This year celebrates the 85th anniversary of Roanoke’s Historic Garden Week Tour, and to mark the occasion three enchanting homes and three gardens will be featured. “Hikes, Hops, Homes and Gardens” is a walking and driving tour set in the picturesque South Roanoke neighborhood. The tour’s houses and gardens are a quick hop from hiking and biking Roanoke’s 25-mile riverside greenway, as well as Roanoke’s burgeoning craft brewery scene. The three homes on tour were built in the 1930s and boast beautiful architectural details. Please note that this year’s tour is a driving and walking tour. No shuttle service will be available.
The tour is hosted by Mill Mountain Garden Club and Roanoke Valley Garden Club, and takes place Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ronald McDonald House, at 2224 South Jefferson Street, serves as tour headquarters. “Palooza in the Park,” across the street from Ronald McDonald House, will feature food trucks, vendors, artwork, flowers and antique cars on display. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of event. For complete ticket and event information, please visit vagardenweek.org.
401 Clydesdale Street SW
This welcoming 1939 Cape Cod, with its painted brick and slate roof exterior, sits on the tranquil corner of Clydesdale and Somerset, in the heart of South Roanoke. The lush lawn is shaded by massive old-growth oak trees and dotted with perennial beds. The front side porch is a lovely spot for a sunset cocktail. The private back brick patio is graced with a lovely water lily pond, original to the home, with an updated surround to allow for additional seating. A fire pit with abundant comfortable seating accommodates family and friends. Renovated in 2011, the home maintains its original charm while being fit for an active family. The kitchen renovation includes repurposed original tongue and groove paneling on the ceiling. Antique pieces in the home include an original warehouse cart refinished by the homeowner and used as a coffee table in the family room, a Murphy bed used by the homeowner’s grandfather during his childhood, and a locally handcrafted, midcentury modern cherry armoire in the master bath. Don’t miss the custom-made dining room table, created by Black Dog Salvage from a single panel of a California redwood tree. The table is surrounded by custom chairs covered in goat skin and graced above by a chandelier made with glass from vintage wine bottles. An extensive collection of original paintings by local artists fills the home. Of particular note is a Preston Mayson oil painting in the dining room, depicting the Avis family farm in Arcadia.
3202 Allendale Street SW (garden only)
A recessed gate beckons off a shady sidewalk, leading to a serene “gentleman’s garden.” At its center is a lush green rectangle, a swimming pool filled in by former owners. A large fountain is the focal point and offers the calm of gently falling water. Borders are planted in layers of textures and shades of green. The kitchen and living room of the house open to the garden, and benches and seating areas, highlighted with colorful cushions, invite casual socializing. Containers filled with interesting plant combinations provide a colorful contrast to the relaxing atmosphere of the rest of the garden.
2403 Robin Hood Road SE (garden only)
Beauty and tranquility describe this unique garden created by the late Peter Leggett. Giant green arborvitae trees encircling the property offer complete privacy, and a waterfall cascades over a stone wall, filling a fishpond and producing the serenity of a bubbling brook. The waterfall was designed by Norman Tharpe, using hand-laid rock without mortar to produce a natural look. The pond has rocks inscribed with the names of the owners’ grandchildren, while the surrounding banks are covered with boxwoods, azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas, rhododendrons, forsythias, and Knock Out roses. A 200-year-old iron trellis fashioned by Black Dog Salvage is adorned with white climbing hydrangeas. The flagstone path and patio are lined with peonies, hostas, candytufts, herbs, irises and columbines, creating an exciting landscape of color and texture.
2610 Stanley Avenue SE
From the sunporch filled with antique white wicker and black wrought iron furniture, to the charming kitchen with maple cabinets and a farmhouse sink that features a butcher’s block from the old Lonesome Dove Restaurant, the Rider home is a feast for the eyes. The homeowners love to collect pieces that speak to them or have historical significance to our area. Walking sticks, vintage books, blue and white china patterns, and an eclectic collection of chickens can be found throughout the house. In the dining room is a beautiful silver tea set that was a gift from Mr. Rider. As the owners say, “Every year you buy your house a gift.” A large deck off the breakfast room overlooks a shady garden; both offer the perfect spot for family gatherings when the weather is nice. Don’t miss the “Nana Bell” that was installed to give notice before the grandchildren burst in the house for their visits. This home on a lovely tree-lined street is a wonderful illustration of a lifestyle where family and friends are always welcome.
2852 Stephenson Avenue SW (garden only)
An odd shaped lot that would have stymied many gardeners has been transformed over the past 13 years. The one-third acre “peninsula,” bordered by two streets and sloping sharply from back to front, was a challenge to the owner, a Virginia Tech horticulture graduate and a Master Gardener. Through hard work and creativity, the owners have done all the work to transform the garden into a showpiece. Using limestone rocks and slabs they uncovered on the property, they installed stone walls and steps to terrace the area, designed and built a disappearing waterfall, and outlined the social areas. Over one thousand plants, trees and shrubs beg for close inspection. A hypertufa garden, with containers of all sizes and made by the owners, features unusual dwarf plants and groundcovers. The patio houses over 60 pots of cold-sensitive exotics. Everywhere the eye rests there is something to fire the imagination—the pop of red benches in the arbor, the broken terra cotta pot shards that pave a walkway, the blue “bottle tree” adjacent to cobalt chairs, and the chips of broken tile set into the concrete.
730 White Oak Road SW
Built in 1939, this handsome brick colonial was just what the Parrotts wanted when they acquired it in 2011. Their home may have started as a traditional colonial, but that is over. Two additions have modernized and expanded the original structure into an appealing retreat that retains the charm of yesteryear but allows for one-floor living through retirement. Note the beautiful arched doorways from the entry to the dining and living rooms. Decor centers on family heirlooms, original art collections and fun furnishings. The newer spaces now unfold into a first-floor private master suite and a wonderful parrot-filled den, which pays homage to their favorite bird and family name. The owners’ dazzling collections and inherited treasures are arranged for both dramatic display and function. Family heirlooms in the living room include a lowboy, loveseat, mirror, and hutch. The coffee table in the den is a family cobbler’s bench. Porcelain and china collections add interest and color. The walls in the living and dining rooms are laden with distinctive paintings. Dynamic artwork by renowned local artist Walter Biggs highlights the rooms. Notable in the living room is “Self Portrait” and “Family Picnic.” Note the amazing “Mrs. Biggs with the Butler” among others in the dining room. The den’s decor centers around the colors of parrots. Local artist Mary Boxley Bullington’s painting above the den sofa and Jamie Nervo’s “Parrott Sculpture” are especially notable. Parrots highlight the pillows and upholstery. A garden terrace off the den features a frog in a lovely, elevated flower bed.