Saturday, May 23, 2009

Garden Number Two- Meadowlark Botanical Garden

(Make sure to start at the beginning of the garden study trip posts...http://thequeenofseaford.blogspot.com/2009/05/travelin-through-many-gardens.html)
Our next stop on the study trip was to Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna, Virginia. It is hard to imagine these large quiet, green places in the middle of the hubbub of Northern Virginia. En route to Meadowlark we stopped at a large garden center, Merrifield Garden Center. What a place!! The plant purchasing began in a flurry. It is kind of funny to see how we all go ga-ga over plants in a nursery!
Back on the road we got to Meadowlark a bit later than we wanted, but the cars had new plant material in the trunks! Meadowlark is a 95 acre garden, part of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. At the front door there is a pair of wreaths on either side of the doorway. I am sure there are directions somewhere online as to how to do this. One of the people we were with went over 'how to' briefly. In a nutshell--wire wreath frame, spagnum moss sheets, potting soil, and plant material. Place the moss on the inside of the back of the frame, fill with potting soil, cover with more moss. Wire wrap the moss in place. Slice some openings on the front of wreath and tuck plant material into holes. Wire closed if plant is heavy or hole is big. Soak in a diluted fertilizer mixture. Hang and admire. Soak regularly to keep plants hydrated.

There are so many glorious areas of this garden. Meadowlark has a lot of native plant garden area. Deep glens of ferns and lush green growth. Open areas with wonderful blooms- again, roses and peonies! I find the Autumn Fern really nice in the landscape.


I had never seen a Large Leaf Magnolia before-- this was unbelievable. There were a few blooms open-- over 12 inches across and fragrant.



There is a spring house at the lower end of the grounds and deep lush gardens with hostas and ferns.


This was really interesting-- Ornamental Rhubarb with variegated leaves. The leaves are about 16 inches across.

Around the back side of the grounds is a garden of all peonies! There was a lot of oohing and ahhhing. Some were more fragrant than others...but oh the variety!


This is a great garden to visit. We spent the night at Marymount University in the dorms. An interesting experience-- bathrooms down the hall and around the corner. hmmm....

More tomorrow.....

22 comments:

  1. Janet great pics! Did you throw a keg party at the dorm? ; )

    Susie

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  2. Beautiful! I enjoyed this tour! It's funny - I just posted about succulents, opened your post and that wonderful wreath just jumped at me!

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  3. Hi Susie- I tell you what, by the time we got to the dorm, I was beat!! There were some kids (summer school I guess) who were hootin' and hollerin' into the night...ah to be young!
    Tatyana- you would like this wreath with all the succulents... very attractive.

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  4. Janet it's all so breathtaking! I'd love to visit places like this. I have directions for a living wreath and have been collecting succulents the last couple of years to make one. I did, however, pick up some wire baskets at a wholesale nursery down the road when she had her yearly garage sale. I did one basket but I think it's a lot harder, especially when just learning. Guess I'll learn though since I bought 5 of them. I'm ready to start the wreath now, just need to find one that doesn't cost an arm and a leg for a bunch of wire! LOL
    I'm trying to get around visiting a bit today because I'm so behind. Working outside I can't seem to do much more than get a post on every or every other day but I'm working at getting better! ;-)

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  5. That wreath is AWESOME! Love it! So soft looking!
    I think I'm posting pix of my peonies tomorrow. If the pups let me. :) If not, I'll post them on FlickR.

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  6. Raingardener, Are the directions for the living wreath about the same as what I posted? I guess that is like saying to make a quilt you just cut small pieces of different fabric, sew them together, fill it with batting, put a back on it, and bind the edges. EASY! haha
    I have been behind in visiting since I was on this trip.... oh well. Tis the season for working outside, though your weather isn't as hot as ours. I go in by noon.
    KZK- Thought you might like the wreath. Will check on your peonies after I finish this.

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  7. Oh man that wreath against that grey brick is perfect isn't it? All the colors blend. I want one too. I laughed my fool head off at your comment about the quilt. Easy Cheesy huh?

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  8. Love Merrifield's. I hope to go again this summer when they host the VNLA Field Day in August.

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  9. Anna, like that eh? Easy Cheesy ahahah. The wreath was really pretty cool looking.
    Les, that was mentioned. Merrifield's was big with lots of interesting plant material.

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  10. Janet I think the instructions are basically the same. Wire, moss, soil, plants. LOL They are beautiful aren't they?

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  11. RainGardener- so, everyone should be able to run right out and make one of these, right? ;-D

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  12. Love that wreath! Maybe we should teach that at the next hort extrav (if there is one)...I wish I could have gone on the trip!!! Will there be one next year?

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  13. Good morning Nancy, great idea for the Hort. Ex. -yes there will be one this coming March. I assume we will have a study trip next year. Much prefer the idea of a study trip to MG college. We will have to start lobbying for a trip next year. Will you go?

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  14. Great gardens! There are so many to visit that I need to create a garden Google map and mark all of the gardens that I hear about on the blogs!

    Cameron

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  15. Cameron, what a wonderful idea!! We gardeners would all enjoy it, use it, and share ideas of places to add to it.

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  16. A garden google map would be great-when going on a trip, you could check it out to see if there are any gardens along the way (if the family would allow me to stop!)

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  17. What a nice experience! Such neat plants. I think I may try out a living wreath one of these days. Very neat plants here! I bet you learned so much!

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  18. Janet what a wonderful scenic garden. It looks so interesting and inviting. The succulent living wreath is so different and a wonderful idea for hot,dry locations. So many wonderful peonies.

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  19. What a fabulous Garden tour Janet! I love all the shady loving hostas & ferns, they make the area look cool and inviting. That wreath of succulants is gorgeous. And what can I say about your collage of wonderful Peonies, mine are long since spent so thanks for giving me a second season of blooms to appreciate. ;)

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  20. Nancy --wouldn't that be great? I take it one step further--a Garmin that will show gardens like it shows places to eat!
    Tina- I learned an awful lot. It was a wonderful trip.
    Lona- There were many scenic vinettes, wonderful garden! The array of peonies was amazing.
    Racquel- the shady areas with the ferns and hostas were really inviting. There was a nice variety of shades of green and more foliage variety than you would imagine. My peonies have also been long time spent...this was a treat to see them in full splendor.

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  21. Ooooh, yeah! Now I see what you mean about the wreath and the sedum balls. Great match-up!

    These gardens are gorgeous!

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  22. Hi Kylee, I thought it was interesting to see the different applications using Sedum.

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