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Southern Hospitality

Spring tulips burst to life offering a striking contrast of color along this Boxwood hedge on the Garden Tour.

The 78th Annual Roanoke Home and Garden Tour will be held on Saturday, April 23, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., rain or shine.  The tour is sponsored by the Roanoke Valley Garden Club and the Mill Mountain Garden Club and is part of Historic Garden Week, an annual event presented by the Garden Club of Virginia in which homes and gardens all around Virginia are open to the public.  Well known as the oldest and largest statewide house and garden tour in the United States, tourists from all across the country travel to Virginia to take part in this springtime event.  The event began in 1929 and has been in continuous existence with the exception of several years during World War II.

This year’s tour is titled “Southern Hospitality in Salem”.  The self-guided tour takes place in Salem and includes five homes and one garden.  Highlights include beautiful gardens, both formal and informal, as well as interesting statuary and lovely outdoor living spaces.  All homes will feature superb flower arrangements created by members of the two sponsoring garden clubs, with emphasis on colorful seasonal flowers and plants native to this area.  Visitors will be delighted by exceptional collections of artwork, silver, china, and fine American and European antiques, artifacts and rugs.  Gardens will feature mature landscaping as well as recent renovations.

To celebrate Historic Garden Week, a one-day show featuring works of local artists will be on display and for sale at Roanoke College’s President’s Home – one of the featured homes.  The works will include watercolors, oils, mixed media and pottery.  A partial listing of participating artists include:  Lee Penny Baker, Judy Bates, Tracy Budd, Mary Boxley Bullington, Vera Dickerson, Eric Fitzpatrick, Tom Lawson, Pam Ogden, Greg Osterhaus, Harriett Stokes, Gari Stephenson, Nancy Stark,  Nan Mahone Wellborn, Barry Wolfe, Elizabeth Perkins and Laura Blue Palmer.

The cost of a full ticket is $20.00.  (There will be no single house tickets.)  Tickets may be purchased on tour day at any of the houses open for the tour, or in advance at the following businesses:  Townside Gardens, 3614 Franklin Rd., Roanoke; Chocolatepaper, 308 Market St. Roanoke or 3260 Electric Rd., Roanoke; Through the Garden Gate, 4710 Starkey Rd., Roanoke; Millie’s, 109 E. Main St., Salem; Countryside Classics, 120 E. Main St., Salem; and all local Valley Bank branch locations.  For more information and to purchase tickets by mail, contact the Roanoke Council of Garden Clubs at 540-343-4519.  For internet tickets, please access

A gourmet box lunch by Roanoke College’s Executive Chef will be available for $12 at Roanoke College’s President’s Home, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., through prior reservation only, by e-mailing [email protected].

Weather permitting, light refreshments will be served from 2-4 p.m. in the garden of one of the homes on the day of the tour.

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