Landscape Revival

A Charlottsville, Virginia, Gardener honors the history of an antebellum plantation by reviving its landscape with new ideas.
Story by Susan Stiles Dowell

Camille Price took on the challenge of her life when she acquired Tudor Grove plantation outside Charlottesville, Virginia. Along with renovating the antebellum house, which was the boyhood home of Civil War legend John Singleton Mosby, she vowed to revive the 5 acres of surrounding gardens. She had been content cultivating a quarter acre of English perennial borders around her bungalow in town, but that was before she saw Tudor Grove's boxwood allée at a real estate open house. Walking 100 yards through the dense, green tunnel, she emerged in an overgrown walled garden with a little stone shed. "These gardens were lost in time," she says. "I was in awe that something so old had survived with its structure intact and was still so beguiling."

Intent on saving this treasure, Camille bought the place that August and by spring was deep into the landscape's revival. Rather than create new layers with flower borders, she worked to reveal and emphasize what was already there. She discovered the beauty of structures, vistas, and fountains and best of all created a practical all-green garden below a new porch. The design is based on a parterre plan from local landscape architect Thomas Woltz, but Camille gradually substituted boxwoods for the majority of the deciduous plants so she could enjoy the garden from her windows even in the snow. For a closer look, read on for a tour of Tudor Grove.

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