(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....