Green Spring Gardens

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Gate locked at 5 p.m.

4603 Green Spring Road
Alexandria, Virginia

Nicole Mitchell ,
Manager

Green Spring's 50th Anniversary

Green Spring Gardens’ Moon Gate Garden Project

 

Jack Ledbetter Circular Window at Abby Garden
Courtesy of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Collection. Photo by Jack Ledbetter.
Green Spring Gardens is creating a Moon Gate Garden. Moon gates originated in ancient Asian gardens. Guests who passed through them were symbolically granted an auspicious welcome and good fortune. In garden design, they provide enticing passageways from one space into another, piquing curiosity about what lies beyond.

The construction of a permanent architectural feature such as a moon gate is a fitting way to celebrate Green Spring’s milestone 50th anniversary and to look ahead to the next 50 years. This large-scale moon gate project will include a mix of traditional and modern design concepts to draw visitors into a new Asian-inspired garden. The project will begin with the construction of the moon gate near the boundary of the Edible Garden. The medium will be a mix of stone and metal to reflect elements of Green Spring’s historic landscape that was designed by trailblazing garden designer Beatrix Farrand in 1942.

 

Beatrice Farrand moon gate
Beatrice Farrand Moon Gate. Courtesy of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden.
Farrand’s own signature moon gate is an acclaimed feature of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor, Maine. Green Spring’s Moon Gate Garden project will provide sanctuary and inspiration for 200,000 annual visitors. It will be a stunning backdrop for photography and events, and will serve as a symbolic connection between the past and the future. Check this page periodically to see updates.

More information is in the Projects section on The Fairfax County Park Foundation web page.

 

50 Reasons to Love Green Spring Gardens

2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Green Spring Gardens. As part of our celebration, once a week on our social media pages we're presenting one of 50 reasons to love Green Spring Gardens. As the year progresses, you'll find those 50 reasons here:

 1. Number one: Art shows. Green Spring showcases paintings and photography by local artists. There is a new exhibit every two months.

 2. Warm up in the Historic House with insightful and entertaining programs and afternoon tea.

 3. The Winter Lecture Series. A great lineup of horticulture and history speakers visit on Sunday afternoons through March. Sponsored by the Friends of Green Spring.

 4. Art Classes. Green Spring offers drawing and watercolor classes throughout the year.  

 5. Seeds. Not only are there seeds for sale in the gift shop, but Green Spring hosts an annual seed exchange for park visitors. 

 6. Winter blooms. Winter aconites, snowdrops, lentin roses and camellias are just some of our beautiful blooms that bring color to winter. 

 7. Witch Hazels. Green Spring has a nationally significant collection of more than 200 witch hazels. 

 8. Floral design workshops. You don't just learn how to grow flowers at Green Spring. You learn how to display them, too.  

 9. Knowledgeable staff and volunteers. Green Spring staff and volunteers are always happy to answer your gardening questions, especially during this 50th anniversary year.  

10. Beatrix Farrand. In celebration of Women's History Month,we took note of our Farrand landscape. You can learn more about this famous landscape designer at Green Spring's Historic House and on our web page.

11. Circles. On March 14, Pi Day, we celebrated circles of all kinds. What circular designs have you spotted at Green Spring?

12. Spring bulbs. These beautiful blooms brighten the winter landscape with an endless array of colors, shapes and sizes.

13. Rock gardens. The park has a beautiful collection of alpine and rock garden plants that burst with spring color.

14. Signs of Spring. Color everywhere.

15. Spring blooming trees. A variety of tree species bloom in early spring at Green Spring Gardens.

16. Orchids. Green Spring houses a spectacular display of orchids in the Glasshouse.

17. Our amazing volunteers! Volunteers keep Green Spring growing!

18. National Public Gardens Week. This year, the week (May 8-17) showcased the beauty of public gardens as a source of resilience in trying times.

19. Trails. Trails remained open during the site closure. They are one of main reasons visitors come to the gardens. Garden, forest, stream, or pond trails - which are your favorite?

20. Beautiful trees. With spring in full swing, Green Spring's trees don and show off their new foliage. Which majestic tree is your favorite?

21. Tea. Our Garden Tours and Tea programs are a visitor favorite.

22. Garden therapy. Gardening and time in nature improve physical and mental health. Whether or not you have a garden at home, Green Spring provides a beautiful oasis for anxiety relief, physical activity and personal reflection.

23. Family time! We love seeing families sharing quality time walking the gardens.

24. Pollinator gardens and National Pollinator Week. Green Spring provides education and inspiration on how to turn our gardens into an oasis for ever-important pollinators.

25. Garden Plots. Green Spring Gardens manages more than 650 garden plots that are rented to county residents in nine county parks .

26. The Historic House. Built in 1784, only eight years after the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, this historic landmark is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

27. The edible garden. This demonstration garden shows how you can blend ornamental and edible plants for an attractive and productive use of space.

28. Gazebo rentals. Looking for a picturesque place to hold your special event? The Green Spring gazebos are available to rent for small gatherings.

29. Children’s Discovery Garden. This fun garden invites children and parents to learn about nature, explore with their senses, and gather ideas for a family garden at home.

30. Gardening inspiration. Summer is a great time to re-envision your outdoor space, and Green Spring Gardens is the perfect place to be inspired. In addition to walking through our demonstration gardens, you can visit our Gardening Information web page.

31. The ponds. There is always something interesting to see there: lotus, frogs, turtles, herons, ducks. Which is your favorite?

32. A perfect setting to relax. It encourages us to slow down and unwind. What better place to do so than a beautiful garden?

33. Dogs. We love seeing visitors walk their dogs at Green Spring. Remember, keep your furry friend on a leash and away from the garden beds.

34. Garden Gate Plant Shop: The Garden Gate Plant Shop specializes in plants that do well in local growing conditions and offers many plants featured in Green Spring’s demonstration gardens. Currently accepting phone orders for curbside pick-up.

35. The gardens are home to a variety of wildlife. What animals have you spotted recently?

36. Bees pollinate 80 percent of all flowering plants, including approximately 75 percent of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables grown in the United States. Green Spring offers programs and resources to help you attract these important pollinators to your garden.

37. In addition to school field trips, our new “Field Trips for All” programs offer parents an opportunity to supplement their child’s science learning with outdoor experiences and application of the concepts required in the Virginia Standards of Learning.

38. Native plants. Green Spring devotes one of its demonstration gardens to Virginia Native Plants and offers resources that highlight the benefits of planting natives in your own garden. Check out the Native Plant Information Sheets on our Gardening Resource web page.

39. Farmers markets. Did you know that Green Spring is responsible for coordinating 10 farmers markets in Fairfax County? Come support local farmers and get your fresh produce.

40. Informative web site. The Green Spring web site is full of programs, gardening resources, and history.

41. Autumn color. Visit the gardens in fall to enjoy the changing leaves or to take a fall-themed class, such as the Garden Talk “Curb Appeal for Fall Beauty” on Nov. 13, or the floral design workshop “Thanksgiving Table Arrangement: Fruits and Vegetables” on Nov. 21.

42. History. 50 years ago, Michael and Belinda Straight conveyed the Historic House and 18 acres to the Fairfax County Park Authority. Call to schedule a “Visit with the Historian” to step into the 1784 Historic House and learn more about the park’s rich history.

43. Fall-blooming camellias. Green Spring Gardens doesn’t only bloom in spring and summer. In fall, come see our beautiful camellia collection.

44. Garden Talks. Available both in person and virtually, Garden Talks with Green Spring Master Gardeners focus on a variety of timely and practical topics for the home gardener.

45. Our gift shop. Green Spring Gardens' gift shop is open for shopping by appointment. Find horticulture and nature books, gardening tools, and garden-themed gifts, including fashion accessories, decorative arts, home décor, cards, and more. Call 703-642-5173 to schedule your visit.

46. Friends of Green Spring (FROGS). This group is dedicated solely to the support of the gardens. Membership and contributions fund educational programs, special events, and improvements. We are thankful to the members and donors who help keep Green Spring growing.

47. Evergreens. Even after all the trees have lost their leaves for winter, Green Spring is home to a variety of evergreens. To celebrate these special trees, join us on Dec. 5 for a Winter Wreath Workshop or on Dec. 12 for Family Fun "Excellent Holiday Evergreens."

48. Christmas Candlelight Teas. These popular annual programs fill up quickly, so be sure to sign up early. This year, discover the surprising stories behind “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

49. The Glasshouse. It features Green Spring's indoor collection of tender plants. It's a tropical oasis during the winter months. Unfortunately it is still closed to the public, but be sure to visit as soon as we reopen.

50. Birds! Many types of birds find refuge in the gardens. At the end of each year, Green Spring volunteers take part in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count in order to track the health of bird populations.

The in-person 50th anniversary celebration of Green Spring Gardens is postponed until 2021.

Virtual celebrations will continue throughout 2020. 

Fairfax Virtual Assistant