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Garden Week Kicks Off

77th Annual Historic Alexandria House and Garden Tour

Five of Old Town Alexandria’s finest historic homes and gardens will be open to the public on Saturday, April 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in a kick-off to the 77th Annual Historic Garden Week in Virginia.

Visitors will tour the property of a classic Federal house that was home to George Washington’s nephew and Martha Washington’s favorite niece. Another home has served as a girls’ school, then a library, and currently houses a Civil War museum which features the camp chair of Robert E. Lee. The design of one of the homes is architecturally significant as an unaltered example of a wealthy merchant’s residence of the mid-19th century.

A $40 ticket for the self-guided tour includes entrance to five houses and gardens (all within walking distance of one another), refreshments at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 323 S. Fairfax Street from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on the day of the tour, and all-day admission to six nearby historic properties. Single house or garden admission is $10. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Alexandria Visitors Center at Ramsay House at 221 King Street, or, for an additional charge with a credit card, at www.VAGardenweek.org. On the day of the tour, tickets will be sold at the Visitors Center and at each of the private homes. Call 703-746-3301.

<ro>Friends of Carlyle House Annual Herb Sale

<lst>When: Saturday, April 17, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria

Admission: No admission required to shop plant sale or to take part in kids’ activities. Admission charged for house tour: Ages 13 & over, $5; ages 5 - 12, $3; ages 4 and under, free; (Admission for house tour is included in $40 ticket for Historic Alexandria House and Garden Tour) Information www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com; 703-549-2997

Herbs and perennials from the gardens and greenhouses of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate are on sale as well as a variety of local jewelry, home goods, and crafts for sale by local artisans and merchants. Sales of herbs and plants raise money to support the preservation of Carlyle House. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your horticultural questions. While at the sale, be sure to check out the hands-on activities for kids and take a tour of Alexandria’s oldest home, the Carlyle House.

<ro>Spring Garden Market at River Farm

<lst>When: Friday, April 16, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday, April 17, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Where: River Farm, 7931 East Boulevard Drive, Alexandria

Admission: Free admission; $3 public parking, free parking for AHS members Information

www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com; 703-768-5700

The American Horticultural Society (AHS) presents the Spring Garden Market at its River Farm headquarters. Vendors from throughout the mid-Atlantic region will be on hand selling a wide variety of plants — including natives, perennials, shrubs, herbs, vegetables, annuals, and roses — as well as garden supplies and unique garden art. The Fairfax County Master Gardeners will have a booth onsite to answer gardening questions.

In addition to shopping, visitors can view entries in a flower show presented by District II of the National Capital Area Garden Clubs. Visitors are also welcome to tour River Farm’s 25-acre grounds, which will be in full spring bloom with thousands of bulbs, flowering trees and shrubs, and vines.

<ro>Spring Plant Sale at Mount Vernon: George Washington’s Estate & Gardens

<lst>When: Saturday, April 10 to Wednesday, May 9, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Where: Mount Vernon: George Washington’s Estate & Gardens, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon

Admission: No admission required to shop plant sale. (Admission to Estate included in $40 ticket for Alexandria House and Garden Tour)

Information: www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com; 703-780-2000

This once-a-year sale features a collection of gardening tools, gadgets, books, seeds, plants, pots, hats, gloves, and more. Also included in this sale are plants and herbs grown at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate.

<ro>Garden and Landscape Tours at Mount Vernon: George Washington’s Estate & Gardens

<lst>When: April 1 - Oct. 31, 11 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Where: Mount Vernon: George Washington’s Estate & Gardens, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon

Admission: Included in regular estate admission: adults, $15; children ages 6-11, $7; children under 5 are admitted free. (Admission included in $40 ticket for Alexandria House and Garden Tour) Information www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com; 703-780-2000

This 30-minute guided walking tour examines George Washington's brilliant design for the grounds around his Mount Vernon estate. Visit the gardens he created, see some of the original trees, and learn how he merged areas for work and leisure to create a master plan for his beloved home. Alexandria is nationally recognized for its abundant art scene alongside 18th- and 19th-century architecture, historic attractions, award-winning restaurants and eclectic shopping.