Ridgely Historic Gardens

Unique historic mountainside flower garden

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Virginia Oyster Trail Site Number: 145875

Ridgely Gardens is a mountainside property overlooking the historic town of Clifton Forge, Virginia. Beginning in 1902, this two-acre garden was gradually carved into the steep southern face of Fore Mountain in the highlands of Alleghany County. Stone walks, steps, walls, and ponds combined with old boxwood hedges, and defined flowerbeds give the garden structure, dimension and a distinct mountainside ambience. Ambrose and Rives Cosby Ford created Ridgely in 1902. With time, the beginning emphasis on general horticulture and landscape design faded into a strong interest in boxwood culture. Then, decades later, interests turned to specialization in varieties and culture of daffodils. The Ford family’s love of gardening remained visible through two generations, spanning the entire 20th Century. Rives Cosby Ford was a founding member of the Federation of Virginia Garden Clubs and Ridgely was always open to visits by Federation members. Don and Johnette Roberts bought the property in January 2003. Presently, the Roberts are busy restoring the garden and its facilities, and propagating and planting antique and heirloom plants that are part of the garden’s history. Keeping with the Ford’s tradition, the Roberts gladly welcome visitors to tour the garden.


Don Roberts




118 First Street
Clifton Forge, VA 24422

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