Update on the Progress

12/08/13 4:10 PM


I bet you have been wondering “Where in the world are Michelle and Belle Grove Plantation?” Well, we have been busy working on finishing up the last minute things and opening our doors. Last weekend was our second weekend and we were sold out on Friday and Saturday! Sunday we spent the day cleaning the house and getting ready for the next guest.

Dining Room


Photography by Chamberlin Photography


As most of you know we are in a “Soft Opening” stage mainly because we haven’t finish getting all of our furnishing, curtains and rugs. When they finally ordered the fabric, all but one of the fabrics was back ordered. Such is our luck with opening the house. But as of last week, I heard that fabric was arriving daily and things are starting to get done. We are pushing to get the bedrooms done first and hope to see some of the furniture that needed upholstery soon. We have two Rosewood Couches, two Settees and two Victorian Chairs that should be coming soon. Once we get the curtains up, we can start looking for the rugs. We didn’t want to get the rugs before we had the curtains so we could match them.


We have also gotten in touch with several local quilters in King George. Because Belle Grove Plantation is a historic landmark and it has so many connections to this area, I wanted to see if we could have some of the local quilters make quilts for each of the rooms. Each quilt will have colors and themes to match the room and will remain in the room as a piece of history. We are excited to announce that the quilters are now hard at work designing and creating these beautiful pieces of American art. More on this as they finish.

We have had some great progress on the driveway. If you have visited the plantation, you have had to drive down our lane which has several pot holes in it. We have been working for over 5 months to get all the permits, bonds, site plans and approvals to improve the gravel drive (we are leaving it gravel for historic reasons), pave the first 20 feet of the drive at the highway, add twenty-five gravel parking spaces and placing five storm water run-offs. I am happy to announce that we are starting work on this project this week! (Yes! Finally!) Believe it or not, it will only take about one to two weeks to finish the whole thing! These guys are good!

We have added some urns and pedestals to our front arrival area on Thursday. I think it really dresses up the arrival area. After they complete the driveway, we will secure them in place and add flowers. What flowers do you think we should place in them? I know the summer season is almost over so I didn’t want to spend the money on flowers that won’t be there long. One suggestion is Chrysanthemums. If you think so too, what colors do you think? The mansion is cream with green shutters. We have reds, pinks, yellows, purples and whites in the beds upfront.


We are also starting on the final steps on the bluff. We have three terraces between us and the river. The bottom terrace was washed out, so we are using the soil that we are removing from other areas to rebuild it. It will make a nice spot for some Adirondack chairs so you can sit and watch the river flow by. Once it is done, we will add some urns and pedestals there too.

Today, I have Kristen with Affairs by Ayers with me. She is creating a beautiful nice flower arrangement for our formal dining room table. Over the weekend, I met up with Terri of BarTer Chocolates. She had a surprise for me.


BarTer Chocolates




She had a set of silver candlesticks and a pedestal silver bowl that she had received from her family. She donated it to Belle Grove Plantation to grace our formal dining table! Not only do she and Barbara make some of the best chocolates you have ever put into your month, but she is so giving and generous! We are going to cherish these pieces for years to come! And with the beautiful flowers that Kristen is adding, it is going to be one of our prized pieces! Kristen does some amazing work! We have three alcove shelves in each of the upstairs bathrooms. I have wanted a very special look for them. She listens to my thoughts and found just the right container to help me make this idea come to life. And she had to send away to California to find the right container!



Affairs by Ayers


Of course we have been busy promoting the bed and breakfast and getting on yet more media sites. We have just recently been adding to BedandBreakfast.com and Tripadvisor. Our website is up and going. Pictures are limited of the rooms right now due to the lack of curtains and such. But keep checking back on the website to see update pictures soon!

Home Page






If you have visited Belle Grove Plantation as an overnight guest or simply for a tour

Please help us out by taking a few minutes and writing a review on both Tripadvisor and BedandBreakast.com

Thank you so much!

We have gotten several reservations over the last week as well as calls inquiring about the plantation. We have reservations from Oregon and New Zealand! We have had what Brett and I call “drive bys” too. This is where people come down to the Mansion and drive around the circle without stopping. They should stop! We don’t mind having people stop by! We are working on a tour schedule as well as upcoming events so people can come and see the plantation.

Our online store is open and we are adding more items daily! We are soon to add local quilts and prints by local artist! We also have our historic pens from our 200 year old Mulberry that are now for sale! I have also spoken to the Historic Pen Company yesterday and they are adding an Ice Cream Scoop made from our trees to the list!

AC FP for MC Night

Tomorrow, we have a very special guest coming to the plantation. I can’t tell you today because I am afraid it might jinx us. But you have to check back tomorrow to see who is coming!

So lots going on at the plantation these days. And as we finish up on the main pieces of the furnishing, we are going to start looking for the décor to make the plantation a true home.

To see what we are up to at the plantation

Please visit our Facebook Page

Facebook Link


Home Page

Official Website!

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Darnell History | 29 Comments »

29 Comments on “Update on the Progress”

  1. Terry Says:

    in my area I see those type of urns with the flowers you are thinking of with a mixture of vine type plants surrounding and trailing down the urns. they are quite beautiful. just a thought here

  2. I had thought about that. We have green ivy growing in the trees in the lane, which we want to get rid of. I asked Brett if we could use that, to save money lol. He said no because it would over take everything. I guess I will have to look for some that isn’t as strong.

  3. Terry Says:

    yes like philiandriums

  4. Glenda Ennis Says:

    I agree with Terry. You an use either sweet potato vines (green or dark purple), or you can use asparagus fern and put geraniums in the center — even add a petunia or two. You’ll get a look that similar to the beautiful arrangement on your dining table. I’ll see if I can find you a picture. The fern and geraniums will last through November or until frost. It might be a good idea to use ivy as the trailing greenery because it lasts all winter; then you can change out the flowers by season. Oh, and Rosemary is a great green because it lasts over winter, too. It will grow huge. I’ll try to find pictures and send them. It’s looking fantastic. The quilt idea is awesome!!! That is very exciting.

  5. Thank you! I got your email and loved the idea!

  6. seniorhiker Says:

    It looks as if things are coming along very well. The dining room and the flowers are gorgeous. I think I gained two pounds looking at the chocolate.

  7. Haha… I did too, but it was because I ate some! Thank you!

  8. You busy bees, you! It’s looking awesome, Michelle! And add me to the crew advocating trailing vines in the urns with seasonal flowers in the center.

  9. I think I like that idea too.

  10. gardeniahung Says:

    Best of Luck and Congratulations on your Grand Opening at the Belle Grove Plantation!

  11. Thank you!

  12. edgar62 Says:

    The Plantation looks fabulous – a reflection of the thought and work you have put into it. I did send a book for your library, weeks ago. Must have taken a while to transfer it from our Stagecoach. Perhaps it might have lost a wheel, :o)

  13. Thank you! What was the name of the book? I got a whole bunch at one time and I had to have someone log them and put them on the shelf. I can let you know if it was on the log. Sorry!!

  14. edgar62 Says:

    It was called “Advance and Retreat” and I just wanted to know that it actually did arrive

  15. I am sorry, it has not arrived.

  16. lucindalines Says:

    So beautiful and so much detail. What a job you have undertaken and are doing it so well. I wish you all the best. I keep telling my husband that Belle Grove would be a reason to vacation in your area. Maybe in the next couple of years.

  17. Thank you! We would love to have you come vacation with us! We are counting the months!!

  18. PigLove Says:

    It is very beautiful and I can see how much work you have done. Awesome my friends. XOXO – Bacon

  19. Thank you!

  20. It’s all coming together so beautifully. I have enjoyed following your progress and I’m looking forward to seeing more. Well done.

  21. Thank you! We hope you will travel here to see us soon!

  22. Maybe one day. This year’s trip is to Europe…

  23. Oh wow! I want to go!!

  24. Two weeks to go and then we’re off for five weeks. Singapore, London, Belgium and Germany. Yippee!

  25. Oh view nice!!

  26. EVERYTHING is sooooo beautiful!!!

  27. Thank you so much!

  28. lynnwyvill Says:

    Everything just looks stunning. You’ve worked so hard! I can hardly wait to visit.

  29. Thank you! We can’t wait to meet you!