For nearly 100 years, the Garden Club of Virginia has been hosting Historic Garden Week - the perfect way to dive into our region's history and get your floral fix at the same time! More than 150 homeowners will open their garden gates and doors to welcome visitors to their spectacular historic homes and grounds. This year, Historic Garden Week is highlighting McLean's most picturesque properties with a special tour on Tuesday, April 23. Take the afternoon to breathe in the historic architecture and peak springtime splendor! Here's everything you need to know about attending the event.


What's special about McLean? 

A mix of historic, traditional and contemporary styles make this area quite unique. Its location in Fairfax County offers up stories of the Revolutionary and Civil War though places that have stood through the times. McLean is known for its luxury homes, high-end shopping destinations and is home to diplomats, business owners and government officials.  

Fun fact: McLean, VA received its name from John Roll McLean, the former publisher and owner of The Washington Post.


Which properties will be highlighted? 

Those attending will embark on a walking and driving tour of a spectacular private estate and an expansive botanical garden. 


Ballantrae Farm Estate
1288 Ballantrae Farm Drive, McLean


The historic estate of Ballantrae Farm welcomes guests up a long driveway lined by alternating Yoshino and Kwanzan cherry trees. A stately white oak tree, estimated to be 250-300 years old and a pink-flowering Saucer Magnolia, grace the home’s front entrance. The six-acre estate is extensively landscaped with stone patios, perennial beds, woodland plantings, a kitchen garden, a small fruit orchard, water fountains, and thousands of color-coordinated tulips. The main home on the grounds is a 9,000-square-foot Colonial Revival manor house, built in 1923 using stones from the nearby Pimmit Run. Guests walk through the gracious foyer detailed with elegant Colonial Revival woodwork, then enter the formal dining room decorated with custom De Gournay wallpaper inspired by the stunning gardens. Conveniently, nearly every room on the ground floor will provide easy access to the mesmerizing landscape. Ballantrae has preserved its original charm over its century-long history making a walk through its grounds like stepping into a time machine. The charm continues as you walk through their grand rooms that seem to always offer garden views or lead to more spring scenes. End the tour with a stroll through the hammock path and lastly a visit to Boxwood Circle. 


Little Ballantrae

Follow the labyrinth of paved and stone walkways lined with perennial beds and discover Little Ballantrae. The smaller farmhouse, now called Little Ballantrae, dates to the mid-1800s and serves as the guesthouse. Aside from the spectacular homes and gardens, visitors will find a tennis court, tree house, and entertaining areas - all while enjoying beds of hydrangeas, camellias, and forsythia to discover the koi pond. Continue to the sunken vegetable garden, where trellised blackberries ripen. Kids will have a time exploring a hidden tree house complete with multiple levels that invite children to discover all the enchantment the treehouse has to offer. 


Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens - Garden Week - Spring

Photos courtesy of Nancy Perkins

This jaw-dropping garden was entrusted to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority in 1980 for the purpose to “Create a permanence in the land…..a way by which the farm could remain a haven for trees, shrubs, and flowers to preserve the bounty of the Virginia countryside.” Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is a bold, yet intimate hidden treasure in Fairfax County. One of the most unique features of Meadowlark is its Korean Bell Garden, which is the only one of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Standing tall among the rolling hills of the garden, it's a symbol of friendship between Virginia and South Korea. Throughout the grounds, visitors can find a picturesque gazebo and three sparkling lakes surrounded by weeping cherry trees and a profusion of colorful blooms—azaleas, lilies, peony collections and so much more—grace this 95-acre garden park. Large ornamental gardens and native plant collections are featured, and the park’s walking trails offer first-rate viewing for visitors. Kids will fall in love with the children’s garden, their own space to discover the beauty of spring.


Korean Bell Garden - Garden Week - Vienna - 2024

Photos courtesy of Nancy Perkins


Make sure to tag us during your McLean Garden Tour by using #FXVA or @VisitFairfax! We can't wait to see your petal-peeping adventures!