the state arboretum of virginia

Sunday, April 27:  In response to Marianne’s challenge to take One Trip EVERY Month, today we drive nearly an hour west to the State Arboretum of Virginia. I’m tickled to find such a marvelous escape so close to my house. And I’m even more surprised that in the 26 years I’ve lived in northern Virginia, I’ve never even heard of this place.

In the tradition of Jo’s Monday Walk, we walk all around the beautiful grounds, where we find spring bursting forth in all its exuberant glory.

Going into the Arboretum
Going into the Arboretum

The State Arboretum of Virginia (also known as the Orland E. White Arboretum) occupies the central 172 acres of Blandy Experimental Farm. Started in the 1930s, it now contains over 5,000 woody trees and shrubs from around the world.

window eyes
window eyes

Blandy Experimental Farm covers more than 700 gently rolling acres of meadows, woodlands, shrub thickets, and plantings.  Blandy is owned by the University of Virginia and is open free to the public from dawn to dusk every day.  It’s a great place for walking, with miles of trails through a beautiful landscape.

Native Plant Trail
Native Plant Trail
hollow tree trunk
hollow tree trunk
Eastern redbuds along the Native Plant Trail
Eastern redbuds along the Native Plant Trail
Eastern redbuds
Eastern redbuds
meadows
meadows
trees, trees and more trees!
trees, trees and more trees!
meadow and flowering trees
meadow and flowering trees
pond at Virginia Arboretum
pond at Virginia Arboretum
strange alien beings
strange alien beings
trees
trees
flowering tree
flowering tree
conifers
conifers
in the shade
in the shade
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
a peaceful spot by the pond
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
conifers
cypress trees
cypress trees
wildflowers
wildflowers
Dogwood Lane
Dogwood Lane
Dogwood Lane
Dogwood Lane
The Tuleyries
The Tuleyries

After leaving, we take a one minute drive through Paris, Virginia, a speck of a town where some old friends of mine spent their honeymoon so they could tell people they had their honeymoon in Paris.

Church in Paris, Virginia
Church in Paris, Virginia


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40 thoughts on “the state arboretum of virginia

  1. What an absolutely gorgeous place to visit, especially in the spring. Gosh, I love seeing the redbuds in bloom. Makes me feel a tinge of homesickness. Hmmm. That surprises me. Tells you what a lovely post this was! Hope you are doing well, Cathy!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    1. Thanks Kathy. It was really beautiful, and there are miles of walking trails. I’ll have to go back again sometime. I’m surprising the redbuds are making you homesick. It’s so strange, I get homesick for Oman and Korea too, and I only lived there for short times.

      I’m doing okay, thanks, just some rough patches when I get really down from this job search. Feeling like people are ready to put me out to pasture and I’m thinking, I’M NOT THAT OLD!!!! 🙂

  2. Hiya Cathy! What a fabulous space. Fancy you not having been there! 🙂 I absolutely love the dogwood and the redbuds. I always used to wonder what dogwood looked like when I read about it.

    We’re in the hotel, having just been fed golabki (stuffed cabbage leaves with rice and mice) in a mushroom sauce, so we can make it through to the wedding feast 🙂 I brought my laptop because the hotel has Wi-Fi but I’m nearly too excited to sit still! The wedding is at 3pm so I’m off to shower and get my dancing shoes on. Will link your lovely walk on my next one. It’s a beauty 🙂

      1. That’s what I though, Jude! MICE in cabbage rolls. I wasn’t sure if Jo made a typo or was just trying to see if we were paying attention (or pulling our legs!) I wonder what kind of effect those mice had on Jo’s evening. 🙂

    1. I know, Jo. I think before I started on all my travels, I was kind of blind to the places right in my own backyard. Now I’m always desperate for adventure, and since I can’t go abroad right now, I need to find places to explore close to home. The dogwood and redbuds are really pretty, but now they’re starting to lose their blossoms. So sad when all the trees lose their color. It seems they never stay long enough.

      I hope you’re having fun in your hotel. That golabki would sound delicious except for the “mice!!” Yikes! The mushroom sauce does sound good though. I hope you had a grand time at the wedding. I’m sure we’ll see lots of pictures upon your return home. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Ron! Am feeling a little discouraged right now with my job search so am sometimes too disheartened to go out and take pictures. But when I do, at least it does help me feel a tad bit better. Thanks for your encouragement. 🙂

  3. What a beautiful place and so peaceful looking in all its spring blooms. Takes me back to North Carolina days living among the dogwoods.Haven’t seen may apples or woods plants in a long time.

  4. Catching up! Another fab walk – you have some glorious gardens in your area. I love springtime when everything starts to come alive again.

      1. Been there, done that. When I left my teaching job I thought we were moving, but then we didn’t and so I started applying for teaching jobs though my heart wasn’t in teaching. Had several awful interviews until I realised that I was the token older person and female to boot, and after an interview where I was told I’d have to wait an hour before the actual interview (after the god-awful lesson I had to teach) I decided enough was enough and walked out. Most schools didn’t bother to even reply to me though. It’s pretty soul destroying and I really feel for you.

      2. Thanks so much for your words of support, Jude. I’ve accepted a course this summer back at the community college (I took off spring semester in hopes of finding another job, but I’ve had no luck), and I have an interview today, but it’s only for a part-time job. I can’t fund my travels with that! I’m considering looking abroad again because at least if I’m going to teach, I can have the benefit of living in a new country and traveling! We’ll see what happens. 🙂

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