The Colonial Garden is the third garden in the series of five historic theme gardens.
Colonists claiming the Virginia wilderness brought with them the formal, Dutch-English gardening style prevalent in England during the reign of William and Mary in the late 1800's [sic - 1600s]. The formality and symmetry of Colonial gardens brought a sense of order and familiarity to the untamed land.
Colonial gardens of the affluent were typically laid out in parterre fashion, which means that they designed the beds and paths to form a symmetrical pattern. Garden paths were often constructed of either patterned brick or crushed gravel. Inside the formal parterres flowers, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowering shrubs were combined without any kind of organization or separation. Colonial style gardens were both practical and beautiful providing food for the table, herbs for fragrance and medicinal purposes, and cut flowers for enjoyment.
Parterres and paths were traditionally enclosed with either a formal hedge or a picket fence. Hand-clipped hedges or picket fences kept farm animals out of the garden. Gazing globes, sundials, and hand-clipped boxwood topiary were typical focal points in these gardens.
Follow the sidewalk South to the Victorian Garden, the fourth in the series of five theme gardens. The first two gardens in the series, the Pre-Columbian and Pioneer gardens, are located to the North in Stuart Park below the parking lot.