Thursday, October 26, 2017

GREEN SPRING GARDENS



One day during the month of August, we decided to go for a ride.  We had errands to run, there are always errands of course.  However today, as the sun was shining and the temperature had cooled down somewhat, we felt like walking around a garden. 


I am not really sure why this particular garden popped into my head, it isn't exactly a new place. We were at Green Spring Gardens 10 years ago. We didn't remember it very well.  The only thing I remembered was this beautiful old house.   


It was built in 1784 by John Moss, who owned the 540 acres of farmland the house was built on.  He grew corn, wheat, oats and rye, and also had cattle and pigs until 1843, when Moss' grandson Alfred sold the farm.


The next owner was a man called Fountain Beattie, who raised 12 children and also kept dairy cattle, grew fruit and vegetables.  The farm's accessibility to the Little River Turnpike, one of the best rural roads in Virginia, gave him access to major area markets.



Fountain Beattie rode with his friend, Colonel Mosby during the Civil War.  I could not find much information about Fountain Beattie (I would have loved to learn how his parents chose his first name) but if you click on the second link, it will tell you all about John Mosby, who in his civilian life was a lawyer.  It is truly fascinating.  


Gregg, who is a history buff, and we have had this particular discussion before, when he told me that after the Civil War John Mosby could not find work.  He was a southernor, known as the Grey Ghost of Mosby's Rangers fame.  


Another interesting piece of history is that he became friends with the Patton family in Virginia (more facts from Gregg).  Mosby used to recount his Civil War exploits to their little boy, George.  George grew up to be General George Patton, well known in WWII.  Interesting what you learn.  The connections are endless throughout history.


In 1942 the house was bought by Michael and Belinda Straight, who not only purchased the house but the 33 acres surrounding it.  Although not farmers they raised cattle.  Michael Straight was actually an editor and publisher who often entertained interesting guests such as Aldous Huxley, the English author who wrote Brave New World.  Another guest was Hubert Humphrey from Minnesota, Senator and then the 38th Vice President, when Lyndon B. Johnson was President.


After 30 years of living on what had been an island of undeveloped land, the Straights deeded their house and 16 acres to the Fairfax County Park Authority.  The Park Authority also purchased 11 additional acres to create Green Spring Gardens Park.


And that's the story of how Green Spring Gardens came to be.  I obtained much of this information from the Green Spring Gardens link above, with help from a little research online and also hubby Gregg who is a wonderful source of information.  I have often told him he would make a great history teacher.


There are a lot more photos I want to share from Green Spring.  I will in another post eventually.  In the meantime here are a few flowers and plants taken that day. I had difficulty identifying flowers as there were no markers and I had no success on line.






















46 comments:

  1. There are quite a few flowers that I do not know. Do you know what the red upside down bells are? Wonderful picture of the bee!! This house sure has a renowned history!! I like the brick walkway, and the wonderful side porch!! I grew up with a screened in porch similar to this, and even after over 60 years, I still miss it.

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    1. If I grew up with a screened in porch, I would miss it too. Sorry Ginny, I don’t know the name of the red upside down flower. There were very few markers to make an ID.

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  2. What an absolutely glorious place. Thank you so much for a)going back and b) taking us along.

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  3. A facsinating piece of history of this property and the gardens are truely beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Margaret and you are very welcome.

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    1. Thank you Francisco, a hug and a happy weekend to you :)

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  5. I could happily spend some time in those gardens. Thanks for sharing, Denise.

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    1. You are very welcome Valerie, it is a place I look forward to returning.

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  6. Looks like a tranquil, appealing place to visit.

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  7. Hello, it is a lovely home and garden. The spring flowers look beautiful, lovely collection of photos. Thanks for sharing the history. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!

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    1. Thank you Eileen and you are very welcome. Have a great weekend :)

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  8. absolutely beautiful old home, love those double chimney's and the sun room. when i read 1942 that was 2 years before i was born. glad they preserved the property and the buildings. a great history lesson

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    1. Thanks Sandra, it is a pretty house and I'm glad they kept it going too.

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  9. Interesting post. Love the last shot of the bee which looks like it is on the flower of the garlic chives. There are no gardens that I know of around us that we could go to. Enjoy your day. Diane

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    1. Thank you Diane, we are very fortunate with our public gardens, we have several to choose from.

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  10. What a lovely old house and beautiful gardens. Lovely photos too. The history was very interesting. We enjoy going to U3A History classes where ordinary people tell us interesting history stories. Greg would love it.

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    1. Thank you Diane, I wish I could join those U3A classes of yours. Both Gregg and I would love that.

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  11. It's great that so much land was preserved as a public garden. I would find the history of the land most interesting.

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    1. I have come across a few Gardens donated to the park authority, it is a lovely way of giving back.

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  12. This is a beautiful old home, and the gardens impressive. History is such a fascinating thing, the way different people's lives mixed with others to form the world we live in. Gregg does sound like he would make an excellent history teacher.

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  13. wow!! what a beautiful place, different than most of the gardens we visit. i enjoyed all the bits of history as well!!

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    1. Happy to know you enjoyed it Debbie. Thank you!

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  14. A lot of history here... and a beautiful property!

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  15. It is a beautiful place and so much interesting history!

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  16. Such a beautiful brick house and those gardens are so well kept it must be lovely to stroll around!
    Fascinating history & stories also!
    Best wishes!

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    1. Thank you Christine, best wishes to you too.

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  17. Hi Denise,
    What a wonderful place to visit and full of history going back a long way. Ending with some beautiful flowers and a superb image of a bee.
    All the best, John

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    1. Thank you John, wishing you the same :)

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  18. Beautiful pictures!

    “Fountain Beattie”

    Is it just me or did people have much cooler names back then?

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    1. Thank you Sandi. I think they did. Hubby also has a relative who many years ago was called Thankful.

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  19. It's just a fabulous place.
    So nice to see all of your photographs here, a lovely selection.

    All the best Jan

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    1. So happy you enjoyed them Jan. All the best to you too:)

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  20. What a beautiful and interesting place and I loved the link with George Patton. History indeed has many different, unexpected links.

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    1. Thanks Yogi, history certainly does have unexpected links. Always love it when I find them.

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  21. A beautiful place with an interesting history, and the last photo of the bee is excellent!
    Have a wonderful day!

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  22. What a wonderful property. You shared it's richness very well.

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    1. Thank you Ellen, happy you enjoyed it.

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  23. This is really interesting! 1784! Wowsers

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