One of my very favorite places is Meadowlark Gardens, which is about a 20 minute drive from our house. W and I go there for walks quite often, in all seasons of the year. A snowy walk in winter is especially beautiful. I like knowing that it was donated by a couple who lived there and farmed the land for 50 years before they donated the nearly 75 acres to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. They were academics and environmentalists who loved the Virginia countryside. They raised sheep dogs, farmed wheat, and planted flower gardens on the land and as suburbia grew around them, they decided to donate the land to "create a permanence in the land...a way by which the farm could remain a haven for trees, shrubs and flowers to preserve the bounty of the Virginia country side." How cool is that, to farm land for 50 years and then donate the land you loved so it can be taken care of and enjoyed by people for years to come. It is what all gardeners dream about, that their gardens will endure.
Probably my favorite time of the year at Meadowlark is May, when the tree peonies bloom and about a week after, the herbaceous peonies. It has an amazing collection of peonies. And the daylilies, hundreds of varieties. Amazing azaleas, ferns, iris. A fabulous lilac garden. When we were there on Sunday, the salvias were in high bloom--a huge bed with all different kinds of salvias. Another favorite of mine is the Hosta Walk, a little path through the woods, lined with all varieties of hostas, ferns, and hellebores. It is magical in the spring, when the hostas are just emerging and the wildflowers are blooming.
Love it there.
|Walk through the woods|
|One of 3 lakes|
|A favorite sculpture|