Among the many beautiful and historic homes and gardens is that of Bremo Recess, built about 1812 by General John Hartwell Cocke. Here the general and his family resided while building Bremo, a larger and more pretentious establishment. Situated on elevated land some distance back from the James River, there is much of interest about the sturdy little house with its high-pointed roof, dormer windows and Jacobean atmosphere.
The ivy-colored stone boundary walls of Recess garden enclose a fine collection of shrubs and fruit trees. It was laid out along geometrical lines with six square plots within its rectangular walls, each having a border of flowers or shrubs. A wanderer through this delightful old garden sees on every side evidences not only of loving care lavished on the flowers and shrubs by General Cocke and his wife and those following in ownership, but also the thought given to the planting and developing of the more practical fruits and berries. The roses, which grow in a profusion of colors and delicate odors, are a most pleasant feature of the Recess garden. Forsythia, lilies and old-fashioned pinks add their touch of alluring charm.
The pear trees at Bremo Recess were celebrated, many of which no doubt found themselves transformed into pear but-ter for joyous winter eating. Then there are the fig bushes along the stone wall, producing an abundance of that fruit which is a favorite of every Southerner. Apples, peaches and raspberries of course come in for their share of attention.
The neighboring State of North Carolina also had a share in adding to the enchantment of this old Virginia garden, for several scuppernong grapevines from that State found their way to Bremo Recess, and after years of growth and development now yield large quantities of delectable fruit. A most charming spot is this old garden-a tribute to the handiwork of man and the bounteous powers of nature.