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Edith J. Carrier Arboretum

 

Gardens of Virginia

June 2019

 

Part 1 of 2

 

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum

James Madison University - Harrisonburg

 

Blandy Experimental Farm/ State Arboretum

 Boyce

 

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley/Glen Burnie House Winchester

 

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Blandy Experimental Farm

 

Beth and I had two days free, so we decided to check out the Arboretums and Flower Gardens in Harrisonburg, Virginia and Winchester, Virginia. 

 

We drove down through Oakland, MD and Mt Storm, WV.  From there, we took the new 4-lane (Rt 48) from Mt Storm past Moorefield. Just west of Moorefield are several scenic overlooks.

 

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Panorama of the valley just west of Moorefield along the new Rt 48. West Virginia beauty at its finest.

 

 

 

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum

James Madison University - Harrisonburg

 

 

Our first stop was at James Madison University to walk through the trails of the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum.  JMU is a growing campus, and there is a lot of construction just across the street from the arboretum.  Lots of activity and noise, so this is a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle.

 

 

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Entrance to the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum

 

 

 

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Just inside the entrance is this small lake with lots of flora and fauna.

 

 

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One of several turtles swimming in the lake.

 

 

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On this circular trail, you pass through the Sinclair Garden (perennials and shrubs),

Dale Hybrid Azalea Garden, and the Herb Garden.

 

 

 

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Creative displays.

 

 

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Several plants were just blooming when we visited in June.

 

 

 

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Interesting buds on this plant - kind of look like garden peas.

 

 

 

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Another pretty flower.

 

 

 

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These berries will soon be turning red and attracting lots of birds.

 

 

 

 

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Beginning one of the trails through the arboretum.

Look closely and you can see the word "GROW" overhead in the vines. 

 

 

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Miles of trails meander through the woods and over small streams.

 

 

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Another scenic spot along the trail.

 

 

 

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Many of the trees were labeled to identify them.  Nice.

 

 

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One of many benches to rest on along the trail.  Nap time! 

 

 

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Beginning of the Fern Valley Trail.

 

 

 

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One of many types of ferns along the Fern Trail.

 

 

 

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Yet another scenic spot on the trail.

 

 

 

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We are not the only ones who enjoy the forest.

 

 

 

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Even after life has passed, plants continue to feed other plants.

 

 

 

 

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Another resting spot.

 

 

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Even spiders make their homes here.

 

 

 

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There are also various statues along the trails.

 

 

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Another statue with a flower theme.

 

 

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I wanted to go in and look at the open-air greenhouse, but could not get in.  (Duhhh....)

 

 

 

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Another secluded spot to stop and rest along the creek.

 

 

 

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As we entered the wetlands section of the arboretum, we saw several turtles enjoying the sunny day.

 

 

 

 

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There were also dozens of dragonflies - this one I caught in flight.

 

 

 

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Dragonfly posing for photos by the marsh.

 

 

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Beth doing some flower research at one of the rest stops.

 

 

 

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More flowers! 

 

 

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Another bench and flower garden rest stop.

 

 

 

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And more flowers! 

 

 

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Interesting plant display in the visitor center.

 

 

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As we left the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, we said goodbye to this carved character by the gate.

 

For more information:  http://www.jmu.edu/arboretum/index.shtml   

 

 

 

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The State Arboretum of Virginia

and Blandy Experimental Farm

Boyce, Virginia (near Winchester)

 

 

Located about 8 miles east of Winchester, Virginia, the State Arboretum of Virginia and Blandy Experimental Farm share 700 acres filled with trees, flowers, and trails.  The Blandy Experimental Farm was founded in 1927 and the arboretum was founded in 1955.  The state of Virginia designated this property as the State Arboretum of Virginia in 1986.

 

One of my favorite highlights of this facility is the American Chestnut project. 

 

 

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The Herb Garden is located near the entrance and parking lot.

 

 

 

 

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Better view of the Herb Garden.

 

 

 

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One of many interesting plants in the Herb Garden.

 

 

 

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Some history and information on the Arboretum.

 

For more information:  http://blandy.virginia.edu/home  

 

 

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Entering the Arboretum area, you must pass through the "Quarters".

 

 

 

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One of many trails in the Arboretum - Blandy Farm Lane. 

 

 

 

 

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This Southern Magnolia was in partial bloom.

 

 

 

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One of the blooms on the Southern Magnolia.

 

 

 

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No, we are not tree identification experts, so we were glad to see most of the trees along the trails labeled for us. 

 

 

 

 

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There was even a grove of bamboo.

 

 

 

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Walking into the bamboo "forest".

 

 

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This next section was very interesting - the American Chestnut grove.

 

 

 

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Cliff Notes Version - Prior to 1900, the American Chestnut was the dominant hardwood tree in the East.  They could grow 120 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter. The wood was strong and rot-resistant, which made it popular for everything from homes and furniture to musical instruments.  Around 1900, the chestnut blight fungus was accidentally imported on Chinese chestnuts and by the 1950s, billions (with a "b") of chestnut trees from Maine to Alabama were dead.

 

They are working here to cross genes with American Chestnut trees and the blight-resistant Chinese Chestnut trees to create a hybrid that is resistant to the blight.

 

In 2009, volunteers planted 500 chestnuts and allowed them to grow for several years before exposing them to the blight.  Only the strongest trees survived and the process will be repeated, making each generation stronger and more blight-resistant. 

 

 

 

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More interesting facts about the American Chestnut.

 

 

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One of the chestnut trees that did not fare so well in the experiment. 

 

 

 

 

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More walking trails in the Arboretum.  It was also popular with runners, who have miles of peaceful trails to run on.

 

 

 

It's been a long day - driving from Morgantown to Harrisonburg (175 miles) and then on to Winchester (another 75 miles), plus all of the walking.  We were ready for supper and a good night's rest.  Our hotel in Winchester was next door to Golden Corral, so we enjoyed the buffet before retiring to the room.

 

 

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Glen Burnie House and Gardens

Winchester, VA

 

After a good night's sleep and great breakfast at the Comfort Inn, we stopped by the campus of Shenandoah University on the way to the Glen Burnie House.  The SU campus is very nice, with walkways around a small lake and several flower gardens.  Here is a photo of SU before we head to the Glen Burnie House.

 

 

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Campus of Shenandoah University. 

 

 

After walking around the campus for an hour and enjoying the flowers and gardens, we headed found Rt 50 and headed west out of town.  The Glen Burnie House and Gardens are located just before you leave Winchester (or just as you enter, if you are coming eastbound into town).

 

 

 

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Entering the Glen Burnie House and Gardens area.  Bargain of the day - Wednesdays are free! 

 

 

 

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The Glen Burnie House is at the center of the facility, and is open to view.

The gardens are on the opposite side of the house.

 

 

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The Vegetable Garden.  (Just one of many gardens)

 

 

 

 

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Another view of the Vegetable Garden.  Sign reads:  Tomatoes, Beefsteak, Roma, Mexican Midget 2

 

 

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Cattle grazing in the neighboring field.

 

 

 

 

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Jasmine Allče walkway - Statue of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers and the spring season

 

 

 

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The Parterre Garden

The Roman God Mercury takes flight in the center of the Parterre - a level space in a garden with ornamental arrangements of flower beds.

 

 

 

 

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The Herb Garden

 

 

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Statue of man believed to be Greek philosopher Socrates in garden next to the house.

 

 

 

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Statue of mother and child in garden next to house.

 

 

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Next, we went inside the Glen Burnie House

 

For more information on the house:  https://www.themsv.org/visit/the-house

 

 

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Elegant living.

 

 

 

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Every house has a formal library, right?

 

 

 

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And, of course, the piano room.

 

 

 

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Beautiful grand piano.

 

 

 

 

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Some of the early residents.

 

 

 

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The weekend began with the brunch promptly at 11:00am. 

We're usually done with our chores by then, and ready for lunch and a nap on the couch.

 

 

 

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View out of the Breakfast Room windows. 

 

 

 

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Entering the Asian Garden at Glen Burnie.

 

 

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Well, hello there!  Welcome to the Asian Garden.

 

 

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The Tea House at the Asian Garden.

 

 

 

 

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A peek inside the Tea House.

 

 

 

 

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So secret, it is locked!

 

 

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A peek through the locked gate reveals a bamboo forest.

 

 

 

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Every Asian Garden has to have a footbridge.  Very nice!

 

 

 

 

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Another scenic spot in the Asian Garden.

 

 

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A quiet place to rest and enjoy the peace and quiet of the Asian Garden.

 

 

 

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Time to leave the Asian Garden and explore more.  Goodbye!

 

 

Our next stop was just a 5-minute walk across the parking lot to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.

 

 

 

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You can find out about the museum and current exhibits at:  https://www.themsv.org/  

 

 

 

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One of the main exhibits at the museum is this R. Lee Taylor collection of miniature houses.

Incredible detail inside and out.

 

Read more at:  https://www.themsv.org/collection/r-lee-taylor-miniatures-collection 

 

 

 

Here are several photos of the houses and detailed interiors:

 

 

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Time to explore the rest of the museum.

 

 

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There are many exhibits related to life in the Shenandoah Valley in years past.

 

 

 

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Interesting exhibit of one of the first printing presses in the area.  See next photo for more information.

 

 

 

 

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History of the printing press in the previous photo.

 

 

 

 

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A life-size  re-creation of a 1930's kitchen in the Shenandoah Valley.

 

 

 

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And, finally, a true but not-so-pleasant reminder that the Shenandoah National Park (and others) did not happen without controversy and despair.

In order to create the park, many landowners (including farmers who had worked hard to clear the land and make productive farms) were forced off their land when the government simply condemned the property.  I'm sure this was not an isolated case. 

 

 

For more information on the gardens:  https://www.themsv.org/visit/the-gardens  

 

For more information on the house:  https://www.themsv.org/visit/the-house

 

 

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Time to head home to Morgantown. 

 

We headed west on Rt 50, looking for a diner or someplace interesting to eat.  It wasn't long before we found it.

 

 

 

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Located in Capon Bridge, WV (just about 5 miles west of the Virginia border on Rt 50) is Greg's Restaurant.

Home Cooked Meals!

 

 

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Sign of good food ahead.

 

 

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The local lunch crowd was here. The place was hoppin'.

 

 

 

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I ordered my usual diner fare - Hot Roast Beef Sandwich with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy.

Beth ordered the Crab Cake.    Both meals were delicious.   Nice, clean place with friendly service.   We'll be back!

 

 

 

We're glad you could join us for our short trip.  Hope you enjoyed all of the flowers.

 

 

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