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)
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.
Here is part of the “Bold Garden.”
I wander downhill toward the lake where I find a butterfly garden, sadly with no butterflies, and Springhouse ruins and 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.
Then I find myself in the Conifer Collection, where I find Japanese Garden Juniper.
Along the Great Lawn, I find some other flower beds. Around 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.
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.
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.
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.
Down the trail a bit is Lake Gardiner, surrounded by ornamental grasses and perennials.
Finally, the dark clouds are becoming mighty threatening, so I start to make my way out.
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!