Thankful: Small Moments & the Great Outdoors

Seeing neighbors out enjoying the fresh air on Bay Creek’s trails and beaches has done us good —both body and spirit. Here are a few things, great and small, in the community that are keeping us active and encouraged.

Bay Creek was created around the incredible natural Chesapeake Bay landscape and we love getting outdoors and enjoying every last inch of it. First off, mother nature remains open for the business of pleasure—Bay Creek’s private beaches are open for residents and are still serving up soul-stirring sunsets daily.

See You Out There: The community is also open for resident walkers and runners who are lov-ing our incredible spring weather—we walk the beach, on trails, sidewalks and our wide, scenic streets. It’s an ideal combination: enjoying the gorgeous weather and some exercise at the same time. Whether solo or as a family, it’s a great way to get out of the house and get into nature. We can’t wait to officially open the Avid Trails® networks in the near future. These engaging, activity-enhanced trails will traverse the lush woodlands, inspiring vistas and waterways of thepristine nature preserve—350 acres inside Bay Creek that have been placed into permanent conservation.

Hope Springs Eternal: Take time to appreciate spring’s natural beauty as it faithfully returns to the Eastern Shore with its colors, scents and sounds. Our local (and national) treasure, Eyre Hall Gardens is an ideal place for this. If you’re seeking some outdoor inspiration or an enchanting escape, the gardens of Eyre Hall await you.

Turn just off Route 13 onto the gracefully curving Eyre Hall Drive. After a serene mile-long ride past eastern red cedars and crape myrtles, you’ll find yourself on the grounds of Eyre Hall. The site of one of Virginia’s most intriguing and well- preserved historic homes, the estate has been in the Eyre family since the mid 1600’s—some 13 generations—and remains so to this day.

The gardens, planted around 1800, are part of the Eastern Shore Garden Tour and are widely recognized as one of the oldest continually main- tained formal gardens in America.

Take a self-guided tour of the formal gardens, the ruins of the original Orangery, and the natural plantings beyond. You’ll want to explore every blossoming inch of this incredible place. When you enter the formal portion of the gardens, enormous crape myrtles (estimated to be around 200 years old) greet you with their smooth, twist- ing gold trunks. The natural ‘rooms’ of the gar- den, bordered by boxwoods and towering camel- lia bushes, offer different varieties of flowering trees, shrubs and plenty of color. Shocks of the brightest spring plantings greet you around every corner—tulips, hyacinths and even roses.

History is everywhere in this garden—the knot garden that long ago burst its borders, the family graveyard and, one of the most interesting sites, Ann Eyre’s original Orangery, constructed around 1818. You’ll see a dovecote at the roof peak (pi- geons were kept in formal gardens of old for the odorless ‘fertilizer’ they produced for the garden). You’ll see the old handmade bricks, the fireplaces and ingenious masonry ductwork that circulated warm air to the citrus trees. The romance of this storybook estate is matched only by the exhilaration of nature’s most vivid display of spring color.

While the historic home that anchors the property is open for tours only once a year, the gardens are open to guests every day, all year.

If you didn’t know this, you’re not alone— the gardens are a bit of a hidden treasure. They’re not advertised for tours though locals know anyone is welcome to explore this bewitching place. In fact, you may very well have the gardens all to yourself when you visit. Explore, discover and enjoy this Eastern Shore treasure.

215 Eyre Hall Drive | Cheriton, VA 23316

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