the garden tour

About the Tour

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.


79th Annual Garden tour

Sunday May 5th

 The 2019 79th Annual Garden Tour is Sunday, May 5th.  The tour begins at 1:00PM and concludes at 5:00 PM in the alleys between West and Park Avenue and between W. Franklin St. and West Avenue.  Children's activities begin at noon.  All events are free and open to the public. 


past garden tour winners

  • 2016

  • 2015

  • 2014

  • 2013

  • 2012

  • 2011

  • 2010

  • 2009

  • 2008

  • 2007