Birdsong Pleasure Garden
- Location: 7 miles West of Luray
- Estimated tour time: 60-90 minutes
- “Garden Wonderland” – Virginia Living magazine
For 30 years, Lesley and Tom have transformed what once was a 3 acre lawn into a landscaped garden-park and bird sanctuary. Hundreds of trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, grasses and annuals have been planted to improve the environment and benefit the fauna. Mountain vistas, natives, “garden rooms,” water features and bonsai are but part of this wonderland. Birdsong Pleasure Garden has been named a “Virginia Treasure,” “Green Attraction of the Year,” et al.
This downtown garden is a Florist Haven. The owner grows a wide variety of plants much of which finds its way into arrangements, wreaths and other floral decorations she creates in her studio onsite. Flower plantings enhance seating areas on the porch, around the outdoor pizza oven area, and a smaller patio with a fountain. See many examples of plants that can do double duty to enjoy outdoors in the garden and then again incorporated into floral arrangements.
This Backyard Hideaway is near the center of Luray, but a world away. Behind the house, the owner has a variety of well-tended raised beds for flowers, vegetables, herbs, and even a butterfly habitat. Birch trees draw the eye away from the fence that encloses the garden. Peek into the potting shed and take a look at the compost pile to see some of the tools and practices in play that help keep this private garden thriving.
Brick House Nursery is a wholesale grower of specialty and native trees and shrubs. This family-run business was established by husband and wife team, Denie and Sam Smith, in 2010. Their 60-acre farm is nestled between Shenandoah National Park to the east and the Massanutten range of George Washington National Forest to the west with Hawksbill Creek running through the center. Learn how trees and shrubs at your local garden center may have started their lives. Get a close-up look at the tools used to dig up grown trees and shrubs.
Survivor Farm is a small family farm situated at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Morning Star area of Page County. Its owners grow asparagus, blackberries, raspberries, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, tomatoes and other vegetables for the local market. The business is a member of the Page County Grown (PCG) network whose members only sell produce that is actually grown on their farms. Amazingly, Survivor Farm’s owners, like many area farmers, have full time jobs off the farm. Come and experience a leading local “Farm to Table” business.
No Ticket Required Sites
Massanutten Country Corner
Massanutten Country Corner is three shops in one: Farm Market, Artisan’s Gallery, and Garden Shoppe. The colorful plantings that line the path to the Garden Shoppe include milkweed and other flowers that qualify this garden as a Monarch Way Station. Composted manure from the chickens and goats raised onsite enriches the garden soil. Tickets for the Gardening in the Valley Tour will be available for purchase here on the day of the tour.
Page Alliance for Community Action Community Garden
The Page Alliance for Community Action Community Garden promotes access to healthy foods for Page County residents. Extension Master Gardeners are among the broad network of volunteers that established the garden and keep it viable. Volunteers will be onsite on the day of the tour to talk about the garden’s purpose and the best growing practices employed there.
- Location: Downtown Luray parking at Ruffner Plaza, West Main St., and Hawksbill St.
The award-winning Luray-Hawksbill Greenway is a two mile, 10-foot wide, paved multi-use path that meanders along the shaded Hawksbill Creek. The Greenway intersects with downtown Luray’s business and historic district. As part of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, one can also picnic, fish, bicycle, jog, dog walk or sit and meditate in the open and scenic areas. Benches, picnic tables, six convenient parking areas and two public restrooms are along the trail. Take a rest from the tour or picnic along the Greenway.
Champion Chinquapin Oak
- Location: Along the Blue Section of the Luray-Hawksbill Greenway
Annie Grayson Lauck, in her will said, “I direct that the old oak tree in my backyard … be untouched except for safe upkeep, forever, no matter who may own the property.” Her tree, the Champion Chinquapin Oak, was a sapling when the Declaration of Independence was written. Now it is the second largest Chinquapin Oak in Virginia with a circumference of almost 20 feet, height of 62 feet and a canopy spread of 132 feet. The non-profit Page County Tree Board, local citizens, and the NSVMGA Master Gardeners care for it.