Virginia Garden Tours—Winchester, VA

One of our favorite times of the year for my daughter and me is the Virginia Garden Tours every April. Gorgeous homes all over Virginia are open for these tours. Waiting to see which ones will be on tour are an exciting part of the Spring season for us. Though it would be great fun to visit all the homes around Virginia, we visit our town, Winchester, VA.

Area garden clubs choose homes, and should the owners agree, a fabulous showcase is put on for we guests. These tours are never disappointing. The homes are historic, beautifully appointed, and have amazing history attached to them. The flowers the ladies put all around each room are absolutely stunning. The garden club ladies give the tours of the homes. Owners are found sometimes out in their gardens. A chat with them adds all the more to the tours.

Photographs are not allowed inside the homes, only the grounds and gardens. You are invited to take a stroll with us around these lovely homes of our town.

These are privately owned homes, not opened to the public. As one of my friends said about one of the them on this particular tour, “I have been waiting thirty years to see the inside of this home!” It was well worth the wait. She told me of one of the homeowners who began last year in preparing her gardens for this tour!

Seeing the gardens and homes give fun, fresh ideas for decorating our own spaces. Visiting these historic places adds to our appreciation of our town and folks that live and work here, past and present.

The slate roof is beautiful.
The elegant dogwood (our State tree) adds extra beauty to this stately Winchester home.

Who is going to Feed the Pigs?

Our discussion revolved around pigs. A family member that is vegetarian expressed an interest in ‘saving’ all animals from slaughter. It sounds very noble to not want to kill farm animals for food. It is a hard, dirty business to be sure. The problem is it is not practical.

Twice a day, everyday of the year regardless of weather or personal inclination, livestock needs tending to. These are the realities of having animals be them house pets or farm animals.

But consider these ideas. Our society is transient. How many of us live in the same home our parents lived in, or even the one we grew up in ourselves? How many hours are you away from home everyday? How often do you travel? How long are you gone when you do travel? Do you have a summer home separate from your winter home? How about a summer cabin? Summer vacation?

So, who is going to feed the pigs? Day after day, year after year for all their long lives? And that is just pigs.

Yes, it is hard sending our cattle off to slaughter. I was thanked by a man recently for raising cattle for beef. He said that because he recognizes the fact that if cattle are not used for beef, they would be extinct! Because—who is going to feed the ‘pigs’?

In Focus? #2

There are three sets of twins in my family. No, this is not an April 1st joke. My mother and Auntie Bliss were twins, an older set of twins are ahead of myself and my twin. One dear older brother was our only male sibling.

I am asked all the time what is it like to be a twin. Not trying to be a smart aleck about it, I ask them what is it like to be a single! Truth is, we all have a lot of fun confusing folks!

Twins, what does that have to do with photography? I am especially drawn to mirror images. So I humbly offer to you some identical images that nature has shown me through my lens. I hope you enjoy them, comment on them, and share some of your own.