May 3, 2016

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens


I have a goal for my family which I know we won't achieve before we leave Arlington. I would like for us to visit almost every NOVA regional park. I wrote about our walk at Potomac Overlook Regional Park and the park's nature center. We have been to Upton Hill Regional Park many times. If you follow me on Instagram, you may recall photos I posted there last fall.

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Almost two months ago we visited our third regional park, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. On our way we saw signs for Wolf Trap National Park and exited the highway, at my urging. What we saw were lots of signs indicating that the park was a performance space only. Later online research yielded information about a two trails, one of which takes hikers through wetlands and woodlands. We didn't know this at the time so we got back unto the highway and continued on to Meadowlark.


We were not expecting an entry fee but it was a reasonable total of $10 for our family of four. Once we walked out of the visitor's center we entered the Fairy Garden which was another surprise. At that point we were skeptical about our choice of park but once down the path in sight of the lake our outlook changed.


We spent a couple of hours at the park. Each area we explored was a favorite for a different reason. You can get to the water's edge of Lake Gardiner. The koi and turtles in Lake Caroline provided seemingly endless fascination.


My favorites were the trail through the Young Forest and the combined Lake Lina - Virginia Native Wetlands - Bog Garden zone. The Korean Bell Garden was another high point as I enjoy Korean green and black teas. I have a Periscope tour of the Historic Tree Grove. One thing I wished we had time to see was the Virginia Native Tree Trail.


If you are in or around Vienna, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is worth a visit and I imagine the seasonal plantings and perennial borders are stunning now, in the spring, and later, in the summer.

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