Constructed in 1726, the Georgian mansion at Berkeley Plantation is the birthplace of Benjamin Harrison V—a signer of the Declaration of Independence and Virginia's fifth governor—and his son, President William Henry Harrison. Still featuring 18th-century details and additions––including arches later installed by Benjamin Harrison VI, a descendant of original owner Benjamin Harrison IV, under the direction of Thomas Jefferson––the house is populated today by guides dressed in period garb. These experts point out significant artifacts in the main building and give visitors a chance to explore its artfully designed and manicured grounds on their own.
The professional mechanics at Priority Automotive extend automotive lifetimes with comprehensive oil changes, inspections, tire rotations, and wiper-blade replacements. Techs refill oil reserves with up to 5 quarts of fresh engine lube and swap out debris-clogged filters for unsullied new ones. The eagle eyed techs then perform Virginia state vehicle inspections to ensure brakes, headlights, and steering mechanisms function properly. Auto owners may opt to have techs rotate tires and affix new wipers or blade inserts to deflect rain, snowflakes, and bad, bad biker-boy tears.
In 1955, Maybelle and George Landa began crafting makeshift bundles of pansies to sell alongside produce at their roadside stand. Before long, they were offering fresh-cut Christmas trees, cut flowers, and various houseplants, and the business bloomed into Boulevard Flower Gardens at Ruffin Mill. After decades of growth, the business was passed down to son Mark Landa and his wife Francine.
Today, Boulevard Flower Gardens resides on 6 acres that house a 33,000 square-foot greenhouse and hosts a wide variety of events. Computerized climate control creates optimal growing conditions for plants and a retractable A-frame roof hopes to lure a baseball franchise to hold spring training. The diverse staff includes certified horticulturalists, a full-service florist, and Wilbur the potbelly pig, a friendly mascot who's famous for his seasonal pumpkin carvings. When not tending to the nursery or the gift shop's selection of jellies, flags, and local wines, Mark Landa can be seen dispensing gardening wisdom on WRIC 8's morning news program.