I’m so excited this week to be featuring my dear friend, neighbor, and fellow Garden Club of Virginia member, Ashley Wilson. Ashley and I share a love for historic homes, gardens, children, and dogs and live just around the corner from one another in Old Town. Ashley and her husband George wanted to live in a historic home and in a true family community so Old Town was the perfect place for them to land.
They purchased the historic Statehouse knowing that with Ashley’s background as an architect they could restore the home and use it to entertain family and friends. If you see Ashley out with her family around town and at events, you will certainly recognize her as always having a smile on her face! I am so proud to call her my friend and she is certainly the first person I would call for advice on my home.
Ashley will open her lovely, historic Old Town home and gardens on Saturday, April 21 from 10am-4pm as part of the Garden Club of Virginia’s 85th Annual Historic Garden Week Home and Garden Tour. The tour is an opportunity to walk through five stunning historic Old Town homes predating the Civil War, each of which will be accented with spectacular floral arrangements created by garden club members, and walk through the tastefully manicured courtyard-style gardens filled with colorful tulips, daffodils, wisteria, and flowering trees.
Presented by members of Hunting Creek Garden Club and the Garden Club of Alexandria, the tour includes admission to five homes, refreshments at 228 S. Pitt Street, and admittance to six nearby historic public properties, including Carlyle House, Lee-Fendall House, River Farm, Gunston Hall, Green Spring Garden, and Mount Vernon. There is also a Marketplace with specialty boutiques and purveyors of fine goods at the Athenaeum at 201 Prince Street.
Tickets are $45 in advance and are available for purchase at www.vagardenweek.org through April 19. Tickets also will be available for purchase on tour day for $55 at the Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street; St. Paul’s Church, 228 S. Pitt Street; and the Alexandria Visitor’s Bureau at 115 King Street.
How do you spend your time? I’m a preservation architect, so for work I’m always traveling and looking at historic sites. When I’m not at work, I’m spending my time enjoying our community with my husband and nine-year-old son. We love this city and I think we’ve been to every athletic field in Alexandria.
Neighborhood: Old Town
How long have you lived in Alexandria: Seven years
What is your hometown? I was born in Charlottesville but mostly raised in Ormond Beach, Florida
What brought you to Alexandria? My husband
You’re a superhero: what’s your superpower? To be omniscient
Favorite cocktail: Campari and soda
Last book read or movie seen: I read many books at once, both fiction and non-fiction. Currently I’m reading Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships that Built America, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Crazy Rich Asians, and A Tale of Two Plantations.
Guilty Pleasure: I eat a lot more sugar and goodies than most adults.
Phrase you overuse: mmm-hmm
Facebook or Instagram? Instagram
Latest binge-watch: Mozart in the Jungle
Bucket list travel destination: Honestly, I love being home because I travel for work.
If you only could have one for the rest of your life: wine or coffee? Wine
Define your style in three words or less: Comfortable, tailored, and practical.
The go-to piece in your wardrobe: A shift dress with flats so I can go to work and straight to my son’s baseball game.
Favorite trend ever: I like a ruffle.
Favorite current trend: Fashionable sneakers
Beauty product you can’t live without: Lip gloss
Favorite fragrance: I really like a classic men’s fragrance, 4711.
Heels or flats? Flats
Favorite room in your home: Our bedroom
Antiques, modern, or a mix? Antiques with comfortable seating
Last item bought for your home: A dog bed
Next planned purchase: We are redoing the rear yard.
Favorite way to entertain: We like unplanned events, small dinner parties, and hosting large cocktail parties.
Clutter-free or well lived in? Well lived in.
Wallpaper — yes, totally modern or no, so dated: What’s not to like? I adore wall paper.
Your go-to work-out: I spin, lift weights, and run.
Most fun way to exercise: Early morning
Group exercise or solo: Both
Fitness goal: To work out every day
Haven’t yet, but might be willing to try with coaching / encouragement: Snowboarding
Proudest fitness achievement: I’m a lifelong exerciser and still have my original knees.
Favorite spot in Alexandria: Our house
Last purchase in Alexandria: Flowers from Enchanted Florist
Best coffee / happy hour / date night spot: Society Fair for coffee, Hank’s for drinks and oysters, and Dolci for ice cream
Favorite charity: The Campagna Center, The Athenaeum (everyone in Old Town should be a member of this gem of an organization) and where I work, the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Favorite annual Alexandria event: The never-ending stream of parades
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106 North Saint Asaph Street
Alexandria VA 22314