Full Bloom: Wollam Gardens flower farm is a unique B&B destination

By jes. on June 18, 2015


Jeffersonton, VA (Herald de Paris) — ¬†In searching for unique Bed & Breakfast destinations in Virginia, this one stood out. ¬†Farmstay at Wollam Gardens is not a restored Victorian dripping with ornament, antiques, and old dolls; it is not some old manor house trying to hold on. ¬†Wollam Gardens is a farm, a very active flower farm, set in the rolling hills between Warrenton and Culpeper. ¬†At the farm, Bob Wollam and his staff grow more than 80 varieties of cut flowers on 11 acres (Plus a few extra acres borrowed from neighbors) through November. ¬†On¬†4 cold frames, Wollam Gardens grows cool season plants including stock, campanula, delphinium, ranunculus, and the well-known Temptress poppies.

The result is an active, vibrant farm staffed by an enthusiastic rotation of college students, horticulturalists, and budding botanists.  And it gets better.  Much better.

IMG_20150617_165749062The centerpiece of this enterprise is a hand-built, 1819 wooden farmhouse. ¬†Most likely built by a German immigrant farmer, from plans ordered from Philadelphia around the time that the young Republic was fending off an attack by British loyalist troops who invaded the region during the War of 1812, the home’s decorative windows and ornamentation almost assuredly arrived in this hamlet from the North, by horse-drawn cart. ¬†During the growing months, the house is home to a hard-working staff of flower interns, who work the flower fields by day, and relax, exhausted and fulfilled, in the evenings. ¬†For parts of every week, the Wollams join them and you can, too. ¬†Wollam Gardens makes the two upstairs rooms available for Bed & Breakfast guests.

If you love early 19th century houses, wide-beam floors, Federal mantels, crooked doorways, original trim, and wooden stairs worn from the footsteps of more than two centuries, this is the place for you. ¬†Farmstay at Wollam Gardens is not a destination for the aforementioned Victorian doll collection B&B seekers. ¬†There are no chocolates on your pillows, wide-screen televisions, or squishy robes in the bathrooms. ¬†Instead, this is a rustic, authentic, comfortable, happy farm. ¬†Guests are invited to walk the fields, interact with the staff, and partake in the bounty of eggs produced daily by the farm’s resident flock of chickens.

You will be sharing your time in the house with half a dozen well-mannered, interesting, open, and friendly flower interns, all of whom work very hard. ¬†This is actually a good thing, as interaction with the hard-working residents completes the authenticity of the destination. ¬†You are just as likely to find them napping in the parlor in the evenings as you are to find them cooking dinner in the 1747 kitchen, the farm’s original one-room home.

Bob Wollam’s own story is just as interesting as his farm’s. ¬†While working overseas, Wollam found himself visiting gardens all over the world, recalling his childhood visits with his grandmother, and her expansive gardens. ¬†When he returned home to the US, he finally realized his dream, purchasing the property in 1989. ¬†Since that day, Wollam has worked exclusively as a flower grower.

IMG_20150617_165516548And they say dreams don’t come true.

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Wollam Gardens is open to the public Monday through Saturday 9-5, for flower purchases and wedding and event consultations. The best time to purchase flowers at the farm is Wednesday-Saturday afternoons.   Bed & Breakfast accommodations:

5167 Jeffersonton Road
Jeffersonton, VA 22742
Phone:  (540) 937-3222


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