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June 5, 2007

CW garden tours in full bloom

From the topiary to the perennials to the annuals in bloom, any time of year is an exciting time to visit the Colonial Williamsburg gardens. Thanks to innovative programming by the landscape department, guests may turn green with envy as they experience the flora of the 18th century through the Colonial Nursery as well as one of three spectacular garden programs—the Garden History Walk, Gardens of Gentility and Meet the Gardener tours.

“We strive to meet and exceed guest expectations, helping them to see gardens in ways that they never thought of before,” said Laura Viancour, coordinator of garden educational programming.

The Garden History Walk offers guests a behind-the-scenes look at how Colonial Williamsburg re-creates the gardens in the Historic Area. From learning about the archaeological and historic documents used to understand the 18th-century garden to the evolution of the design and interpretation of our gardens, guests will walk away with a new appreciation for the historic gardening practiced at the Foundation.

In the Gardens of Gentility Tour, guests are invited to compare and contrast the gardens of the royalty, gentry and middling classes as they explore the spectacular gardens behind the Governor’s Palace as well as simpler gardens of homes around the Palace Green.

The popular Meet the Gardener Tour provides guests with the opportunity to learn about efforts to maintain and preserve the George Reid Garden through Colonial Williamsburg landscape volunteers.

Guests also have the opportunity to bring home a piece of the Colonial Williamsburg gardens at the Colonial Nursery across from Bruton Parish. The nursery uses 18th-century gardening techniques and tools to interpret colonial gardening. Colonial Williamsburg’s products division sells authentic plants, seeds and other garden-related items, many of which are not commercially available. This site is highly recommended for families and children.

The Garden History Walk and Gardens of Gentility tour are offered through September and Meet the Gardener tour will go through October. Tours are available to Colonial Williamsburg guests who have purchased the Freedom or Independence pass. Tickets can be purchased at any Colonial Williamsburg ticketing location. Reservations are required.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Garden History Tour: Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m.
  • Gardens of Gentility Tour: Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:30 a.m.
  • Meet the Gardener: Mondays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.
  • Colonial Nursery: Daily (Historic Area hours).

    Guests also can view gardens before visiting Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area through the “What’s Blooming” section of the Foundation Web site at

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic tradespeople research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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