April 30, 2015

Along Bentonville Road

I associate this style of gate with ranches out west but we have a few in Virginia too. The sign says Knob Hill Farm.

Bentonville Road runs from Bentonville to Browntown.  I imagine you can see sections of it from Skyline Drive.

Sharing with Good Fences

April 29, 2015

Flash and his Excellent Nose

Geese Police

I love watching Canada Geese, but I admit that they can become a nuisance. They are a hazard around airports, for instance.

So entrepreneurs have risen to the call for chasing away the geese. Border collies have a talent for this so they are trained and employed to perform geese-removal services.

We happened to see this vehicle in Loudoun County and I liked the signs. Sorry, geese! 

April 28, 2015

Four More from Oatlands

boxwood garden

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Trees and Views at Oatlands

tall tree with broken branches

Oatlands is lovely in the spring! The gardens are colorful and the trees are starting to leaf out yet you can still see the shapes of their branches.
If you've never visited this historic plantation and you find yourself near Leesburg, try to spend a few hours there.

Sharing with Our World Tuesday

April 27, 2015

Spring at Oatlands

After we toured the gardens at  Little Oatlands last week, we went next door to Oatlands to see the gardens, although we've been there before.

The Good: The manor and grounds at Oatlands are open to visitors from spring through fall.  Established in 1798, this old plantation is operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
manor house

The Random: There are several outbuildings on the property, including some barns.

The Fun: There are many paths to explore on the property, some of which wind through hidden gardens.

Sharing with The Barn Collective

April 26, 2015

A Reflection and a Shadow Shot

At Little Oatlands, near Leesburg, VA

Gardens at Little Oatlands

daffodils and rock wall

According the Historic Garden Week Guidebook, when Edith and William Corcoran Eustis bought Oatlands (a historic plantation next door) in 1903, they also purchased the Little Oatlands property. In the mid-1930s their daughter Margaret and her husband David Finley "moved to Little Oatlands and began a garden that incorporated their love and respect for Italian design with their knowledge of horticulture.... Mr. Finley was the first director of the National Gallery of Art and a founder of the National Trust for Historic Preservation."

It was a privilege to see this delightful garden! Normally it is not open to the public so this was a special opportunity.

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April 25, 2015

Bird Statuary

statue of eagle

Here are some more examples of garden statuary that we saw at Little Oatlands. These are all perched on gateposts, so you might see them as guardians of the garden.

Sharing with Saturday's Critters

Sepia Statuary

statue of cherubNext to Oatlands (near Leesburg) is a property known as Little Oatlands. It's privately owned but the beautiful gardens were open to visitors as part of Historic Garden Week. We found the gardens to be delightful and I took many pictures, including several of the statuary. 

Since classical-style sculpture is typically monochromatic, it looks fine in black and white or sepia tones.

Sepia toning was prized in film photography because it made prints last longer. Now it's sometimes done in digital imaging to give a warm nostalgic look to images.

Even though monochromatic treatment is appropriate for sculpture, there are times when I like to see the color of the background. It can distract from the subject, so I have mixed feelings about these examples. I love the colors of the Virginia stone on the wall. (I'm fairly certain this is Bull Run Mountain stone, which we had on flagstone walkways of my childhood home.)

statue with lambWhich treatment do you prefer? Let me know in the comments.

Sharing with Sepia Saturday

Winged Mercury

This is a detail of a sculpture that was copied from Mercury in the National Gallery of Art, which was in turn derived from an earlier version. As a child and young person, I enjoyed visiting the National Gallery and went many times.

We saw this graceful statue at Little Oatlands near Leesburg. 

April 24, 2015

Views at Whiffletree Farm

dogwood branches and window

The Warrenton Garden Tours had their welcome center at Whiffletree Farm. This is in the scenic hunt country of Virginia, its rolling hills quite beautiful in the spring.

The family who farms the property does not live in this house but they have a small store here. The house has been carefully decorated and is rented out to visitors.

I noticed that the store has soy-free eggs. Now if I could just remember who wanted to buy some, I'd let them know.

Sharing with Skywatch Friday

April 23, 2015

Mules and More

sign on back of vehicle

When we were at the Redbud Festival on Saturday, I was attracted to the fancy sign on this vehicle. Amazing Grace is a trained mule who has been in many local shows and even a movie.

Here we see Grace raising the flag. And next we see one of her buddies.

mule grazing

There's a fence behind that mule but I wanted a more substantial one for Theresa's linkup so here's a nice picket fence that was not far from the festival grounds.

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 and Signs, Signs

Garden Week is Glorious!

bright tulips

garden gateIt's Historic Garden Week in Virginia and tours are going on through Saturday. We enjoyed the Leesburg tours on Monday and the Warrenton tours today. In fact, they were fantastic!

Warrenton features some of the grandest homes I've ever seen, and as for the gardens, I took hundreds of photos and I'll have to edit them down to a manageable number of favorites to share. There was a threat of rain today but we only got a few drops, so I can't complain about the weather.

The tours are not cheap but you get a memorable and unique experience. Many of these homes and gardens are not open to the public at other times. And if you live in the area you already know how delightful springtime is in Virginia!

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