Starting this week you can enjoy all the blossoms of the season by touring the gardens of historic homes in the area. Virginia's Historic Garden Week is about to get underway and this year there are some very unique places to visit.
The Garden Club of Virginia hosts house and garden tours each spring. It's a fundraiser for the club and it's a long-standing tradition for the commonwealth, now in its 81st year.
"After a hard winter, it's a lovely chance to get out in the country and see some of the prettiest landscape of Virginia, and to celebrate spring," said Melinda Frierson, a co-chair of Virginia Garden Week.
They call this eight day event throughout the commonwealth "America's largest open house," and it's a chance to see these gardens during peak bloom when there are the most vibrant colors.
This year, instead of focusing on traditional public gardens, there will be more of an emphasis on people's homes and lawns featuring the landscapes and views from those historic properties.
"We're looking at the agricultural history and conservation of resources," Frierson said.
It's the only time places like Redlands Farm in Albemarle County will let the general public take tours inside. Garden Week organizers say Redlands is just as historic as Monticello; it was built during the same time period using much of the same architecture, but it's privately owned. The same family has owned the home since the land was purchased in 1730.
"This is a special opportunity that people will not often have to see these places," Frierson said.
Proceeds from the tours go toward the restoration and preservation of historic landscapes all over the state. More than 40 properties have been restored in Virginia with help from the Garden Club.
Virginia's Historic Garden Week starts this Saturday and goes through next Saturday, May 3. Tickets will be on sale at each property so you can buy them on the day of the tour or online in advanced.