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Along the Potomac River lies the best kept secret of Northern Virginia - a collection of gardens groomed by master horticulturalists that tell the story of the history and natural beauty of Virginia.
Begin at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens and learn how the "Father of our Country" was a meticulous gardener who oversaw the growth of two distinct gardens. His Upper Garden showcases flowers and trees that have been restored based on careful archaeological excavations, while his Lower Garden supplied fresh produce for the busy Mount Vernon kitchen. English Boxwoods planted in 1786 now crowd the entry path and vegetables and herbs are grown today with fruit trees espaliered along the walls.
Minutes away on the scenic George Washington Parkway you find River Farm, headquarters of the American Horticultural Society, situated on 25 acres of landscaped lawns and gardens overlooking the Potomac River. In the months between April and June the scent of blooming daffodils, tulips, azaleas, mountain laurel, dogwoods, lilacs, lilies and herbs fill the air.
Further north, Historic Green Spring Gardens offers a glimpse into rich colonial origins. This "outdoor classroom" is ideal for families to learn about plants and wildlife. Shop for gardening supplies in the Horticultural Center greenhouse and visit the library for horticulture books, magazines and plant society newsletters.
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is a 95 acre ornamental display of gardens, walking trails, lakes and gazebos that create a natural sanctuary. Three distinct Virginia native plant collections feature The Potomac Valley Collection, The Virginia Native Wetland Collection and the Virginia Native Tree Collection. These create wetland habitat for native aquatic animals, an assortment of perching birds and Green and Black Crowned Night Herons.
Day 1 - George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
Day 2 - River Farm
Day 3 - Green Spring Gardens, Meadowlark Botanical Garden