"A Weekend in the Tidewater Region"

  • Saturday, March 20, 2010 – 8:00 am6:00 pm
  • Sunday, March 21, 2010 – 8:00 am7:00 pm

Join assistant director Mark Weathington as he leads a trip back to his old stomping grounds in Virginia.

The Norfolk Botanical Garden where he served as director of horticulture for nearly a decade is a 155 acre jewel in the Hampton Roads area. Surrounded on three sides by Lake Whitehurst, the garden combines natural beauty with elegant gardens. Of special interest in March will be the Hofheimer Camellia collection which should be in peak bloom. This collection is one of only 12 International Camellia Gardens of Excellence as recognized by the International Camellia Society. Other March treats include the conifer collection, magnolias, the spectacular desert garden in World of Wonders, A Children's Adventure Garden, and early spring perennials. As an added bonus, nesting bald eagles on the property are clearly visible. A tram ride through the garden will be available. Go to for more information.

The Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Agriculture Research and Extension Center boasts a well developed and very interesting collection of woody plants and specialty gardens including a utility line arboretum and examples of bayscaping for coastal gardens. In addition to the normal public areas of the collection, we will get a behind the scenes look at the plant introduction trials and other research areas.

The famed Brent & Becky's Bulbs will be the next destination on our agenda where the field trials of daffodils and tulips as well as a myriad of other bulbs will transport you to Holland. Co-owner Becky Heath has agreed to provide a short presentation and lead a tour of the constantly developing and expanding gardens. Every visit to this bulb Mecca reveals new wonders.

Last but certainly not least is the private garden of Bill and Linda Pinkham, two of the keenest plants-people and garden designers around. Their impressive garden overlooking the James River is known for its summer show of daylilies, but the early spring display and the inspired design will bowl you over. More than 1 well-traveled gardener has said that this may be the finest private garden they have ever visited. Trees, shrubs, perennials, and bulbs mingle in an exuberant blend of textures and colors in this garden haven. Visit for a first-hand account of the Pinkham's garden.


Saturday, March 20
8:00 AM – Leave JC Raulston Arboretum
11:30 AM – Arrive Norfolk Botanical Garden
12:00 AM – Lunch
1:00 PM – Tour Norfolk Botanical Garden
4:00 PM – Leave Norfolk Botanical Garden
4:15 PM – Arrive Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Agriculture Research and Extension Center
6:00 PM – Depart Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Agriculture Research and Extension Center
6:30 PM – Arrive Hampton Inn (Newport News - Oyster Point)

Sunday, March 21
8:00 AM – Leave Hampton Inn
9:00 AM – Arrive Brent and Becky's Bulbs
11:30 PM – Leave Brent and Becky's Bulbs
11:45 PM – Lunch (on own)
1:00 PM – Leave lunch
2:00 PM – Arrive Linda and Bill Pinkham's private garden
3:30 PM – Leave Linda and Bill Pinkham's private garden
7:00 PM – Arrive JC Raulston Arboretum

$150 per person based upon double occupancy, $200 per person based upon single occupancy. Payment includes the cost of travel, lodging, admissions, and lunch on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday. The price is subject to increase on March 10, the day our hotel's group rate expires.
Please call (919) 513-7005 to register for this trip. Payment is due at registration.
Norfolk Botanical Garden, Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Agriculture Research and Extension Center (Tidewater Arboretum), Brent and Becky's Bulbs, and the private garden of Bill and Linda Pinkham.
Need directions? Click here. We're departing from the JCRA at 8:00 AM on Saturday.
Free parking is available at the JC Raulston Arboretum and along Beryl Road.
Please call (919) 513-7005 for more information about this trip.