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Green Friday garden walk

'Sunny Demonstration Garden' at Bon Air Park
'Sunny Demonstration Garden' at Bon Air Park
James George

Today’s hike included a tour of the herb garden at Bon Air Memorial Rose Garden. At different stages, the herb garden may be as interesting as the roses.

James George

Before departing the starting position, I had to grab some reachable cherries. They are about finished and oh so tasty. I also painted some zinnias from the balcony because they present such an excellent palette.

Along Custis Trail the Arlington County have over trimmed once again, wiping out red raspberries and habitat area needed by rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, foxes and birds of all sorts. What are they thinking? They cut swath is too big.

The birds were most active today around fruit trees, principally mulberries. There were orioles, blue jays, cardinals, assorted finches and Robbins of course. The coopers hawks have moved away for now. Squirrels enjoy the berry trees too as do raccoons.

Bluejays were feeding their young.

The Bon Air Memorial Rose garden was well manicured. There are continuous rounds of shows throughout the summer here. The landscape is right for painters.

The effort that goes into gardening by professionals and volunteers shows extraordinary commitment to the Arlington community. Seniors living near the park enjoy it all of the time.

Parks like Bon Air have a long history. Gardens don’t just happen without much planning. Even the soil must be worked continuously to ensure the garden’s success from season to season.

Native and unusual herbs and flowers are grown here as well as trees of all kinds. The water quality seems to be looking better this years than in those past. It is time to start hiking in some new directions to produce more stories and observations. If readers want to suggest some places to visit, drop a note in the comments column.

For a complete history of the “Sunny Demonstration Garden” at Bon Air Park, check the link below.

“In 2013, the renovation process began in four beds. Joe Kelly has been rethinking the plantings for Bed 5, which has become much shadier with the growth of neighboring trees. He is planning to move some hellebores and bleeding hearts into this new environment. Kate Donohue has redesigned the western half of Bed 7 as a butterfly garden, using plants with a big impact as the bed is located at the side entrance. She has selected joe-pye weed, milkweed, phlox, asters, New York Ironweed, and perennial sunflowers to give bloom from summer through the fall. Alex Dickman completely re-dug the eastern half of Bed 7 early in the spring. She replanted the original coreopsis, geraniums, sundrops, and asclepias; replaced an unattractive honeysuckle vine with a native wisteria; and added other native perennials such as gayfeather, coneflowers, and stonecrop to provide a variety of heights, colors, and bloom times.

Two recently certified Master Gardeners, Mary Frase and Elaine Mills from the class of 2012, have undertaken the renovation of the two narrow beds adjacent to the parking lot. An article on their class project will appear on this website in the near future.”

Bon Air Memorial Rose Garden
850 N Lexington St, Arlington, VA 22205

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