Historic Kenmore Gardens
In 1752, George Washington surveyed the land that includes the site of the present Kenmore. Just before the American Revolution, his sister, Betty Washington Lewis and her husband Colonel Fielding Lewis built this plantation. The estate was sold in the late 18th century. During the 19th century, the Gordon and Howard families owned Kenmore. Unfortunately, today only three out of nearly 1300 acres remain with the house.
In 1929, The Garden Club of Virginia raised funds to restore the Kenmore gardens. Kenmore was the inspiration and first beneficiary of Historic Garden Week in Virginia . Beginning in 1992, The Garden Club of Virginia undertook another extensive redesigning and replanting of Kenmore's gardens. Without precise archival and archaeological data, the landscape that has been created is conjectural. In early garden plans, landscape architects Charles Gillette and Alden Hopkins treated the west front of the house as a tree-covered lawn in the 18th-century manner. The rear of the property was planted to a foursquare garden edged in boxwood.
In later planning, by landscape architect Rudy Favretti, a major goal was to feature 18th-century and native plant material. In 1992, a Wilderness Walk was added to the southwest corner of the property. The creation of Wilderness Walks, containing native American plants, was popular in the 18th century.
The Virginia Historical Society holds the papers of the Garden Club of VA.
Kenmore's gardens benefit from the work of the volunteer members of the Kenmore Garden Guild. Kenmore is a National and Virginia Historic Landmark.