Monday, April 2, 2012

A Riot of Color at Maymont

One Mallard among the turtles, Koi, and Geese.

Yesterday the Gardening Group of the Newcomers Club of Greater Charlottesville toured the Japanese Gardens at Maymont in Richmond, Virginia.  The garden was at the height of Spring and the day was a cool but bright sunny day.  Maymont is a Richmond treasure gifted to the City of Richmond upon the death of the original owners, The Dooley's.  Other generous gifts were given upon their death to area non-profits, an Orphanage and the Public Library being a few.

Just a small bit of the Japanese Gardens.
James and Sallie Dooley purchased a tract of farmland along the James River where they built their combined Romanesque Revival style and Queen Anne home and transformed a field into a glorious park like paradise complete with an extensive Japanese garden, waterfalls, an Italian Grotto, and formal gardens.  Sallie Dooley was the horticulturist of the two and also a Poet.  They also had their summer home built just outside of Charlottesville, the amazing Swannanoa.  There is a nearly life sized Tiffany stained glass window of Sallie at the top of the magnificent stairway at Swannonoa.  Tours are given at set times and Swannonoa has yet to be restored and has no gardens at this time.

The Formal Gardens.
The Newcomers group specifically toured the Japanese Garden and participated in a tea tasting afterwards.  All teas were Japanese green teas.  The health benefits of green, white, and yellow teas outweigh the brown and black European teas.  We were pleased to be able to taste a tea that was over $250.00 a pound and Matcha (a tea in powder form used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony).  I liked Matcha probably the best of the eight teas we tasted.

Looking up one of the mega-huge trees at Maymont.
Coming up next at Maymont on April 28th is their annual Herb Sale which has actually become a huge plant sale.  I've not yet been but have been told it is a wonderful sale - not to be missed!  Keep track of this and other gardening events on my blog --- over on the right hand side in my Garden Lovers Calender.


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