Green Spring Gardens

CONTACT INFORMATION: Gate locked at 5 p.m.
703-642-5173 TTY 711
4603 Green Spring Road
Alexandria, Virginia
Judy Zatsick

Department Resources

Moon Gate Garden Project

green spring garden

The Moon Gate project was created to honor the 50th anniversary of Green Spring Gardens. With COVID delays well behind us, we are excited to break ground this month. Located in the Moon Gate and Serenity Garden, the project will include a mix of traditional and modern design concepts to draw visitors into this renovated Asian-inspired garden.

We thank our current donors and supporters who are helping to make this project possible. Please see below to learn about the Fairfax County Park Foundation fundraising effort for this project.

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 or window views from one space into another, piquing curiosity about what lies beyond. 

At Green Spring Gardens, our moon gate feature will be situated in the former Concentric Garden, with a view to our lovely historic house. Trailblazing garden designer Beatrix Farrand created an iconic moon gate feature for Abbie Rockefeller’s garden in Maine. Inspired by her work there, we are creating this feature to honor her and complement her landscape features and boxwood design at Green Spring.

Green Spring’s Moon Gate and Serenity Garden project will provide sanctuary and inspiration for 150,000 annual visitors. The moon gate feature will be a stunning backdrop for photography and events and will serve as a symbolic connection between the past and the future at Green Spring Gardens.

The moon gate feature will be situated in the Moon Gate and Serenity Garden (formerly Concentric Garden). From the garden, the moon gate will offer a view of the historic house; from the driveway, it will open to the garden.

Garden location

Design Concept

Where possible, all plants in the current space will be relocated elsewhere at Green Spring Gardens to allow for construction in the area.
The following plants are examples of the types of plants that will be considered for use in the new space:

  • Royal fern (Osmunda spectabilis)
  • Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum)
  • Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)
  • Stachyurus
  • Euonymous hamiltonianus
  • Enkianthus
  • Iris sp. (genus Iris)
  • Various conifers
  • Grasses
  • Carex
  • Bulbs for seasonal interest (spring, summer and fall)

Hover over the images below for plant names and click/tap to see an enlarged image.




hokone grass

japanese painted fern carex

kalmia mountain laurel


wild ginger hellebore iris

woodland phlox

  • Adam Wynn, FCPA Senior Planner, PLA, LEED AP
  • Doug Tipsword, FCPA Senior Landscape Architect, PLA, ASLA

  • Judy Zatsick, Green Spring Site Manager
  • Adam Bucher, Horticultural Resource Manager
  • Parker Jennings, Horticulturist


To learn more about how you can contribute to Green Spring’s Moon Gate Garden project, please visit the Fairfax County Park Foundation web page. We invite you to follow its progress and check back periodically to see updates.

We thank our donors and the Park Foundation for their continued support in making this commemorative project a reality!

park foundation logo

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