Monday, July 30, 2012

Visit to Glen Burnie Gardens in Winchester, VA

The Grand Allee at the Glen Bernie Gardens in the Shenandoah Valley
One of the first stops on our family trip to Virginia this year was to see the gardens at the Glen Bernie House in Winchester, VA. It was a great stop, even with the intense heat that day. I found this garden randomly through UK garden blogger Charlotte, who had posted a photo of the gardens with the above allee of crabapple trees flowering pink in the spring.

They have created a tourist stop that appeals to history buffs as well as gardeners by building the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley on the house property. It includes a Civil War room, a portrait gallery, rooms full of art and artifacts from the region and a room full of miniatures which were collected by the creator of Glen Bernie, R. Lee Taylor. We, of course, set out directly for the gardens and walked through the museum to cool off after lunch.
The Pink Pavilion courtyard was one of my favorite areas at Glen Bernie. The topiary was very neatly kept. A very classical look for this bench area with an iron gate and flanked by busts.


Detail of the arm rest on the seat in the courtyard.
The Pink Pavilion is the center piece, with a shallow pool and fountain in the middle of the courtyard. Bench is to the left between the chairs.
Another bust, this one set up on a pedestal, and clothed in ivy.
A view from the pavilion steps toward the taller busts and the family cemetery.
The Pleached Allee meets up to the Pink Pavilion on its right side. The white speckled colocasias were used to good effect in this shaded allee to lighten the path.

The lady at the end of the Pleached Allee, holding her bouquet of flowers by the Pink Pavilion wall.
The Knot Garden... or at least it used to be. The further we walked in to the garden rooms behind the house, the more disappointed I was with the loose upkeep of the garden topiary. They certainly are high maintenance features, but when cared for they produce beautiful effects, like in the spring photo of this same garden many years ago.
Patio by the Glen Bernie house, which is currently undergoing major renovations before being re-opened to the public.
Knot Garden view to the Grand Allee. While seemingly grand in scale, this garden seemed very feasible when standing in it. It is not as large as it may look. I am standing on the back steps of the house, from which R. Lee Taylor planned this long view of the allee.
A statue finishes the Grand Allee. Allee is a french term for a formal walkway lined with trees to a final view. Usually the trees are placed symmetrically. This allee tapers to its finish, making it 9 feet wider at its beginning.  This gives it a forced perspective that makes it appear longer than it really is. We have used this design principle in a much smaller version for our Shade Path garden at Gilmore Gardens.
As the kids took off for a run, a thought dawned on me: what if our family lawn area fit inside a similar allee? Then the grass would be used, not just looked at; and the trees would make it a pretty focal point all year round, not just a play area. Perhaps in our next location there might be room to experiment with this idea.
The rose walk, weaving with other garden rooms at the back of the house.
There was an abundance of beautiful stone walls and gates around the house.
There were not many flowers at the end of June, but patch of red hot pokers (Kniphofia) and daisies provided some summer color.
The Chinese Garden included a Pagoda and a stream...
...Japanese maples...
...and a very dramatic circle gate built into the stone wall at the bottom of the hill.
Another pretty gate stepping up to the trout pond.
A beautiful folly above the pond, using the corner of the wall around the garden. The climbing hydrangea draped over the stone and encroaching on the roof helped give some grounding to this feature.
It was a nice spot to cool off from the hot Virginia sun. The curved window looks out over the fields.
Another beautiful gate.
The Parterre Garden by the house, which is still providing interest even though it has obviously seen better days.
Thanks for joining us on our first garden tour in Virginia. I hope I can find the time soon to post about the other garden, the Norfolk Botanical Gardens.

17 comments:

  1. Your photos make it all look very cool in the shade, did you get some respite from your heat?! The topiary is lovely but must take a lot of man hours to keep it looking crisp and tidy, but it is all the green that makes it look so cool. Thanks for sharing your visit with us.

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    1. Pauline,
      You are right - everything was pretty green in this area of Virgina. It was a pretty hot day (in the 90's F) but I think this area has had more water than other areas in this region. It was a beautifully treed site, which definitely made it more pleasant to tour. Thanks for reading along!
      ~Julie

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  2. I love the way you get big ideas for your own garden from the places you visit

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    1. Thanks Carolyn. Because we have not chosen our future home yet, I think that every garden presents itself to me with endless possibilities of what could be. In the end, I will have to pick and chose to fit them into one garden, but at the moment I can possess (at least intellectually) every beautiful garden idea that I see.
      ~Julie

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  3. Julie, thank you for sharing this tour! I love the The Pink Pavilion courtyard with busts, topiary, iron gates and a bench.

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    1. That was one of my favorite areas too. So classical and beautiful!
      ~Julie

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  4. Julie, thanks for sharing, verry nice. groet Diny

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    1. You are very welcome! Thanks for reading along!
      ~Julie

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  5. Very pretty, long vistas here. I bet the kids loved running on the lawns.

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    1. Yes, they love running just about anywhere! They enjoy garden visiting a lot more when we can help them engage it actively... like climbing on the boulders just before we left. :)
      ~Julie

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  6. I love to visit other gardens and like you they always inspire an idea for my own garden. I love the alle and would love to create one in my garden.

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    1. Glad that you liked it Sue. And thanks for your comment! I will check out your blog sometime as well.
      ~Julie

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  7. Everyone seemed to enjoy the gardens including me...I really like the history and the diversity...makes for an interesting wander about...gorgeous hardscape too!

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    1. It was a fun stop for all. Glad that you enjoyed your quick tour, Donna!
      ~Julie

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  8. That's a beautiful garden! I'll have to check it out next time I'm in Virginia. That part of the country seems so perfect for gardening! Lovely shots, and it looks like your kids had a wonderful vacation, too!

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  9. Greetings Julie!
    This looks like a wonderful day out.
    Best of luck with finding the new abode!

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  10. thanks for sharing.

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