Richmond Symphony Designer House & Garden Tour
Design: Virginia R. Rockwell, VSLD, VCH, LEED Green Associate
Green Projects Management: Scotty Guinn Dilworth
The Allee is:
A Charles Gillette-designed garden, serene yet playful, with a bit of mystery, and a surprise: You may just learn something new…just as the children of The Secret Garden (1911) did!
The Allee showcases
sustainability with aesthetics in keeping with the character of the home. As specialists in sustainable landscapes, container gardens, and event/floral design, we showcase the best of 'green' methods in one outdoorroom’.
We discovered this ‘Secret Garden’ under layers of deciduous leaves and vines covering Gillette’s 1930’s design for herringbone brick walk, steps and walls, the leaves slowly composting beneath the boxwoods and thus feeding them.
Your journey ends with a private view of the James framed by Magnolia grandiflora ‘Kay Parris’ and a wrought iron Arch featuring living wall panels and one of Rothesay's own bench fragments 'reupholstered' with living roof panels of drought-tolerant and heat-reducing plants. The existing buxus sempervirens (American Boxwood) in the Allee we believe were used as ‘nursery’ stock to keep the boxwood plantings around the grounds at Rothesay supplied sustainably. The existing lagerstroemia indica (crape myrtles) lift and direct the eye to the views.
Q: What Makes this garden ‘green’?
A: Existing, Native, Repurposed, Local, Reusable, Organic,
• Locally made wrought iron arch by blacksmith Paul McGill, McGill Metalsmithing, Keswick, VA
• Re-purposed fisheye mirror suspended in peak of Arch
• Living wall panels and LiveRoof 'upholstery' on bench fragments by SGDesigns, Richmond, VA
Pairs of brick red pots atop the wall plinths demonstrate 'sustainable container gardens' : how to use native and drought-tolerant shrubs, perennials, grasses in containers for a period, then transplant out into the garden, accented by only small numbers of drought-tolerant annuals.
• Existing charming Rothesay tennis footwear signs
Existing Rothesay benches and wrought iron chairssycamore limbs as pedestals
Only ONE brick had to be replaced at the top step after 75 years!
• Existing crape myrtles were fed and watered and pruned of dead wood and vines, NOT TOPPED
• Existing American boxwood were cared for organically this year: fed with slow release organics and calcitic lime per soil test, watered, and sprayed with horticultural oil spray and insecticidal soap. Dead, diseased and stems with leafminer were removed. Spring pruning took no more than 1/3 of the foliage, opening up light and air circulation.
•NO IRRIGATION was installed.
For More Information, Contact:
Virginia R. Rockwell, VSLD, VCH, LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE
For Tickets, go to www.rsol.org