Here’s the ‘Dirt’ at Scotchtown

Mary, Mary, quite contrary How does your garden grow? As noted in this 16th century children’s rhyme, the question of how best to grow healthy and productive gardens was an ever present challenge our forefathers and ancestors faced. Whether by accident or studied practice, many cultures and societies through trial and error learned about the …

The Mint Julep: John Marshall Affirmed

Although the Kentucky Derby is postponed, don’t wait to enjoy one of Chief Justice John Marshall’s favorite drinks, the mint julep. Preservation Virginia’s curator of collections (and native Kentuckian) Lea Lane explores how this icy refresher made its way to Richmond and beyond, then shows how you can make one at home using a locally …

Insights from the Cape Henry Lighthouse: Let’s Talk About Paint

The cast-iron spiral steps at Old Cape Henry Lighthouse were installed in 1867 to replace the original wooden stairs from 1792. For the past century, that spiral stair has been painted black, but it wasn’t always that color.   Cape Henry Lighthouse has recently completed several major preservation projects. In May 2019 we completed the …

Bacon’s Castle Garden and Historic Garden Week

This week should be the Garden Club of Virginia’s annual Historic Garden Week. This one promised to be spectacular, as the Garden Club of Virginia commemorates its centennial in 2020. Since 1927, proceeds from Historic Garden Week have gone to fund garden restoration projects throughout the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, this year, like everything else, the event …

Throwback Thursday: A Landmark Year for Virginia Landscapes

These snapshots of Smith’s Fort were taken in June 1938 and were saved in a scrapbook now in the Preservation Virginia archives. The caption for the first photo references the restoration of the landscape around the house, then known as “Rolfe Place,” by the Garden Club of Virginia. We celebrate with the Garden Club as …