Besides Thomas Jefferson’s birthday (April 13th), a celebrated spring event here is Historic Garden Week, which begins April 23rd and runs through April 30th. Sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia, Garden Week gives the public a rare opportunity to visit and enjoy some of our Commonwealth’s most beautiful and elegant gardens, homes and historic landmarks. The house and gardens at one of our favorite historic estates, Morven, will be open on Saturday, April 23rd from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Now owned and beautifully preserved by the University of Virginia Foundation, Morven was originally part of a 1730 land grant from the King of England to the Carter family. In 1795 Thomas Jefferson purchased Morven for his “adoptive son”, Col. William Short, who had served him as his personal secretary when Jefferson was Minister to France from 1782 to 1789. The house located on the property was started in 1820, and has undergone several additions and restorations. In 1929, Morven’s spectacular gardens appeared in the first Historic Garden Week, and have been a local feature since then. Morven is located just a few minutes’ drive from Monticello and Ashlawn-Highland, so you can see 3 famous late 18th-century, early 19th-century homes and learn about their past owners in the course of a full day. If you can’t make it to Morven then, there are some other great Charlottesville-area homes and gardens open for tours during Garden Week.