Thursday, September 20, 2012

Places I Find Peace....River Farm

One of my favorite things about living in the D.C./Northern Virginia/Maryland area is the overwhelming amount of interesting places to visit. Yesterday, my daughter and I finally made it out to River Farm...a place I've been meaning to visit for many months now.

This was our third attempt. The first time I got lost (it's difficult to find, particularly when you leave the address behind) and the second time, we arrived at 4:50 pm to only find out that it closes at 5 pm.

I had heard wonderful things about the place, especially the Children's Garden. My expectations were blown out of the water.

It's an absolutely beautifully maintained, charming spot with countless serene nooks and crannies. And the Children's Gardens contain some of the most well-thought and inspirational children's out-door play spaces I have ever seen. It's the kind of place you wish you had visited when you were a kid.

It's hard to believe this spot is only 7 miles from my home. It feels worlds and lifetimes away. Utter peace.

River Farm was purchased by George Washington in 1760. He leased the property to his personal secretary (who ended up marrying his niece). Several generations of Washingtons lived at River Farm until 1850 when it was purchased by a dairy-running Quaker family.

A horticulture-loving gentlemen bought the farm in 1919 and added many of the beautiful features still around today. The American Horticulture Society is currently headquartered at River Farm and they have created one of my favorite features...the Meadow.

Originally, there were 4 acres of rolling lawns that sloped down to the river. The AHS has turned those 4 acres into a wild sea of native grasses and plants - home to foxes, butterflies, hawks and eagles.  Amazing.

River Farm has definitely jumped to the top of our "Beautiful Places to Run Around and Get Our Energy Out This Winter." Did I mention it's free?

Photo Courtesy of The Photo Garden Bee

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