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Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is northern Virginia’s best-kept secret

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Capturing expansive views of the Virginia Piedmont, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna shares 95 acres for groups to meander through both ornamental and native plant gardens. 

Gazebo on Lake Caroline at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia

Photo: Tom Stovall Gazebo on Lake Caroline, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, Va.

“We are a largely ornamental garden with many fine vistas, but we also have focused native plant conservation collections,” said Keith Tomlinson, manager of Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. “(We want groups to experience) the pure pleasure of a closely curated open space dedicated to aesthetics, conservation, education and community service.”

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens created three native plant collections in support of the International Agenda for Botanic Gardens in Conservation: the Potomac Valley Collection, Virginia Native Tree Collection and the Virginia Native Wetland Collection.

At Meadowlark, guests can view a wide variety of lush plant life, including tulips, magnolias, azaleas, lilacs, peonies, dogwoods and rhododendron.

The Korean Bell Garden and gazebo are popular areas for groups, Tomlinson said. In the Korean Bell Garden, the pagoda structure was built by hand, and the bell was made in South Korea with traditional Korean images, including birds, animals and plants, and also symbolic images of Virginia. 

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia

Photo: Tom Stovall Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, Va.

Aside from gardens, groups can wind through Meadowlark’s extensive trails, revealing local flora and fauna among forests and lakes. Group visits should be booked at least one to two weeks in advance. 

As for education, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is part of the Roving Naturalist Program offered by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NOVA). With this program, visitors can experience guided nature hikes, walks, kayak and canoe trips, stream and pond studies, live animal programs and night explorations.

Groups of 10 or more receive discounted admission and specialized tours can be arranged in advance. Motorcoach parking is available. 

For more information, call 703-255-3631 or visit novaparks.com/parks/meadowlark-botanical-gardens.

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About Author

Kelsey Smith, Associate Editor

The more wine columnist Kelsey Smith travels, the more tales she can’t wait to tell. She especially likes to discover how destinations and attractions can accommodate groups. To earn a star on her travel checklist, there better be parking for a motorcoach and dining, at least nearby. Watch for the debut of her blog, “Wine Wednesday.”

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