Motorcycle Wanderings, General Travel, and a Weird Mix of Other Stuff

The Rosiest Gal I Know


A Labeled Specimen

I have met some really cool people since moving to Virginia in 2011. It’s hard to believe it has already been five years! Well, not officially five until September 30/October 1, but that’s close enough. Sometimes it still feels so new…

But, back to me having met COOL people. One of the interesting localish ladies I’ve befriended is Connie Stevens Hilker. Some of you may remember her from this 2014 post of mine. According to the bio on Connie’s blog…

…I started Hartwood Roses, an educational rose garden in Virginia that specializes in rare and unusual antique roses. I know a lot about roses, old houses, carpentry and remodeling, and am an expert day dreamer. You will often find me working in the garden, planning a home project, building something, or hanging out in a cemetery …all of this has come in handy as my husband and I restore our historic home (built in 1848) renovate the outbuildings, and design the gardens.

She loves animals, too. She’s a supporter of dog rescue. She paints furniture. She’s just a really fun gal. And she’s married to a guy named, Steve, an artist who also seems like a cool chap. Here’s a recent pic of the two of them from Connie’s blog…

Steve and Connie

Steve and Connie

Aren’t they a cute couple? They’re grandparents, too.

Now for the point of this post… Connie and Steve hosted an open house/walking garden tour this past May. It’s an annual thing, I think. After seeing all of their preparations online, I thought it would be fun to go.


Illustrated Map of the Property

There was a map and everything. If you click on any of the images in this post, a larger version will open so you can see details.

Hartwood Manor

Hartwood Manor – photo courtesy of Connie



There were LOTS of different rose varieties.

I hadn’t told Connie I was coming. She was a little surprised to see me, but I think Steve was more surprised to see this granny pull into his yard on a motorcycle. I hadn’t met Steve before that day. Of course, I felt like I knew him to some degree through Connie and her social media posts.


That’s Connie on the left chatting-up some other visitors.

It’s a big yard with a lot of different gardens and planting areas.


Front Hybrid Tea Rose beds, laid out English-garden-style.



Rear outbuildings; L-R, Carriage House Garage, The Shack, and the Greenhouse.


5_Miniature Garden_IMG_0197

There’s the large Miniature Garden behind the outbuildings.



The Barn and Cottage toward the rear of the property.


6_The Barn_IMG_0220

English Rose garden near The Barn



Rose Tree (a climbing rose went crazy, resulting in this happy accident)

That’s an overview of the property. Isn’t it delightful?

Now for a bunch of pictures of their gorgeous roses.


One of my favorite pics from the day.





This flower is a unique shade of dusty lavender; the pic doesn’t do it justice.





Tea Rose





This is a George Washington cabbage rose that dates back to 1860!



Tea Rose



My Favorite Flower




Connie  did a post back in June — she’s FAR more timely than me — with pics where she labeled a lot of the roses.

If you’d like to read more about their old house, check out the “home” section of Connie’s blog. WARNING: you may fall in love with these peeps if you read all about how they restored that beautiful old barn.

Impressive, right?


  1. August 24, 2016    

    Oh my gosh those flowers are so pretty.

    What a beautiful place to spend a few hours…..or days.

    • August 26, 2016    

      Exactly, B!

  2. August 24, 2016    

    Looks like a beautiful garden.

    • August 26, 2016    

      It is. I especially love the barn, cottage, and shack.

  3. August 25, 2016    


    • August 26, 2016    


  4. August 25, 2016    

    Now those two are our polar opposites, garden-wise. We have precisely: 3 window boxes on the balcony; 1 tall planter on the front stoop; and one potted plant on a tiny table on the balcony.

    • August 26, 2016    

      David, seems you are approaching things at your own speed.

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