Spring is in the air and homeowners across the South are opening their doors to welcome visitors. Home and garden tours are a great way to get a peek into private homes and support preservation and other good causes. Here are a few happening in the upcoming months.
IN SOUTH CAROLINA
Bray’s Island homes designed by local architects will be on display during the Historic Beaufort Foundation’s second annual Architect’s Tour on March 21. Brays Island, located near Sheldon, was converted from a working plantation into a recreational plantation in the early 1980s. The tour will feature four homes and the plantation inn. For more information, go to www.historicbeaufort.org.
The 28th annual All Saints Garden Tour is set for May 16 on Hilton Head Island. The tour has become a favorite community event and it gives attendees the opportunity to see some of the premier gardens in the area while helping the community. All proceeds from the event benefit local charities. For more information, go to www.allsaintsgardentour.wordpress.com.
Head a little farther north and you’ll find the Historic Charleston Foundation’s Festival of Houses and Gardens, happening March 19-April 19. Set amid the city’s historic district, this series of award-winning tours showcases Charleston’s distinctive architecture, history, gardens and culture. These tours provide a rare opportunity for guests to go inside the private houses and gardens of some of America’s most beautiful historic residences, dating to the 18th century. For more information, go to www.historiccharleston.org.
A weekend trip to Abbeville will give you the opportunity to take part in the town’s French Heritage Festival happening April 17-19. Highlights of the event include tours of historic churches, private homes and tours of private and public gardens, all taking place April 18. For more information, go to www.abbevillefrenchheritagefestival.com.
There are several home and garden tours happening in Georgia that are a short drive from Beaufort County. Stop by the 80th annual Savannah Tour of Homes & Gardens happening March 26-29 for the chance to enter some of the city’s finest private homes and experience architecture, furnishings and collections that have been treasured by families for generations but seldom seen by the public. For more information, go to www.savannahtourofhomes.org.
Take a trip to Madison, Ga., a town filled with more than 100 restored antebellum homes. Local lore says Gen. Sherman declared Madison too beautiful to burn during the war. The Madison in May Spring Tour of Homes, happening April 30-May 2, is a two day, self-guided tour through one of Georgia’s oldest and largest National Register Historic Districts. Experience living history while strolling through a collection of the city’s finest, architecturally significant private homes and gardens. For more information, go to www.mmcc-arts.org.
In Macon, Ga., amble at your leisure through lush, blossoming private gardens during the Macon Secret Gardens Tour and view historic and newly restored interiors during the Historic Interiors Tour taking place May 1-3. Guests can take part in garden seminars and a garden market at Hay House. For more information, go to www.hayhousemacon.org.
One of the largest, nationally known home and garden tours takes place during the Historic Garden Week in Virginia. Each spring, more than 250 gardens, homes and historic landmarks are on display during an event called “America’s Largest Open House.” The eight-day, statewide event gives visitors a unique opportunity to see beautiful gardens at the peak of their springtime color, as well as beautiful houses sparkling with more than 2,000 flower arrangements created by Garden Club of Virginia members. Tour proceeds fund the restoration and preservation of Virginia’s historic gardens. For more information, go to www.vagardenweek.org