Museum Celebrates National Public Gardens Day with Free Admission, Garden Activities, and Special Becoming Patsy Cline Exhibition Tours

Winchester, VA 05/07/14… In celebration of National Public Gardens Day, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) will offer free admission to its six-acre Glen Burnie Gardens and the Museum galleries from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday, May 9.

Along with free admission to the gardens and free gallery admission, the Museum will offer several free opportunities for visitors to experience the site’s landscape and galleries.

Beginning at 10 a.m. and throughout the day, free children’s activities—such as a garden gnome hunt and pressed-plant button-making—will take place in the gardens. At 11 a.m. and 1, 3 and 5 p.m., MSV Director of Gardens Perry Mathewes will lead free “What’s in Bloom” garden walks. At 2 p.m. Mathewes, a horticultural expert with more than 25 years of experience, will present the illustrated lecture, “Restoring a Historic Garden” in the Museum’s Reception Hall. Along with discussing the evolution of the MSV Glen Burnie Gardens, Mathewes will highlight other public gardens that have evolved from historic landscapes while detailing the different ways to care for a historic garden in a modern world. In addition and throughout the day, youngsters may explore the gardens with a free Can You Find This? seek-and-find game, and visitors may learn the stories behind the creation of the Glen Burnie Gardens in Stories in the Soil, a free audio tour (adult and children’s versions). Visitors are also invited to celebrate the outdoors by bringing a bag lunch to enjoy in the gardens.

National Public Gardens Day visitors may also experience the site’s gardens in the Museum galleries with a tour of Moveable Feasts: Entertaining at Glen Burnie. On view in the Founders Gallery, this exhibition tells the story of the entertaining that took place in the Museum’s Glen Burnie House and Gardens during the 1960s. The light-hearted exhibition takes visitors on a stroll through a garden maze to glimpse vignettes of the various “moveable feasts”—brunch, afternoon tea, the cocktail hour, and dinner—that MSV benefactor Julian Wood Glass Jr. (1910–1992) and his partner at the time, R. Lee Taylor (1924–2000), hosted at the site.

Also free and in the Museum, special gallery tours of the Becoming Patsy Cline exhibition will be offered at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Led by Melvin “Mel” Dick, the iconic singer’s brother-in-law and a docent at Winchester’s Patsy Cline Historic House, these informal gallery tours will be followed by question-and-answer sessions. On view in the Changing Exhibitions Gallery through July 6, 2014, Becoming Patsy Cline was organized by the MSV in partnership with the Winchester-based organization Celebrating Patsy Cline, Inc. (CPC). Becoming Patsy Cline uses objects, rare photographs, video and audio recordings, and clothing—much of which is on first-time public display—to illustrate Patsy Cline’s Shenandoah Valley story. Becoming Patsy Cline received critical underwriting support from Grove’s Winchester Harley–Davidson, Shenandoah Country Q102, and Winchester Printers, Inc.

In the Museum Lobby, visitors may enter a free drawing to win a one-year Family Membership to the MSV ($75 value). The Museum also includes a store, which will be open all day on Friday, as well as the Museum Café by Bonnie Blue, which will be open from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

With Friday’s activities, the MSV joins more than 500 North American public gardens that are participating in the National Public Gardens Day celebration. Presented by the American Public Gardens Association, the event is a national day of celebration to raise awareness of America’s public gardens and their important role in communities nationwide.

Opened to the public in 1997, the Glen Burnie Gardens were created in the latter half of the twentieth century. The six-acre gardens—which are only part of the site’s 214-acre landscape comprising the largest green space in the city of Winchester—surround the Museum’s Glen Burnie House and include everything from intimate garden “rooms” to a magnificent Grand Allée.

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia.  The MSV complex—which includes the Museum, the Glen Burnie House, and six acres of gardens—is open Tuesday through Sunday. The galleries are open year-round; the gardens are open seasonally. The Glen Burnie House will reopen on June 10 following an extensive preservation project. On days other than Friday’s National Public Gardens Day, admission to the site is $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and youth (age 13 to 18). Museum admission is always free to ages 12 and under. Additional information is available at or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235.