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May 24Doug Smith

Northern Virginia Communities: Green Spring Gardens

May 24Doug Smith

We’re fortunate, here in Fairfax County, to have a number of great parks. Some of them have historical significance. Green Spring Farm and Gardens is one of them. It is an outdoor classroom for children and their families to learn about plants and wildlife. It’s also a museum, a national historic site that offers glimpses into a long, rich history with colonial origins.

There’s something here for everyone: a wooded stream valley with ponds, a naturalistic native plant garden, over 20 thematic demonstration gardens, a greenhouse filled with tropicals, and a well-stocked horticultural reference library. The park is open from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm daily.

Green Spring Gardens serves Fairfax County residents and visitors by advancing the awareness and practice of gardening. The gardens and educational programs focus on practical landscaping techniques that are appropriate for the Washington metro area. Additional programs emphasize historic influences on the land and Fairfax County residents’ role in preserving cultural resources.

Families occupied and adapted the Green Spring landscape and buildings from the late 1700s until the mid 20th century. Today visitors can view changing art exhibits, enjoy tea with a tour or program, and shop in the unique museum shop.

Green Spring was donated to Fairfax County in 1970 by Michael and Belinda Straight. The Straights purchased the property in 1942 and made several modifications to the 1784 historic house and accompanying gardens. The landscape around the Straight home was that of a “gentleman farmer” and was used primarily for entertaining. Designed by Beatrix Farrand, the gardens included boxwood hedging, roses, and perennial borders.

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