A roguish charm saturates the vibe of this small peninsula where life happens once you get off the beaten path. The Eastern Shore of Virginia may be considered remote, but if you are a gardener, a beachcomber, a gourmand, or history enthusiast, the Eastern Shore is only a short drive away. Untouched natural beaches flank historic downtowns with quaint hotels and restaurants. Family operated farms and vineyards envelop the landscape where private homes and gardens have coexisted in a wholesome peace since the early 17th century.
DATE: Saturday, April 30, 2016
TIME: 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
HOSTED BY: The Garden Club of the Eastern Shore and The Garden Club of Virginia
TICKETS: $45 pp; Children 5-12, $20. Single site tickets $15. Tickets available on day of tour at all tour properties.
ADVANCE TICKETS: $40 pp. www.vagardenweek.org. Tickets available locally beginning March 31 through Thursday, April 28 at all Virginia Shore Bank locations: Cape Charles, Exmore, Onley and Chincoteague; the Book Bin, Onley; Ker Place, Onancock and Rayfield’s Pharmacy, Nassawadox and Cape Charles. Cash or check only.
HOUSES ON TOUR: Brownsville, Chatham, Eyre Hall, Salt Grove and Edgewater
SPECIAL EVENT: Hungars Church, 10105 Bayside Road, Machipongo, VA 23405 – Floral décor recreating a period wedding.
Homes on the Tour
Salt Grove, 19489 Robin Road, Cheriton
On the banks of Cherrystone Creek and Eyre Hall Creek, you can almost smell the history of this two-story structure, once used for shucking clams and oysters. Built in 1931 and purchased in the 1990s by Eyre Baldwin, Salt Grove is the only shucking house still standing on the creek of the seven that operated in the 1940s and 1950s. Inside, the bottom floor is Baldwin’s “loose interpretation” of that old oyster house with contemporary living quarters upstairs.
Brownsville, 11322 Brownsville Road, Nassawadox
This seaside farm dates to 1652 when John Browne received a patent for the 1,250-acre property. John Upshur, a Browne descendant, built the three-story, Federal-style brick house in 1806. Additions were made in 1809 and 1850. In 1978, the Nature Conservancy purchased the farm. It’s now a Virginia Landmark and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Chatham, 9218 Chatham Road, Machipongo
Built in 1818 by Brig. Gen. Maj. Scarborough Pitts, Chatham takes up nearly 300 acres with a mile of waterfront on Church Creek. It was put in the Virginia Land Trust in 2008. The handmade wallpaper in the dining room, by Zuber, was created from wood blocks carved in Alsace before 1830. The family-run Chatham Vineyards, which produces 5,000 cases of wine a year, opened on the property in 2005.
Edgewater at Bay Creek, 638 Carousel Place, Cape Charles
This contemporary coastal home is located between the dunes of a private beach on the Chesapeake Bay and the banks of Plantation Creek. Every room provides a view of stunning sunsets. This land was a battle site in 1676 when Gov. Berkeley fled to the Eastern Shore during Bacon’s Rebellion. An authentic replica of the Old Plantation Flats Lighthouse is situated on the southwest corner of the property.
Eyre Hall, 3215 Eyre Hall Drive, Cheriton
Eyre Hall was recently honored as a National Historic Landmark. The home and property have been in the same family for eight generations, dating to the mid-1700s. The garden also provides a wonderful history with crape myrtles that tower above parterres enclosed by ancient boxwood and set off by colorful mixed borders.