The garden tour is West Avenue's premier event of the year. The tour includes all the homes on West Avenue as well as the alley bordering homes on Park Avenue and Franklin Streets. The WAIA sponsors this event through membership dues and events such as the silent auction held each year at the spring cocktail party. The event is usually held the first Sunday following the "Virginia Historic Garden Week".
The West Avenue Improvement Association was first established in 1941 to organize residents to work together in order to rid the alleys surrounding West Avenue of a pesky rodent problem. Once that task was completed, the neighbors decided that they wanted to do something as a group that would be more cheerful and inspirational. They hit upon the idea of organizing an alley and garden clean-up and beautification; followed by a hotdog party, all capped off with a garden tour.
In 1966, famed landscape designer, Charles Gillette worked with some residents to develop garden judging criteria and judging awards were added as part of the annual events. This criterion is still used today by the judges who evaluate our gardens.
Year after year, the events associated with our garden tour bring residents together to work
and celebrate and strengthen the relationships in our community.
You can download a garden tour signup sheet here.
The 2021 80th Annual Garden Tour is scheduled for Sunday May 10th. The gardens are open from 1-6pm. This annual event is free and open to the public. Come see what our creative neighbors manage to accomplish in a tiny space. The alleys between N. Franklin and West and between Park Ave and West will be open to tour the backyard gardens. Refreshments and brochures will be stationed in the alleys.
This year's tour is a scaled down event due to the pandemic restrictions. It is primarily for residents of the WAIA and selected guests. Hopefully we can return to the normal tour format next year. Stay Healthy and Safe!