Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Former owner:
Carter, Robert Wormley, ca. 1735-1797  Search this
Wellford, Armistead Nelson  Search this
Wellford, Dabney S. Rev  Search this
Wellford, Hill B.  Search this
Carter, Landon, 1710-1778  Search this
Carter, Elizabeth, 1717-1806  Search this
Carter, Winifred, ca.1740  Search this
Wellford, Robert, 1775-1844  Search this
Wellford, Ida  Search this
Wellford, William  Search this
Wellford, Katherine Davis  Search this
Carter, Katherine  Search this
Carter, Elizabeth Merrie  Search this
Carter, Landon, II  Search this
Collection Creator:
Garden Club of America  Search this
Archival materials
Sabine Hall (Warsaw, Virginia)
United States of America -- Virginia -- Richmond County -- Warsaw
Scope and Contents:
The folder includes worksheets and photocopies from publications.
Sabine Hall is a plantation residence in the Georgian style built by Robert "King" Carter for his son Colonel Landon Carter, circa 1730, on a property of 4,000 acres, in an axial plan with formal parterre gardens. Sabine Hall was named for Horace's Roman villa and passed down through the Carter family for nine generations. The family kept the original geometric plan intact, although not all the beds were planted over time. Facing the Rappahannock River, and encompassing several hundred feet are six terraced beds with connecting grass ramps, with a centered gravel walk nearly six feet wide leading from the porch steps into the first terrace. Gravel walks continued to at least the second and third terraces. The first terrace, planted in grass, was called a bowling green. There were formal flower beds planted in a symmetrical English style on the second terrace. The third terrace was likely planted in small fruits and medicinal herbs, the fourth and fifth terraces planted in vegetables, and the sixth with fruit trees. There was another vegetable garden (the kitchen garden) planted with necessities that did not conform to the aesthetics of the parterres, planted beyond the boxwood hedges, out of sight from the house. The fifth and sixth terraces were not maintained into the 20th century, but the outlines remain. The borders were hedged in boxwood. The front portico of the house has leads to a planted lawn surrounded and interplanted with both native and imported tree species.
Colonel Landon Carter is presumed to have been responsible for the initial geometrical design of the garden, based on 17th century English and Continental precepts. Indentured English gardeners may have been early workers, as well as slaves passed down through family bequests. The third owner, Robert Wormeley Carter, named slave gardeners in his will of 1794.
Flowers mentioned by Landon Carter include bulbs, roses, and wildflowers. Vegetables included artichokes, French beans, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, endives, lettuce, melons, mushrooms, onions, parsley, peas, potatoes, radishes, savoys, spinach, and turnips.
Following ownership by Colonel Landon Carter (1710-1778) and his wife Elizabeth Wormeley of Rosegill, the estate passed to Robert Wormeley Carter and his wife Winifred Beale; then to their son Colonel Landon Carter II and his wife Katharine Tayloe of Mount Airy; next to Robert Wormeley Carter II and his wife Elizabeth Merrie Tayloe of Mount Airy. Ownership then skipped a generation and went to Robert Carter Wellford (a grandson) in 1861, who married Elizabeth Harrison of Berkeley. She died in 1919, leaving Sabine Hall to two sons, Armistead Nelson Wellford and his wife Katherine Davis and William Harrison Wellford and his wife Ida Beverly. The property was passed on to ensuing sons, the Reverend Dabney S. Wellford and Hill B. Wellford.
Persons associated with the garden include the Carter family (1730) and their descendents.
Related Materials:
Sabine Hall related holdings consist of 1 folder (12 35 mm. slides (photographs))
Collection Restrictions:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
Collection Rights:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Gardens -- Virginia -- Warsaw  Search this
Plantations  Search this
Gardens, English  Search this
Vegetable gardening  Search this
Parterres  Search this
Terraces  Search this
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Garden Club of America collection.
AAG.GCA, File VA009
See more items in:
The Garden Club of America collection
The Garden Club of America collection / Series 1: United States Garden Images / Virginia
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens