Historic Garden Week

Garden Week Collage

Historic Garden Week Programs, April 22, 2024

The Grounds of the University of Virginia are open to visitors year-round. Historic Garden Week visitors may particularly enjoy the following places and programs:

  • The Pavilion Gardens, Memorial to Enslaved Laborers, and the Darden Arboretum are open to visitors all day.
  • Selected East Pavilions will be open from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Follow the signs to the open Pavilions.
  • The Carr’s Hill garden will be open from 11:00am to 3:00pm and the house will be open from 1:00pm-3:00pm.
  • UVA will host a tour of the Darden Arboretum at 11:00am (limit 25 participants).
  • Please join us for a presentation on Garden Treasures from the UVA Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at 1:00pm (limit 25 participants).

Information about visitor parking and transportation is available here: https://parking.virginia.edu/visitor-parking. A visitor map is available here: https://visitormap.virginia.edu/.

University of Virginia

The historic grounds of the University of Virginia embody Thomas Jefferson's concept of an ideal educational setting. Chartered in 1819, the University’s formation parallels the emergence and early development of this democratic nation. The original campus framework of the Rotunda, pavilions, hotels, ranges, student rooms, central lawn, gardens, alleys, and serpentine walls provides both a sense of history and a distinctive character to the campus. Recent research and archaeology within this Academical Village have documented the important contributions of enslaved and free African Americans to the University landscape during the nineteenth century. The Academical Village is a highly significant cultural resource that contributes to the outstanding universal value of this National Historic Landmark and World Heritage Site.

The Rotunda

The Rotunda was designed by Thomas Jefferson as the architectural and academic heart of the University’s community of scholars. Jefferson modeled the Rotunda after the Pantheon, a second-century temple in Rome. Construction began in 1822 and was completed in 1828. The building served as the university library for more than a century. The Rotunda is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm. The Lower East Oval Room houses an exhibit of historical artifacts. Please find more information at https://rotunda.virginia.edu/


Jefferson designed ten Pavilions in the Academical Village to house the study of different academic disciplines. These buildings were modeled after Greek and Roman temples, except for Pavilion IX, which was modeled after a French hotel. Historically, professors taught classes on the ground floor and lived upstairs; today, the pavilions are still used as residences for faculty and deans. Pavilion VII serves as the Colonnade Club.

Pavilion Gardens

In the mid-twentieth century, the Garden Club of Virginia commissioned noted landscape architect, Alden Hopkins, to restore the University’s Pavilion Gardens in the Colonial Revival style. The west Pavilion Gardens were restored between 1947 and 1953. Following Hopkins’ death in 1960, the Garden Club hired Donald Parker to complete the designs for the east Pavilion Gardens, undertaken between 1960 and 1965. The Garden Club used proceeds from Historic Garden Week to help fund the restoration. Work in the gardens continues to be supported by the Garden Club of Virginia. The gardens incorporate shade trees, shrubs and hedges, herbaceous gardens, lawns, benches and gates, and the serpentine walls.

Carr’s Hill

Carr's Hill is the home of the University of Virginia's current President, James E. Ryan, the ninth president to live at the historic house. The President's home serves as the backdrop for university and community events. Since its completion in 1909, Carr’s Hill has welcomed students, faculty, staff, alumni, community leaders, two Presidents of the United States, and many other distinguished guests from around the world. The historic house was renovated, and the gardens updated, in 2018-2019.

Memorial to Enslaved Laborers

The Memorial to Enslaved Laborers honors the work and lives of the enslaved African Americans who helped build the University of Virginia and sustained daily life from its founding in the early 19th century. The Memorial is designed to be a place of healing and learning, and an inspiration for action. The Memorial was dedicated in April 2021. Please find more information at https://mel.virginia.edu/

The Arboretum and Botanical Gardens at the UVA Darden School of Business

The Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are a new addition to the UVA grounds. The arboretum includes ornamental gardens that transition to native Piedmont woodlands along a naturalized pond and stream. Themed gardens, event terraces, and paths complete the landscape.