring with Garden Week

Published 10:24 pm Friday, April 6, 2018

The Virginia Garden Club will host its Historic Garden Week for the 85th year later this month, and the week starts with tours in Suffolk and Isle of Wight County.

The garden tour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 21 features five homes and gardens for spectators to enjoy, and there are additional activities to participate in at the gardens. The tour allows guests to get a taste of the Village of Eclipse.

“Mainly, it’s the history of the place,” said Sandy Canada, member of the Garden Club of Virginia. “We want to share the history and diversity. It doesn’t look like any subdivision, and the homes are quite varied.”

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Four of the five of the tour spots will have both the homes and the gardens available for viewing.

Barrel Point, 9160 Wigneil St., will only have the garden available, but the view will stun spectators. The garden view shows where the James and Nansemond rivers meet, and Newport News, Hampton and Norfolk are all visible across the water. Dick and Carolyn Barry own the Barrel Point property.

The couple also own the Bleakhorn Cottage, 2000 Bleakhorn Road, which is available for tour.

Bill Pinkham assisted in planting and maintaining the garden at Barrel Point, and Pinkham’s home and garden will also be available for touring.

Pinkham and his wife, Linda, both horticulturists, design, maintain and breed plants for their own garden. Their six-acre property is located in Isle of Wight County, and it is only accessible via bus for the tour.

Bill waters the plants, designs the property and makes pottery featured in the garden. Linda assists in maintaining the garden, and she also breeds some of the plants featured in the garden. Through the backyard, spectators can look out onto the James River.

There will be history during the tour, and spectators can enjoy history from the home built by Capt. Lepron Johnson in the 1890s. The home was renovated two years ago and still features many original pieces. The wood floors, brick fireplace, upstairs windows and doors were all reclaimed during the restoration. Steve and Myra Young own the property.

Just a block away from the James and Nansemond rivers sits Bill and Joyce Beigle’s property, 9338 Rivershore Drive. The Beigles built their home on the land in 2003. The home features a contemporary feel with a traditional home.

Along with home and garden tours, the event will include time at Johnsons and Sons Seafood to learn about oyster shucking and the oystering process.

The Nansemond Indian Tribe will share customs, traditions and regalia at the CE&H Ruritan Club, 8881 Eclipse Drive.

Tickets will be available the day of the event at the tour headquarters, 1589 Steeple Drive, for $35, but advance tickets can be purchased for $30 at www.vagardenweek.org.