More Research

Apr. 29th 2013

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As we move closer to landscaping the grounds at Belle Grove Plantation, I have found myself drawn to other gardens to research  plants we might want to use. Sunday, I visited the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. It is one of my favorite gardens here in Virginia and always leaves me inspired.

The plants I was most interested in were the Azaleas and Camellia. I am hoping to dot the long drive to the front gate with a mix of Azaleas in and around the Red Cedar trees. I think it would gave a beautiful splash of color in the spring as well as provide a nice fill in to spaces where they have lost trees.

Azaleas - Dorothy Gish

Azaleas – Dorothy Gish

Azaleas - Double Pink

Azaleas – Double Pink

Azaleas - Gloria

Azaleas – Gloria

Azaleas - Hampton Beauty

Azaleas – Hampton Beauty

Azaleas -  Hot Shot x Hershey Red Tetra

Azaleas – Hot Shot x Hershey Red Tetra

Azaleas - New Generation

Azaleas – New Generation

Azaleas - Rosy Frills

Azaleas – Rosy Frills

Azaleas - Salmon Surprise

Azaleas – Salmon Surprise

Azaleas - Satelite

Azaleas – Satelite

Azaleas - Gibraltar

Azaleas – Gibraltar

I am at odds with the Camellias. I fell in love with them when I visited the Elizabethan Botanical Gardens in Manteo, North Carolina. From that point I knew I wanted to have a garden of them. My hope was to place them around the Riverside Portico, but with a full afternoon sun from noon to sundown, I am afraid it may be too much for them with no shade. So I am thinking about moving them to the Carriage side of the Mansion to greet our guests as they come in. They won’t have too much shade there either, but they will only get the morning sun which will be filtered through the trees until 11am to noon. So hopefully that won’t be too much full on sun.

Camella - Anemonaeflora

Camella – Anemonaeflora

Camella - Brillant

Camella – Brillant

Camella - Christmas Beauty

Camella – Christmas Beauty

Camella - CM Hovey Colonel Firey

Camella – CM Hovey Colonel Firey

Camella - Ellen Daniel

Camella – Ellen Daniel

Camella - Faith

Camella – Faith

Camella - Grace Albritton

Camella – Grace Albritton

Camella - Julie

Camella – Julie

Camella - Lady Laura

Camella – Lady Laura

Camella - Masterpiece

Camella – Masterpiece

Camella - Nuccio's Gem

Camella – Nuccio’s Gem

Camella - Sawadas Dream

Camella – Sawadas Dream

Camella - Susan Stone

Camella – Susan Stone

Hope you enjoy our research!

If you have any ideas you would like to share…

Please do!

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To see all of our photos from the Norfolk Botanical Gardens

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Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Darnell History | 37 Comments »

Labor Day of Love

Sep. 3rd 2012

After our weekend in Fredericksburg, we decided to take it easy for Labor Day. Brett had a few things he wanted to get done for our home in Chesapeake and our kids were both working all day. So left to myself, well you know what I did… antique shopping!

I only made one stop today, but what a great stop it was! I headed to downtown Norfolk to a store called Harper’s Antiques. I had just been there a weekend ago. I had seen a couple items I wanted, but needed to wait until I had my pennies saved. It was a small silver tea set with a teapot, creamer and sugar bowl. I really loved this set because it has the grape detail on it. That reminds me of the vineyards we have around us at Belle Grove.

The other was a silver teapot that reminded me of a teapot I saw at Kenmore Plantation. When I saw the one at Kenmore, I remembered this one in Norfolk.

Teapot at Kenmore Plantation

After paying for my items, I stayed and talked to the owner, Richard and one of his friends about the plantation and how these were going to become part of the history that includes James Madison. Just as I was about to walk out, Richard asked me to walk to the back room and look for a silver punch bowl with some other items in it. He told me if I liked it, he would give them to me. I pulled them out and brought them to the counter. Being the bargain hunter I am I accepted his offer. Free is always good when you have 8,000 square feet to fill!

When I got home I spent about 3 hours cleaning each piece. It was a very messy job that required a lot of “elbow grease”, but to see them now, it was truly a labor of love.

Gravy Dish
(It was almost black when I brought it home)

Punch Bowl with 12 silver cups

If you are ever in the Norfolk area, stop by Harper’s Antiques on Granby Street!

I plan to return again very soon!

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 29 Comments »