On May 16, Richmond, Va. celebrated its fourth annual Secret Garden Party. At the heart of this progressive, urban celebration is downtown Richmond's historic Court End neighborhood. Federal-era architecture and historic structures dominate the area, but tucked away behind the brick and the lore, garden gems breathe new life into the city.
The Secret Garden Party celebrates those green spaces, by attracting Richmonders with some of the city's best food, drink, and entertainment. Five garden locations were featured within a six-block radius. Party-goers were encouraged to move about, visiting each garden before the night was out.
URD's Richmond on Broad Cafe was selected as caterer for the John Marshall House garden, one of the night's featured stops. Photos from the John Marshall House garden event are below. The Sally Archer Anderson Garden at the Museum of the Confederacy, the Betty Moore Garden at Monumental Church, Becky's Healing Garden at VCU Massey Cancer Center, and the Valentine Garden at the Valentine Richmond History Center were also featured.
Pre-sale tickets were available for a discount, and on the day of the event, tickets were sold at each site for $35. With a single entrance fee, guests could visit all five locations in any order.
The event was rain or shine, and May 16 was all rain. However, the damp and cloudy skies formed a brilliant backdrop for the secret gardens.
Guests excitedly progressed through each site sampling unique wines and spirits, and carefully crafted hors d'oeuvres.
The John Marshall House, built in 1790, is the oldest surviving brick building in the city. It was the home of John Marshall, the fourth chief justice of the U.S., and his family for 45 years.
Each garden location featured a single food caterer, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, music, and games in the garden.
UR Downtown's Richmond on Broad Cafe kept people coming back for more, with their smoked brisket on brioche rolls, whole grain mustard potato salad, and lemon custard tarts with fresh raspberry garnish.
Historical musician Bob Zentz charmed and entertained at the John Marshall House garden party, using a variety of modern and antique string instruments.
Rainy weather may have put a damper on the evening for some, but certainly not for all. Party-goers stuck to paved pathways, and toted raincoats and umbrellas.
Guests moved between gardens on foot or via the complimentary shuttle. A suggested walking route and shuttle map were provided.