The home of the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert Colgate Selden was purchased in 1830, being a part of the original Robins grant, and has been retained by the Selden family since that date, being now in the possession of Mr. and Mrs. Henry A. Williams, the latter a granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Selden.
The house originally was L-shaped with slate-covered Dutch roof. Mr. Selden remodelled the house to its present style a few years later, retaining the original six rooms, old wood-work and carved mantels.
The extensive grounds surrounding the house are filled with a variety of handsome trees planted by Mrs. Selden. Particularly beautiful are the magnolia grandiflora, Mimosa, cypress, pecan and tulip poplar trees.
The garden, two hundred feet wide by four hundred feet long, is a reproduction of an old English kitchen garden, due to the fact that it was planned by Mr. Selden’s mother, Charlotte Colgate, a native of England, in 1835. The original garden was laid out in the form of the letter H, the wide, slate-edged flower borders being flanked by pink crepe myrtle bushes which have since attained the size of trees, said to be the finest specimens in Virginia.
Sherwood garden, in its age of perfection, included handsome and rare plants sent as souvenirs by friends in other States, many of which still remain; a pleasing example being the twenty-foot single japonica, which came as a cutting from the bouquet of a New Orleans bride. Other rare trees and shrubs include the Pride of China, English bay, sweet bay and Cuban laurel.
Most charming in the spring is the offering of beautiful roses (which have attained the growth of large shrubs) , lilac bushes, purple and white, vying in beauty with mammoth snowballs, dainty spirea and mock orange, forming an entrancing background for the flaming bells of flowering pomegranate and scarlet japonica, iris and many varieties of lilies, including the stately amaryllis, which cannot be overlooked. The old garden once seen in full bloom will always be a beautiful memory.