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2017 Virginia Historic Garden Week: Ford McFall's Residence

FilmPlant Pop
2017 Virginia Historic Garden Week: Ford McFall's Residence

In spite of unexpected chilly weather in mid-March and into April, gorgeous blooms still arrived in time for Historic Garden Week in Newport News. Forecasts had called for rain most of the week, but the precipitation held off for tour day.

Newport News native, Ford McFall, was uncertain how to respond when she was asked to have her home be a part of the tour for 2017. Her decision was confirmed when her family agreed to do whatever it took to accomplish the task together.

“We sat down as a family and had a conversation with our boys and said if we decide to do this we have to all be in on it because it’s going to take everybody’s efforts to be successful.”

Whether it was putting mulch down on a chilly afternoon, grooming some upcoming plants, or tending to the damage left by a hurricane, the whole family was a team from the beginning. Working together was especially important when lightning to a few trees in the backyard meant creating a garden bed from scratch.

These setbacks meant more work and at times questioning their decision to share their home, but somehow everything came together in the end. 

The McFall residence is certainly a little different from the typical houses seen on the tour.

The modern style house was envisioned by Ford and her husband Bill. They worked with an architect to make their dream home a reality. 

Ford may have gleaned some knowledge from her mother’s gardening, but for the most part she is a self-taught gardener. She had been a member of her local garden club for ten years until the club fizzled out. In the past few seasons, Ford has spent her free time in the spring helping out at the Plant Outlet at Lancaster Farms in Suffolk.

Although there may have been some difficult moments along the way, Ford and her family are proud of how the garden turned out for the hundreds of people who were able to visit.

“I hope people enjoyed it and saw some things that inspired them.”

Virginia Historic Garden Week is an event held every spring in celebration of the hard work that garden clubs across the state have accomplished. These clubs work tirelessly to beautify their communities with gorgeous gardens and restoration projects. For more information about this annual event, visit their website: