Home and Garden Tour ticket includes admission to the following properties:
1. 4440 East Beach Drive
Every detail in this Tidewater Shingle oceanfront home was designed by the owners, from the floors repurposed from hundred-year-old walnut to the curved wrought iron staircase in the front hall to the lime green shutters on the wraparound porch, reflecting the carefree insouciance of beachfront living. The interior of the house features an open floor plan and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the ocean, as well as an eclectic mix of antiques and modern pieces procured by the owners in their travels. The entryway features custom wallpaper panels painted in Paris and an oval table designed and signed by Charles Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother. Other notable pieces include three Chinese statues used for teaching acupuncture students, an antique Blackamoor statue from Charleston, and a clock with a bell crafted from the same brass as the Liberty Bell. Outside, the wraparound porch provides views of the Chesapeake Bay, both the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Beyond the porch awaits a formal garden replete with native coastal plants, as well as a wild dune garden. The owners chose the plants after extensive research and grow many of them from seed in their makeshift garage greenhouse. The house is also an official Monarch Butterfly Way Station.
Susan and Jarett Shaffer, owners.
2. 9557 27th Bay Street
The exterior of this Tidewater Colonial Revival style house provides scenic vistas of the East Beach neighborhood from its double front porches. The entrance opens into a contemporary and airy interior with a modern open floor plan with lofty ceilings and detailed crown moulding. A neutral palette highlights the unique light fixtures and modern artwork by Lucy Williams in the living room and dining room. In the powder room hang watercolors by the owner’s grandmother, Olive Butler, who drew for movie magazines. The first-floor master bedroom features antique botanicals and an antique pine trunk. The kitchen includes a large central island, and showcases ceramic fruit plates by Canadian artist Eva Gordon. It opens onto an elevated covered deck leading down to a bluestone patio and an urban garden planted with bulbs, evergreens, Confederate Jasmine, and a variety of coastal plants.
Jody and John Benedict, owners.
3. 9577 24th Bay Street
Built in 2010, this Tidewater Victorian Beach Bungalow was designed by an Atlanta-based company and featured in the 2010 Fall Homearama. The pierced slat railings and louvered shutters on the front porch reflect the Southern coastal style of the home and provide intimate outdoor entertaining areas protected from the elements. The metal roof with broad overhangs and rafter tails is functional as well as decorative, helping to shade the interior spaces. Three hand-crafted mahogany French doors open into the open-concept interior featuring poplar walls and beadboard ceilings throughout. The home highlights art created by local artists. In the rear hallway hang three paintings by local African-American folk artist Dollner Johnson, whose works hang in the White House and Howard University. The garden centers around two large river oaks, after which the house is named, and utilizes various coastal plants, including azaleas, japonicas, hellebores and camellias, to create several distinct entertaining areas.
Robin and Richard Phillips, owners.
4. 9570 27th Bay Street
This Tidewater Colonial Revival house reflects the owners’ love of nature, both inside and out. The formal living room and dining room, decorated in shades of cream and red, blend traditional furniture, antique silver and china with modern nautical elements. The den pays further homage to the home’s seaside location with coastline photographs captured by the owners’ son and a painting by local Oceanview artist Herb Jones. Lifelong gardeners, theowners collaborated with Brian O’Neil, director of horticulture at Norfolk Botanical Garden, to design the gardens surrounding their home, which were featured in Virginia Gardener magazine. A covered back porch leads to a zen garden with Japanese maples, Mugo pines, coral honeysuckle gently draping over a bamboo wall and a water feature made out of a boulder that was sent from the location where the owners’ son, a member of Seal Team Two, was killed. The garden on the eastside of the home features hostas, fern, poet’s laurel and astilbe. Whilst the west side planting combines evergreens, grasses and coastal flowering plants such as lantana, hydrangea, sedge, African blue basil and Montauk daisies to provide visual interest all year long.
Syble and Joe Cox, owners.
5. 9571 24th Bay Street
This pink Tidewater Colonial Revival beach cottage, built for the 2010 Homearama Fall Show, combines contemporary coastal décor with vintage and antique collections of silver and china, as well as Royal Doulton figurines and Toby jugs procured by the owners on Portobello Road whilst living in England. The majority of artwork in the house was painted by the owner’s sister-in-law Peggy Knight, a self-taught artist whose painting of African-American domestic life was recognized by Laurel, Mississippi, for its contribution to bettering race relations in the city. On the back of the house, a screened porch featuring a painting of the old Ocean View amusement park leads to a sunken terrace that includes a full outdoor kitchen and an fire pit under a live oak surrounded by hostas, acuba, hydrangeas, holly ferns, azaleas and jasmine.
Sandra and Ron Amidon, owners.
6. 9662 25th Bay Street
Built for the 2004 Homearama show, “Jack’s Lookout” is a Tidewater Colonial Revival suited for entertaining and casual living. The dark, glossy Brazilian cherry floors set off the detailed crown molding and wainscoting throughout the house, while the neutral color palette of cool blues, grays, and beiges provides a backdrop for mixing traditional furnishings with contemporary lighting fixtures and modern art, including paintings by local artists such as Corr, Osterhaus, Hatfield and Hollingsworth. The central hallway leads to an open kitchen with an adjacent sitting area featuring an antique sewing table belonging to the owner’s grandmother. In 2012, the owner added a slate patio off the covered side porch, to increase the exterior living space. Live oaks provide both privacy and shade for the outdoor kitchen and sitting area, which is surrounded by azaleas, acuba, hydrangeas, gardenias and ferns.
Donna Lynn Scassera, owner.
7. Native Flower Garden, Corner of 27th Bay Street and Hammock Lane
Restored by community gardeners, this once diseased rose garden is now filled with colorful native plants and nectar-loving insects. Stands of native flowers, red bee balm, pink milkweed, black-eyed Susans, coneflowers, spiderwort and more grow in an unexpected location.
The flowers are in formal, Colonial-style beds, bordered by oyster-shell paths and surrounding an area under an old-fashioned pergola where neighbors gather.
8. Norfolk Botanical Garden, 6700 Azalea Garden Road
In 1938 Frederic Heutte, a young horticulturalist, and Thomas Thompson, Norfolk city manager, were given 150 acres to establish a city azalea garden. By 1942 the garden displayed nearly 5,000 azaleas, 75 landscaped acres, and five miles of walking trails. Today, the 175-acre botanical garden is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and run by a private nonprofit. Home to more than 60 gardens that can be viewed by tram, boat or foot, it boasts 15 miles of paths. Gardens include cultivated and wild native and exotic plants in themed gardens such as the largest rose garden on the East Coast, a butterfly garden and house, Japanese garden and a Colonial garden.
Entry to the garden is included in your ticket.
9. Virginia Zoological Park, 3500 Granby Street
Encompassing 53 acres of established historic Southern magnolias, live oaks and other specimens, the park is located just four miles from this year’s tour area and is the site of many formal and abstract gardens. Dating back to 1901, zoo horticulture has had a special place at this location, supporting and showcasing animal habitats with native, ornamental and exotic plants. A few of the present theme gardens include fruit orchards, shade gardens, rain gardens, an African vegetable garden and handicap-accessible gardens. The horticultural center includes a formal garden of roses, annuals and perennials.
No charge with tour ticket.
10. The Hermitage Museum & Gardens, 7637 North Shore Road
Formerly home to the Sloane family, this early 20th century Arts-and-Crafts estate is located on the shore of the Lafayette River. Features a nationally recognized art collection and grounds, which include semi-formal gardens, forest and wetlands.
No charge with tour ticket.