meadowlark botanical gardens & the new korean bell garden

Friday, August 9: Today, even though it’s threatening rain any minute, and despite the miserable humidity, I decide to visit a place Mike and I used to go quite often when the kids were little, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia.  It’s been a long time since I last visited, and I’m amazed at how it’s grown, sprawling now over 95 acres.  It boasts ornamental display gardens, trails, lakes, pavilions, 20 varieties of cherry trees, irises, peonies, an extensive shade garden, native wildflowers, birds, butterflies, and seasonal blooms and foliage. (Meadowlark Botanical Gardens)

entrance to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia
entrance to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia

The first garden area is the Entry Garden, Cancer Treatment Garden, Rock Garden, Trough Garden and Heath Garden.  I’m not sure which is which as they are all designated as being together on the map.

Entry garden
Entry garden
Entry Garden
Entry Garden
Entry garden
Entry garden
Entry Garden
Entry Garden
Entry Garden
Entry Garden
Entry Garden
Entry Garden

Here is part of the “Bold Garden.”

Perrenial Color Border
Bold Garden
Bold Garden
Bold Garden
Bold Garden
Bold Garden
Bold Garden
Bold Garden

I wander downhill toward the lake where I find a butterfly garden, sadly with no butterflies, and Springhouse ruins and gardens.

Butterfly garden
Butterfly garden
bench in the butterfly garden
bench in the butterfly garden
Springhouse ruins
Springhouse ruins
Springhouse gardens
Springhouse gardens

The trail leads me into the Hosta Collection, where I sit in the shade and try, with little success, to cool off a bit.

Hosta Collection
Hosta Collection
In the Hosta Collection
In the Hosta Collection

Then I find myself in the Conifer Collection, where I find Japanese Garden Juniper.

Conifer Collection
Conifer Collection

Along the Great Lawn, I find some other flower beds.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAround a corner, I surprisingly come upon the Korean Bell Garden.  The Korean American Cultural Committee (KACC) is funding this $1M. project. The Bell Garden will consist of stone terracing and stairs, Korean trees, a meandering path with various reflection stations, and the highlight, the Bell Pavilion and Bell. Some of this is already evident, and I guess more is to come.  Since I lived in South Korea for one year, I’m pleasantly surprised to find this gem as part of Meadowlark now.

Click on any of the photos in the gallery below for a slideshow of the Korean Bell Garden.

I continue past the Korean Bell Garden up the Historic Tree Trail to a grassy hill to check out a new sculpture.  The Korean Bell Garden and this part of the garden didn’t even exist last time I was here.

Up the Historic Tree Trail to a resting spot
Up the Historic Tree Trail to a resting spot
sculpture overlooking the Korean Bell Garden
sculpture overlooking the Korean Bell Garden

By now my hair and my clothes are soaked with sweat and I feel pretty darn miserable.  But I have a long walk back and must explore the Virginia Native Wetlands along the Boardwalk and Lake Lina.

Lake Lina and the Virginia Native Wetlands
Lake Lina and the Virginia Native Wetlands

Finally, I head to Lake Caroline with its pretty gazebo.  I even pose for a self-portrait, but I cannot for the life of me get control over my sweaty hair.

Lake Caroline and gazebo
Lake Caroline and gazebo
Lake Caroline and gazebo
Lake Caroline and gazebo
walkway to the gazebo
walkway to the gazebo
self-portrait
self-portrait
the shoreline, seen from the gazebo walkway
the shoreline, seen from the gazebo walkway
koi in Lake Caroline
koi in Lake Caroline

I start my long walk out, on the opposite shoreline, where I find some pretty Queen Anne’s Lace.  I think these are in the pre-bloom stage.

Lake Caroline and gazebo
Lake Caroline and gazebo
Queen Anne's Lace
Queen Anne’s Lace
Queen Anne's Lace
Queen Anne’s Lace

Down the trail a bit is Lake Gardiner, surrounded by ornamental grasses and perennials.

Lake Gardiner
Lake Gardiner
Lake Gardiner
Lake Gardiner
Flowers around Lake Gardiner
Flowers around Lake Gardiner
Sunflowers around Lake Gardiner
Sunflowers around Lake Gardiner
Lotus flowers around Lake Gardiner
Lotus flowers around Lake Gardiner
more Korean totems and grasses
more Korean totems and grasses

Finally, the dark clouds are becoming mighty threatening, so I start to make my way out.

a storm is a'brewin'
a storm is a’brewin’
Perennials on the way out
Perennials on the way out
perennials
perennials
the wind is a'blowin' :-)
the wind is a’blowin’ 🙂

I spend nearly two hours here and I can’t even cover all the grounds!  By the time I’m finished I’m dripping in sweat in the damp air, but I’m lucky that the dark threatening clouds never burst on my head!

13 thoughts on “meadowlark botanical gardens & the new korean bell garden

  1. Photographers paradise, Cathy 🙂 Must’ve taken you hours to load all these but there are some superb close ups of the flowers. Love the bell too, and that adorable bench sculpture 🙂 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jo! It was fun to rediscover these gardens where we spent many Sundays when the kids were little. I was so surprised as to how much they’ve expanded and improved the gardens! Too bad it was sooooo muggy!

  2. Gorgeous! So what if your hair has a mind of its own! Just think what all that glorious humidity is doing for your skin after two years drying out here in the Middle East! Hope I can hurry up and pay my bills and finish grad school so I can return to a country with green spaces and weather!!! Yes, I would take the humidity to get out of here! And the rain, the cold, ….! Hope you are doing well adjusting! Hope to hear from you in an email soon with your news.

    1. Thanks, KvK, it was a fun, but very humid, outing and a great place for photos. Yes, my hair is really out of control in this humidity and I still prefer the feel of dry heat, even if it dries up my skin! It’s tough adjusting. I don’t really have any “news” to report, but when I do, I’ll post about it! I hope all is well there! I’m still plagued by the wanderlust!! Wonder if I’ll ever be happy settling!

  3. Love the swallowtail butterfly AND the Queen Anne’s Lace photos and that Korean bell garden – mindst you they are all pretty darn good! What a lovely garden, I am so envious, I’d love to walk round it, though not so keen on humidity either.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s