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Style · April 11, 2017

Historic Garden Week’s local tour set April 26-27

Historic Garden Week
• Local Tour: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, April 26-27.

• Featured: 4 homes — Eastwood, Hopefield, Huntley Hall, Loretta — and Airlie House and Gardens.

• Host: Warrenton Garden Club.

• Tickets: $25 in advance (through April 19), $35 thereafter, or $15 per tour stop.

• Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

• Facebook page: Click here

• Website: Click here
Four stately homes near Warrenton and Airlie’s main building will welcome visitors Wednesday and Thursday, April 26-27, during Historic Garden Week in Virginia.

The Garden Club of Virginia calls the statewide event “America’s Largest Open House,” with 30 tours that local affiliates host.

The Warrenton Garden Club will host the local tour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Warrenton tour tickets are $25 in advance (through April 19) and $35 per person thereafter. Single site admission is $15 per person. Tickets may be purchased during the tour at any of the houses featured and at Airlie, the tour headquarters. Credit cards will only be accepted at the headquarters.

Three Warrenton shops have advance tickets for sale: Carter & Spence, Christine Fox and The Town Duck or online at

Proceeds support state and local conservation, beautification and educational projects.

The tour will feature:

Airlie House and Gardens
6809 Airlie Road, Warrenton
Airlie House, the tour headquarters, was initially built in 1899 in the American Georgian style, reminiscent of the original owner’s Philadelphia heritage. Following a fire in 1924, it was rebuilt on the same foundation and in the same style but with two stories instead of the original three.

A central staircase dominates the broad entrance hall, splitting at the landing into two flights as it climbs to the second story. Now a conference center, the entrance hall, small sitting room and porch (now glassed enclosed) preserve the welcoming ambiance of the original home.

The entrance to the grounds follows a small stream as it winds through a park graced with old-growth trees and leads to the house through a formal garden enclosed within a fieldstone wall. The bones of the old garden are clear with its axial orientation and boxwood hedges bordering the beds. In 1998, organic garden was established to provide food for the Airlie restaurant as well as local families and to educate visitors about the value of using food grown locally.

6763 Airlie Road, Warrenton
Giant tulip poplars dominate the tree line along the drive approaching the stately Federal-style, brick house, built in 1922 by Irwin Fleming for Col. Robert Wallach. A Doric portico opens into the broad central hall containing Chinese figurines of the Tang era and bronze reclining greyhounds by Hungarian-American sculptor, Hunt Diederich.

French doors open directly onto the terrace and garden interlocking interior and exterior. A cross-hall opens on one side to a porch and small garden enclosed within an old boxwood hedge. On the other side, it leads past the gracious staircase to the magisterial dining room, known to have seated 65 on one grand occasion. Both drawing room and dining room contain paneling from Mrs. Wallach’s father’s house in Washington.

A small library with Pompeian red paneling contains Chinese portraits and figurines. The grassy terrace at the rear of the house terminates in a low brick wall with steps down to the large lawn and delicate iron gate opening to the fields and mountains in the distance. Family weddings in the garden occasioned renovations over the years resulting in the deep herbaceous borders on each side backed by boxwood and a wall using bricks from the old hotel at Fauquier White Sulphur Springs. Brick outbuildings include the old summer kitchen, garages and servants’ quarters. Hopefield is in a conservation easement and the house is on the National Historic Register.

7129 James Madison Highway, Warrenton
Open for the first time for Historic Garden Week

Col. Elias Edmonds, a Revolutionary War veteran, built his Federal-style house in the late 18th century, using brick imported from England. The façade is laid in Flemish bond brick and the sides in three-course American bond.

A subsequent owner replaced the early frame addition across the back with brick and an impressive Ionic portico on a podium base was added on the front in the early 20th century in conformity with the Colonial Revival style that characterizes Loretta today.

A broad staircase flows down from the third floor and into the large center hall. Pocket doors lead to a drawing room on one side and dining room, with its original paneling, on the other. Matching fireplaces trimmed by Doric mantels face each other across the open space.

The imposing Ionic entrance, visible from the drive, beckons one along the narrow road flanked by old-growth trees. The mature garden punctuated by magisterial boxwood, heirloom flowerbeds and specimen trees, presided over by an apparently antediluvian poplar, surrounds the house. Several outbuildings, including a brick smokehouse, now converted to an office, and an old well with shingled roof, attest to the self-sustaining nature of houses in rural Virginia.

Huntley Hall
26 Huntley Road, Broad Run
Open for the first time for Historic Garden Week

A mile-long driveway through the Capability Brown-inspired landscape gently curves around a lake as it approaches the brick mansion on a slight rise.

The house, built in 1987 by the Philadelphia firm Tony Atkin and Son, is a spiritual child of the 18th century James River plantations with a central block and two smaller dependencies built of Carolina brick. The interior also recalls the formal plan of its predecessors with a gracious central hall, curving staircase to one side and large openings into dining room, drawing room and library.

Pine floors salvaged from tobacco warehouses and walnut millwork, some of which was cut from the farm, continue the link with the past. The furnishings fit comfortably into this gracious country house with a mix of antiques and contemporary pieces.

A formal rose garden on one side is balanced by a small garden on the other filled with bulbs, vegetables, and herbs. Sculpture enlivens the grounds with an armillary in the rose garden, a small Jack Russell terrier apparently digging up the plants in the informal garden and an abstract marble by Suzanne Riley on the terrace. A wisteria-covered pergola borders another garden.

The gate, forged by local artist Nol Putnam, opens to a broad lawn containing a ginkgo grove, weeping crabapple and a dove tree.

6195 Eastwood Drive, Warrenton
Open for the first time in 28 years by new owners

The complex at Eastwood is a jewel of local vernacular architecture. Structures slated for demolition have been painstakingly dismantled and moved to their present site. The 1760 section of the main house is listed on one of the earliest deeds in the newly-established Fauquier County.

A Greek Revival style drawing room and dining room, with rare Zuber wallpaper, date from the 1830s. The 9-foot entrance to the sunken drawing room of the 1920s was recently restored using a DuPont-era door, salvaged from the restoration at Montpelier.

Other structures of historic and architectural importance include the 1780 Balch House, where the son of the tutor to George Washington’s stepchildren’s lived for a time, a red-sandstone meat house of 1860 from land originally part of the Kettle Run grant given to Robert Carter, and a stone barn of 1801 that sheltered women and children during the Manassas campaigns of the Civil War.

The gardens consist of a series of boxwood rooms containing herbaceous borders where tulips, daffodils and other spring bloomers delight the eye. Whimsical sculptures such as a hound chasing a hare emerge from one bed, a stele of Tennessee stone stands guard under a magnolia tree and a pair of doves commemorating the peace talks between Gorbachev and Reagan emerges from the herb bed near the house.

Lunch, refreshments and restrooms
The tour headquarters, Airlie House and Gardens, along with several restaurants in Old Town Warrenton, will be offer Historic Garden Week lunch specials. For details, see the Facebook page, “Historic Garden Week in Warrenton.”

Complimentary refreshments will be served at Airlie and Huntley Hall from
1 to 3 p.m. each day.

Restrooms will be available at Airlie, Huntley Hall, Eastwood and the visitor center at 33 N. Calhoun St. in Warrenton.
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