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March 19, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg Garden Tours Span 18th and 20th Centuries

Colonial Williamsburg garden tours illustrate the beauty and functionality of 18th- and 20th-century gardens in the Historic Area.

“Through the Garden Gate” gives guests the opportunity to venture through the gates to learn about the restored gardens, focusing on the historic documents and archaeological evidence used to create the Historic Area gardens. This walking tour begins at 9:30 a.m. on Mondays, March 26-May 21 and June 4-11 and at 9:30 a.m. on Saturdays, March 31-May-19 and June 2-16. The starting location of the garden tour is listed on the ticket. Tickets are available to Annual Pass and Good Neighbor members as well as Colonial Williamsburg Hotel Guest ticket holders.

Guests discover how gardens reflected status and wealth in the 18th century through the program, “Gardens of Gentility.” This walking tour visits the Governor’s Palace and other gardens along Colonial Williamsburg’s Palace Green. The one-hour program takes place at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays, March 27-June 12 and Fridays, March 30-June 15 at the Governor’s Palace. Tickets are available to Annual Pass and Good Neighbor members as well as Colonial Williamsburg Hotel Guest ticket holders.

“Meet the Gardener” offers guests an opportunity to meet Historic Area garden volunteers who can answer questions about growing flowers and vegetables in the Historic Area. This discussion will take place at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays, March 29-June 14 at Colonial Williamsburg’s Prentis Store. The tour is included in Historic Area or museum admission.

Guests may join an interpreter at Bassett Hall, the Williamsburg home of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife Abby, for a walk through the gardens. Interpreters share stories about the family’s visits to Williamsburg in the spring and fall of the 1930s and ‘40s, and about the flowers and plants they loved to see here. Guests also learn about the creative landscape architect that designed the gardens at Bassett Hall and about the events that unfolded here under the “Great Oak.” This program takes place at 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays in April at Bassett Hall. A free reservation is required in addition to a Historic Area or Museum admission pass. Reservations are not available at Bassett Hall but can be made by calling 1-800-HISTORY or the Museum Store at (757) 220-7693.

For more information, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center, Greenhow Lumber House Ticket Office or Merchants Square Ticket Office.

Gifts from donors ensure that Colonial Williamsburg’s gardens continue to grow for future generations. Donors include: Ann Lee Saunders Brown and the late Charles Brown for the Governor’s Palace Ballroom, North and Boxwood Gardens; Mr. and Mrs. John L. Asher for the David Morton Garden; Sylvia J. Boecker and Michael J. Jackson for the Alexander Craig Garden; John Cazier in memory of his wife, Carol Jones Cazier, for the Orlando Jones Garden; Charles Gibson in memory of his wife, Carole Sue Gibson, for the John Blair Garden; Ron and the late Joanne Luich and Family for the Custis Tenement Garden; the Rethore Family for the Palmer House Garden; Donald de Laski in memory of Nancy L. de Laski for the Thomas Everard Garden; and the Anne P. Ernest Garden Endowment Fund for the long-term care of Colonial Williamsburg’s gardens.

In 2001, Senior Trustees and Williamsburg Churchill Bell recipients Abby and George O’Neill made a gift to restore and endow Bassett Hall. Abby O’Neill is the granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller Jr.

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. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Colonial Williamsburg Hotels feature conference spaces and recreation activities from spa and fine dining to world-class golf. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. 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