The restoration of the gardens at Belmont is an ongoing adventure and the latest undertaking focused on restoration of five planters that belonged to Gari and Corinne Melchers. Dave Ludeker, Belmont’s Maintenance Manager, restored and painted the wooden plant boxes to match the historic paint scheme. The planters were originally custom built for Mrs. Melchers garden, and she used them for her much beloved geraniums, as seen in this 1920’s picture.
Porches were important living spaces before air-conditioning was installed in homes, and they served as outdoor “rooms” where one could catch a breeze to escape the stifling Virginia heat. These outdoor places were furnished with comfortable chairs, benches or swings and ornamented with flowers, blurring the line between indoor and outdoor living spaces. It was common to take indoor plants outside for the summer which further enhanced the feeling of being in a living room.
Several photographs show the planters on the main porch, and these have been planted with geraniums once again; the others are filled with annuals, herbs and interesting specimens such as the Crested Euphorbia. Be sure to come sit and enjoy the breeze and the flowers next time you visit Belmont.