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March 22, 2011

Tours Show Beauty and Functionality of Colonial Williamsburg’s Gardens

Nestled amid the historic houses, taverns and trade shops of Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area are the 18th-century-style gardens of the restored town. Programs and tours feature the history of the gardens from the colonial era to the present.

“Through the Garden Gate” focuses on the historic documents and archaeological evidence used in creating the Historic Area gardens. The tour begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturdays, April 2-June 11, except May 28, Mondays, April 4-June 6, except May 30 and Wednesdays, April 6-June 8. A free reservation is required along with a Colonial Williamsburg annual pass, Hotel Guest pass or Good Neighbor pass.

Guests discover how gardens reflected status and wealth in the 18th century during “Gardens of Gentility.” This escorted walking tour visits the gardens of the Governor’s Palace and other gardens along Palace Green. The program takes place at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, April 1-June 7. A free reservation is required along with a Colonial Williamsburg annual pass, Hotel Guest pass or Good Neighbor pass.

During “Meet the Gardener,” garden volunteers answer questions about growing flowers and vegetables in the Historic Area. The one-hour tour is offered at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays, April 7-June 9. A Historic Area admission pass is required to take the tour.

The gardens of Bassett Hall, the Williamsburg home of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, open for tours during the spring at 2 p.m. March 30-31, April 6-7, April 13-14, April 20-21 and April 27-28. A Bassett Hall interpreter leads guests on a walk in the gardens, sharing stories about the family’s visit to Williamsburg in the spring and fall in the 1930s and ‘40s, and about the flowers and plants they loved to see here. The program includes information about the creative landscape architect who designed the gardens and about the events that unfolded under the “Great Oak.” A Historic Area admission pass or museum pass is required to take the tour.

Another garden program, “The Gardens in Spring,” is held at 11 a.m. at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum’s Hennage Auditorium. A member of Colonial Williamsburg’s horticultural staff tells the stories behind the plants and maintenance of these renowned gardens. The program is presented at 11 a.m. on April 6-June 8. A separate $5 ticket for adults and youth ages six-17 and a Colonial Williamsburg annual pass, Hotel Guest pass or Good Neighbor pass are required to attend.

Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121