In This Issue
The Kitchen Road Project at Monticello.
Design Notes
Boxwood Blight
Garden Maintenance
William D. Rieley Receives Award from Garden Club of America
Before and After
Events of Interest
Restoration NewsNumber 8 June 2016
Welcome to the June 2016 issue of "Restoration News." I have met many of you during Restoration Committee visits to your property. Now I have the privilege of writing to you as Chairman of the committee. I am a member of both the Williamsburg Garden Club and Garden Club of Gloucester.

In this issue, you will read about the dedication of the Kitchen Road project at Monticello on April 8. And you will learn about the boxwood blight that is affecting many areas around the commonwealth.

Through articles such as these, I hope you find the Restoration News to be helpful as a source of information and as a tool in the maintenance of your property. Please share your thoughts and discoveries with us so we can include them in future issues. Through this biannual newsletter, we can all share our experiences and knowledge in the interest of good stewardship of the historic gardens of Virginia.


Dianne Spence
Chairman, GCV Restoration Committee
The Williamsburg Garden Club
The Garden Club of Gloucester 
Featured Historic Garden
The Kitchen Road Project at Monticello

"Floating" steps take visitors along the original Kitchen Path. Photo by Linda Consolvo
Thomas Jefferson began leveling the top of the mountain where he would build his beloved Monticello in 1768. He also built a network of roads to serve the house and plantation. His Kitchen Road ascended from Mulberry Row to the covered dependencies on the south side of the house that included the kitchen. This vital road connected this working side of the house to the working plantation - the stables, slave dwellings, dairy and workshops.  Jefferson also had a path that led directly from the kitchen downslope to his vegetable garden. With the passage of time and the arrival of tourists, the grounds were changed dramatically. In June 2014, a  generous gift from the Garden Club of Virginia enabled the work to begin on the restoration of the Kitchen Road, the Kitchen Path and their connection to Mulberry Row. This re-established the significant landscape as it appeared in Jefferson's day.

Meticulous historical and archaeological research over a period of years has underpinned the work. William L. Beiswanger, the former Robert H. Smith Director of Restoration at Monticello, uncovered many important clues in the historical record, and the excavations and field work conducted by archaeological staff headed by Director Fraser Neiman have contributed to understanding where exactly the roads and path were.These findings have been used by William D. Rieley, the Garden Club of Virginia landscape architect, to develop the construction drawings for the project.

Modern brick stairs, 1930s-era parking spaces, a long run of privet and other shrubbery have been removed, opening what Jefferson referred to as his "sea view," a broad expanse of the Piedmont plain. As one ascends the road, the beauty of the house is no longer obscured from this angle, but beguiles the visitor once again as Jefferson intended. Mulberry Row is now properly aligned from the eastern stable to the west end. Mr. Rieley, in consultation with structural engineer Dan Hotek, designed an ingenious flight of steps for the historic location of the Kitchen Path. Since they need no footing, they will preserve the valuable archaeological record in place below them.Virginia Cast Stone in Waynesboro fabricated them and Haley, Chisholm and Morris of Charlottesville installed them.

Mulberries will be planted this fall as a continuation of those trees already in place along Mulberry Row. Imagine Mr. Jefferson dismounting at the stable, handing his reins to his trusted hostler, Wormley Hughes, and walking up Mulberry Row. With this marvelous gift of restoration, the view today will be close to what he saw.
Candy Crosby
Albemarle Garden Club

Design Notes by William D. Rieley
New Facilities for Old Sites

One of the most universal and intractable problems facing people who design for and administer historic sites is how to incorporate modern facilities that are necessary for visitors, but which may distract from the historic scene. These include parking, restrooms, visitor centers, durable and accessible walkways, electric lighting, signage and other modern elements.

When possible, placement of parking and visitor facilities out of sight, but convenient to the historic site, is ideal. Sometimes, planting an evergreen screen is less objectionable than seeing the modern facilities themselves. Most visitors relish the illusion of going "back in time" to the era of interpretation at historic sites, and the spell is easily compromised by the sights and sounds of the modern world.

Facilities like walkways for modern visitors, lighting and signage, that cannot be physically separated from the historic scene are more difficult to incorporate sensitively. Many have argued on philosophical grounds that such additions to the historic scene should be frankly modern so as to not confuse the visitor. Some visitors have observed that the contrast of bluntly modern facilities in a historic setting has a jarring effect and diminishes the impact of the historic scene.

A more sympathetic approach may be to downplay the importance of the modern facilities by making them as chronologically neutral as possible -- utilizing construction materials and techniques that have been used over such a long period of time that their date of addition to the scene is diminished in importance by its ambiguity. The choice of approach will vary from property to property, and this dilemma will remain one of the challenges in designing for contemporary visitors to a historic scene.
Boxwood Blight
Calonectria pseudonaviculata syn. Cylindrocladium buxicola
Boxwood, an important aspect of the Virginia landscape for centuries, today is confronted with a serious disease challenge, a new blight called Cylindrocladium buxicola. The gravity of this threat has resulted in extensive research in universities and among professional growers.Currently, no cure has been found.

This highly contagious disease has recently been diagnosed in one of Virginia's most important historic gardens, the one at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library.Experts have advised that the box be removed, and the Garden Club of Virginia has endorsed that recommendation with great regret.

This boxwood blight was introduced into the United States in 2011 and has now spread throughout Virginia as well as to numerous states on the east coast.It can be recognized by black streaking on stems and brown leaf spots that lead to eventual defoliation. Initially, the leaf spotting can resemble another disease, Volutella Blight.This new blight can be partially controlled by very strong fungicides, but the disease may be controlled only, not eradicated.

Wet, warm conditions provide the ideal environment for the spread of this blight. According to Virginia Tech publications, "the major means of spread of this disease is by movement of contaminated plant material (e.g. container or field grown boxwood, boxwood greenery used for holiday decoration)." The disease is spread through sticky, water-born spores and Microsclerotium, which adhere easily to clothing, equipment, or anything that has come into contact with infected plants.

Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa' is the cultivar most susceptible to Cylindrocladium b. Many of the cultivars popularly used in Virginia are also highly susceptible. A complete susceptibility list can be found on the NC State University website.

To protect your property from this blight, purchase nursery boxwood grown only from producers participating in the Boxwood Blight Cleanliness Program. These growers adhere to strict standards of cleanliness and are inspected by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Keep all of your tools CLEAN and insist that maintenance crews sterilize not only all of their tools but their vehicles and clothing before coming onto your property. It is an extreme move, but blight may be carried onto your property as easily as in debris on the soles of work boots.

If you see evidence that might indicate Boxwood Blight, contact your local Extension Agent.

The Horticulture page on gcvirginia.org provides further information concerning this disease, and another helpful resource  is Boxwood Blight Best Management Practices. 
                                                                                                Sue Thompson
                                                            The Tuckahoe Garden Club of Westhampton
Garden Maintenance
A Plant Worth Knowing

Chionanthus virginicus is better known as Fringe Tree, Old Man's Beard, Snowflower Tree or Flowering Ash. Chionanthus is Greek for snow flower and in the spring this tree blooms in a fluff of snow white blossoms. The blooms are drooping clusters of fragrance. This native plant is an excellent choice for historic as well as contemporary gardens.
A slow-growing deciduous tree, it commonly grows 15-30' in the woods and 10-15' in landscape settings. It grows in an upright oval to rounded form. Small dark-green glossy leaves remain a handsome feature in the summer and in the fall, dark-blue grape-like clusters of berries maintain interest. The tree is a boon to wildlife as butterflies enjoy the flowers and acts as a host plant for the rustic sphinx moth. Birds are attracted to the berries also.
The Fringe Tree may be grown in full sun to part shade in moist acid soils. Watering may be needed during dry spells. Little pruning is required and pests are not usually a problem.  What is not to like about this native plant?
Judy Perry 
The Elizabeth River Garden Club 

Did You Know? 

Did you know the leaves from allelopathic landscape trees (black walnut,some oaks, and hackberry, for example) are excellent additions to the mulch pile, but should not be added to the compost bin?
These trees, in adapting to a dry climate, have developed their own chemical herbicide that keeps other plants from growing in the area of its root system. In fact, their chemicals were the original models for the first synthetic herbicides.The leaves from these trees also contain these chemicals. Using these leaves for compost will ultimately discourage the growth of new seedlings and plantings and thus are not recommended for compost.
The good news is that the leaves from these allelopathic landscape trees make an excellent addition to the mulch pile for use in beds with established plantings. This mulch is a very good alternative to using purchased chemicals for weed management. 
A partial list of allelopathic landscape trees include: acacia, hackberry, eucalyptus, oak, Chinese elm, American elm, black locust, black walnut. 
Suzanne Wright
The Garden Club of Petersburg
William D. Rieley Receives Award from Garden Club of America
Marty Moore, Betsy Huffman, Will Rieley,
Sally Guy Brown, Lisa Mountcastle

The Garden Club of Virginia's landscape architect, William D. Rieley, was presented with the Garden Club of America's Historic Preservation Medal on May 22, 2016, at the GCA Annual Meeting held in Minneapolis.The award presented to Mr. Rieley recognizes outstanding work in the field of preservation and restoration of historic gardens and buildings of national importance.The Garden Club of Alexandria, a member of the GCA, nominated Mr. Rieley for this GCA prestigious award.The GCA is a nonprofit national organization composed of 200 clubs with some 18,000 members who are devoted to projects in their communities and across the United States.
"Rieley is an extraordinary example for all who seek to preserve America's garden heritage," observed the GCA, which hailed him as an "icon in the field" who has made a "significant contribution to our nation's heritage."
With a particular passion for knowledge of Virginia gardens with local, state and national significance, Mr. Rieley has had considerable impact on landmarks such as Monticello, the Virginia Executive Mansion and Poplar Forest.Projects at Hollins University, Jamestown, Bruton Parish Church, Gay Mont/Rose Hill, the University of Virginia and many others bear his research, preservation and restoration signature.
Among his other contributions are the designing of the Thomas Jefferson Parkway, the entrance corridor to Monticello, with an accessible biking and hiking trail, pond and arboretum, and stone arch bridge. His current parkway project is a new two-mile entrance road to Jefferson's Poplar Forest.The road will incorporate principles of parkway design, and the park surrounding it will include a system of trails, overlooks, and interpretive stops at significant historic, natural and cultural features. 
Mr. Rieley's work is not confined to Virginia. He conducted a comprehensive documentation for restoration of formal gardens at the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic site in Hyde Park, New York. He inventoried trails and roads at the historic Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri. In 1989 Mr. Rieley received a national award in historic research from the American Society of Landscape Architects for documenting the Carriage Road System in Maine's Acadia National Park.
Mr. Rieley taught courses on road design, historic sites and site engineering at the University of Virginia for more than 20 years. He founded Rieley and Associates in 1980 which emphasizes research that contributes to designs honoring the past while accommodating the present. Since 1998, he has served as landscape architect on more than 40 projects for the Garden Club of Virginia. In 2005, the GCV named the William D. Rieley Fellowship in honor of his work as landscape Architect to the GCV. 
Before and After:

Monticello's Kitchen Road 

Events of Interest at Historic Properties

May 31 - July 22 (except June 10 & 16), Monday - Friday at 1:30 pm. Archaeology Walking Tours: Hidden in Plain Site. 50 minute walk of rarely seen parts of plantation and the importance of archeology on understanding history.

Mary Washington House
Saturdays in Mary's Garden
July 2, 11am - 2pm. "Games in the Garden". Celebrate a fun family day with games for all ages.
Aug 6, 11am - 2pm. "Lunch in the Garden". Bring a bag lunch and a blanket to enjoy natural beauty of the summer garden.

Point of Honor
Sept. 16, 3-5pm. History of Quilt Making with Dr. Barbara Rothermel.
Oct. 1, 10am -4pm. Day at the Point. 19th annual festival featuring living history, food, games, crafts, music and more.

Belle Grove
Summer Story Time: Reading on the Lawn (June - Aug )in partner with the Handley Regional Library's Valley Reads Program
June 15, 10am. Reading on the Lawn about Belle Grove, life in the 18th & 19th c., farming and the Civil War

The Barn Series of Lectures & Workshops - Master Gardeners sponsored
July 10, 2 - 4pm. Gardening Workshop: Mid-Summer Whimsy. Learn about good bugs and bad bugs.

Thank you to Roxanne Brouse of Rieley and Associates for providing images.


Newsletter Editor: Judy Perry, The Elizabeth River Garden Club

Copy Editors: Candy Crosby, Albemarle Garden Club; Mary Ann Johnson, Roanoke Valley Garden Club

Technical Support:  Ann Heller, Garden Club of Virginia 
President of the Garden Club of Virginia: Nina Mustard, The Williamsburg Garden Club