Open by appointment only – Individual Guided Tours most Fridays through Sundays – (April through November)
Sign up for a tour through the website’s VISIT page. Tours free; donations appreciated.
Contact us through the website for Group Tours (Mondays through Thursdays)
The Quarry Gardens at Schuyler opened in spring 2017 as a privately funded natural area and botanical garden for public education and enjoyment.
Schuyler has been the soapstone capital of the world since 1880’s. Six quarries under these gardens were worked from 1950s to 1970s, then used as dump-sites, and finally abandoned to grow wild.
- Forty acres of habitats and plant communities in 14 ecozones and seven conservation areas—all protected by 550-acre land buffer.
- More than 600 species of plants and animals found on site; some 100 species native to Schuyler area added.
- Two miles of walking trail around two quarry pools.
- Thirty-plus designed native plant galleries.
- Demonstration garden showing how habitat modeling with native plants can be used in landscaping.
- Visitor Center with exhibits of geology, native plants, history of soapstone mining, garden shop, and classroom.
The owners of The Quarry Gardens at Schuyler in Nelson County, VA utilize native plants and materials in their impressive gardens, which features an impressive vertical wall. Visitors to the 40-acre garden have a unique opportunity to learn about plants, as well as local wildlife and the history of the property.
The breathtaking vertical wall differentiates The Quarry Gardens from other botanical collections, and it used to be part of two soapstone quarries. It certainly adds even more texture to the plant varieties showcased at the gardens. Visitors can ascend to the viewing platform overlooking the quarries for a great view. The gardens also house nearly two miles of trails, patches of prairie, a fern gully, a picnic grove, and an amended wetland.
The quarry itself was originally mined for soapstone, a heat-resistant metamorphic rock. The rich soil of the gardens is due in part to the minerals the land absorbs from this stone.
Nearly 600 species can be found at The Quarry Gardens at Schuyler, and over 50,000 native plants are on display, including Blue Sedge. Tree varieties include White Ash, Dwarf Hackberry, and Pine.
The Quarry Gardens Foundation also has a small library, a gift shop, and a working model of the Nelson and Albemarle Railroad from when the quarry was actively mined from the 1950s through the 1970s.
For those who thrive on historical detail, a sardine can that was once left near a tree seedling in the 1950s is now a part of the living tree, staying on as proof of Nelson County’s past.
Visits are by appointment only. Free guided tours are offered on weekends and may be reserved at quarrygardensatschuyler.org Those wishing for more information concerning The Quarry Gardens at Schuyler can also contact the Nelson County Visitor’s Center at 434-263-7015.