A Welcome Habitat for Bees

Guest Post by Sally Keys

Bees are vital to every aspect of the ecosystem. As well as producing honey, their main contribution is pollination, and their hard work adds $15 billion to the US agricultural output each year. Pollination produces bigger and prettier fruits and vegetables and so bees are very welcome visitors at the Tuckahoe Plantation’s organic vegetable plot and parterre herb garden. And without bees, the formal floral gardens would no longer yield the blooms used to create the exquisite flower arrangements and wedding bouquets displayed at the venue.

Thomas Jefferson on Bees

The rewarding pursuit of beekeeping is becoming more common and it has a long tradition dating back to when honey bees were first brought to America in 1622. Thomas Jefferson was an avid beekeeper and wrote a little about the honey bee in North America in his nature book, Notes on Virginia. Like any good farmer in the 18th century, he kept bees on his estate not simply to collect their valuable honey and beeswax but, more importantly, to pollinate crops. He may well have seen from his childhood at Tuckahoe how, even though they can self-pollinate, a healthy yield of tobacco plants was still dependent on bees to create beneficial genetic mixes.

Restoring Bee Populations

What Jefferson will not have known is that the tobacco plants helped keep bumble bees healthy, as scientists have only recently discovered that the naturally occurring chemicals found in the flowers can reduce infection levels of a common parasite by more than 80%. The state of Virginia loses a third of its hives each year, and the Department of Agriculture takes measures to attempt to eradicate and control bee diseases as well as offering advice on helping to restore bee numbers. This includes asking residents to plant even the smallest of flower boxes, so extensive gardens like those at Tuckahoe are a very welcome habitat for dwindling bee populations.

Bees and the Tuckahoe Gardens

As an exclusively outdoor venue, the gardens are a vital element of the plantation and are designed to delight all year round. The delicate yellow flowers of the Wintersweet and other winter blooming plants help bees overwinter, to be ready to gather nectar from the peonies and old roses in the summer. Early bee species, like the orchard mason bee, might enjoy the Japanese apricot blossom in February, but the crocus provides the first substantial pollen source after a long, cold season. Although it doesn’t require pollination, even the muscadine grape vine benefits from the presence of bees as the crop is stimulated by the increased biodiversity where they are working.

The beautiful gardens at Tuckahoe welcome guests to celebrate, enjoy the peaceful surroundings, and explore their history. Working alongside the attentive Tuckahoe gardener, bees are vital to the flourishing of the flowers, plants and vegetables, encouraging beautiful blooms, fragrant herbs, and healthy crops all year round.

Inclement Weather Warning

Due to Hurricane Florence, the plantation will be closed from Thursday September 13th to Sunday September 16th. All tours of the House and Grounds (guided, self-guided, or event-related) will be unavailable for the safety of our staff, clients, and visitors. Please plan your visit around the closure…the plantation is more enjoyable on a dry, sunny day!

Stay updated on our website blog and Facebook feed, or contact us at 804-774-1614 or [email protected] Please note, the Office is closed from 9/13-9/16 also, so staff will have limited phone and email access. Sorry for the inconvenience, but we look forward to your future visit!

The Collie Wedding

We’re not crying, you’re crying! Words can’t describe how kind, sweet, and loving Jessica & Chris are! Thankfully, pictures are worth a thousands words, and videos are worth a trillion! Check out the Collies’ beautiful wedding video by Kristin Zimney.

Venue: Tuckahoe Plantation
Planner: Lyndee Zeller
Caterer: Cater 2 Events
Rentals: Party Perfect
Lighting: Leap Light + Sound
Florals: Heritage Gardens RVA
Dessert: Gelati Celesti
Videographer: Kristin Zimney
Photographer: Gianna Grace Photography

Pet Friendly Venue

Thank you Blushing Richmond for the feature in the post, Pet Friendly Venues So Fido Can Celebrate With You! “Elegantly southern and pet friendly,” Tuckahoe loves when couples celebrate the special day with their furry family members! If your companion “plays well with others” and is kept on a leash, their welcome to join the party!

Martha Stewart Weddings’ Feature

Tuckahoe provided an organic and historic backdrop for Linda and Robert’s September wedding…which is currently featured on Martha Stewart Weddings!

Linda and Robert’s wedding design was inspired by the organic and natural textures of Tuckahoe Plantation and the result was AMAZING! Linda designed her own wedding with the assistance of Richmond’s vendor A-Team…what an honor to be the backdrop for a gorgeous and heart-warming wedding!

Couple: @lindahaevents + @rlee721 | Photography: @vickigrafton | Cinematography: @joshgooden | Design Concept: @lindahaevents | Venue: @tuckahoeplantation | Caterer: @bluewaterkitchen | Florals: @lori_tran | Ceramics: @dceramics | Cake: @signaturesweetsbyamanda | Calligraphy + Paper Goods: @juliehacalligraphy | Day of Coordinators: @meomeomeooo @quynhdpham @spoonfulofpb | Makeup: @annabreeding | Hair Stylist: @briannabadams | Gown: @sarahjanks @lovelybride | Accessories: @enchantedatelierbylivhart @mint_lola | Tuxs: @theblacktux | Bridesmaids dresses: @jennyyoonyc | Rings: @bluenilediamond | Music: AAA Disc Jockeys | Rentals: @bluesteellighting @festivefarerentals @partyrentals @cprofva | Photobooth: @photoboothofcharlottesville | Officiant: @trangam | Cake: @signaturesweetsbyamanda | Photo Lab: @richardphotolab

Historic Homes as Event Venues

Paige Feingenbaum of Smart Meetings wrote an article, “If the Walls Could Talk in the Mid-Atlantic” about historic sites turned event venues. She highlights that “we can appreciate these grand homes for their grace and shining beauty, while acknowledging their shadowed past. The furniture and four walls—preserved, restored and maintained to appear frozen in time—may look the same when you step into this time warp of American history, but the demographics could not be more different from centuries ago. Visitors and groups of all races, ethnicities and classes are now equally welcome to freely roam in unity.” The Mid-Atlantic region, especially Virginia, plays a vital role in the hospitality industry, allowing guests to experience the region’s past. Historic homes, like Tuckahoe Plantation, warmly open their doors to guests for events, meetings, and/or tours, connecting Virginia’s past to the relevant present.

To learn more about hosting meetings, parties, or special events at Tuckahoe Plantation, please call 804-971-8329 or email [email protected]

Alyssa & Alex

From the get-go, we knew Alyssa and Alex were a special couple…deeply in love, energetic, and ready for adventure! Their wedding day was an adventure for sure (understatement of the year), as the plantation and Richmond experienced it’s worst rainfall in 40+ years. However, the guests, family, and wedding party made the best of a rainy and muddy situation, and had a memorable celebration! Alicia White Photography wonderfully captured the warm spirit and love of Alyssa and Alex, and Tuckahoe wishes many happy and sunny days for Mr. and Mrs. Hall!

“What’s Out There” Cultural Landscapes in Richmond

The National Park Service (NPS) and The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) today announced the launch of a new online What’s Out There Cultural Landscapes Guide to Richmond. This is the fourth of five new What’s Out There Cultural Landscapes Guides created in honor of the NPS’ 100th anniversary. The online guide features nearly 60 well-illustrated sites, including Tuckahoe Plantation. We’re honored to be featured on a site that connects new audiences to the nation’s landscape heritage!

Photo courtesy of Hannah Warfield, 2006.

May 2018 Weddings

Despite the storms and rain, the month of May has favored Tuckahoe with some gorgeous weddings! Enjoy some beautiful photos of the plantation’s May weddings by visiting the links!

Christina & Chris’s May Wedding by Hope Taylor Photography

Jamie & Josh’s May Wedding by Silverbridge & Co. Photography

Closed Today

Due to the inclement weather and flooding, the plantation will be closed to the public today. We apologize for an inconvenience!