You may be in Richmond, Virginia for business, pleasure, or to see some Civil War sites. Whatever the case, you deserve an escape form the hustle and bustle of everyday life with a trip to see some beautiful gardens! Here are my top three gorgeous gardens of Richmond.
#3 Botantical Bliss
Readers of U.S.A. Today, voted the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens as the fourth best gardens in the United States. That’s pretty impressive! Located on the north side of the city, the gardens feature not only over 50 acres of plentiful plants but also the only classical domed conservatory in the mid-Atlantic states. I spent a lovely, yet overcast, evening in the gardens (in the summer, they’re open until 9pm on Thursdays) and particularly enjoyed the fountain garden, floating island, orchid collection, and the butterfly house. The Ginger Botanical Gardens also hosts many special events. I was there during a Cuban musical festival in the international village that featured a live band and tasty food. Check out their website for special events, a map of the many gardens, and their opening times.
#2 Terrific Tudor Treasure
Want to walk through an authentic English Tudor garden without jetting across the pond? Head on over to the Windsor Farms neighborhood of Richmond to find Agecroft Hall, a manor house that was constructed in 16th century England, disassembled, and then rebuilt right in Richmond! The fascinating tour of the mansion and the relaxing walk in the gardens transported me back to another time. My favorite was the sunken garden that was beautifully framed by the Tudor architecture of the main house. The Elizabethan knot garden made me feel like I might stumble across the Virgin Queen herself, and the Tudor herb garden, with a living exhibit of medicinal, flavorful, and aromatic plants, was both an education and a delight for the senses.
#1 Zen Zone
The best hidden gem in the city of Richmond is located in a large public park and former estate. While the Victorian Maymont mansion is an incredible visit in itself, the Japanese garden is the real treat here! From the mansion, follow the signs through the Italianate gardens, and you’ll descend an incredible staircase, that winds down a fountain, to find yourself in a garden reminiscent of the Far East, complete with a huge waterfall and extensive koi pond. In the early 20th century, a master Japanese gardener named Muto was hired to design this spectacular garden, and it shows! Wander through the traditional gates, over the arched bridges, and pose for a photo on the stepping stones that cross the pond, just like I did! Pause for a moment in the Japanese gazebos, one by the waterfall and the other situated tranquilly pondside, and reflect on the beauty of this Zen oasis. It’s a setting that you won’t soon forget.
The Lewis Ginter Botantical Gardens are located at 1800 Lakeside Ave in Henrico, VA, which is right next to Richmond. Click on the map for directions.
Agecroft Hall and Gardens is located at 4305 Sulgrave Rd in Richmond, VA. The gardens are included in the price of admission. Click on the map for directions.
The Japanese Gardens at the Maymont Mansion and Estate are located in a public park at 1700 Hampton St in Richmond, VA. I’ve marked the parking lot on the may above, and the address will taken you right to the lot. Follow the well-marked signs for the Japanese gardens. The gardens are free to explore, but there is a nominal fee for a tour of the mansion. It’s well worth the price! Click on the map for directions.