Historic Garden Week: Eric and Vicki White Home

Watercolor illustration by Beth Marchant; used by permission of the Garden Club of Virginia

Eric and Vicki White, whose home at 1534 Park Avenue in Richmond’s Fan neighborhood is on this year’s Garden Club of Virginia Historic Garden Week tour, have opened their home to the public before.

More than five years ago, the Whites participated in the Fan’s annual Christmas tour, which is a significant fundraiser for the neighborhood. When the couple was asked to be on this year’s Garden Week tour list – the first time the event has included homes in the Fan – it was an easy yes.

“This is good for the community, and it’s a good cause,” Vicki White says. “Plus, this [tour] is wonderful because the Garden Club comes in and does all of your flower arrangements.”

The Whites’ historic home was built in 1915 by noted architect Duncan Lee. As the Garden Week of Virginia program guide notes, the house has been altered over the years, changing some of Lee’s vision but creating spaces more attuned to modern-day living.

“We really liked how the house was freestanding and has a nice – and small – back yard,” White says. “There’s a solarium as you enter, so it’s very light and bright, when so many Fan houses are dark.”

The Whites have relied on H.J. Holtz & Son for numerous projects since 2009, when they moved into the home and Holtz was recommended by their interior designer, Robert Rentz. Over the years, Holtz team members have repaired plaster and woodwork as well as painted throughout the house.

To prepare for Garden Week, H.J. Holtz & Son painted the home’s exterior last year and freshened the shutters, which included removing them for inspection, repair and repainting. The company also painted a small basement – walls and floor – and painted outdoor furniture that is used in the back yard.

Vicki White says she’s been delighted to have office manager Carol Hudson as her primary contact because Hudson understands the importance of Garden Week.

“Carol is always on top of everything,” Vicki says. “She has been really great about working everything in. She e-mails me and keeps me updated.”

The company’s communication and responsiveness are top-notch, White says.

“Everything is well-coordinated among supervisors, and everyone is really responsive,” she says. “When they say they are going to be here, they’re here. Everyone is knowledgeable, and they do a great job of cleaning up.”

Ultimately, White says, she knows she can trust H.J. Holtz & Son.

“You find somebody who does what they say they are going to do, it’s worth a lot,” she says.

Garden Club of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week is April 27-May 4. Proceeds support the restoration and preservation of 40+ historic public gardens and landscapes, a research fellowship program, and a Centennial project with Virginia State Parks. Tours in Richmond include the Fan, Westhampton and Manakin-Sabot. For schedule and ticketing information, visit www.vagardenweek.org.