Happy Independence Day!

I can’t really say I planned this as an Independence Day post, but I recently  toured a home (and this time remembered to take pictures) that gave me quite a bit of garden inspiration that seems fitting to mention today. George Washington’s birthplace in Westmoreland County, Va., is beautifully maintained by the National Park Service. Chris and I took a picnic lunch there and ate alongside Pope’s Creek, a tributary of the Potomac. After lunch, we wandered over the path that meanders along the river, admiring George’s view. My favorite spot was overlooking the creek where the land forms a little peninsula, although I was looking as much at the adorable wooden bench that I couldn’t help but picture in my own wooded backyard.

Who knew Mary Washington and I had similar taste? I jest of course, but love the rustic look of this riverside perch.

From the river we went over to the house and past several of the outbuildings. Just as my mom recalled from visits from my childhood, the park still maintains a beautiful hedge alongside the brick walkways – a hedge of fig trees. (Now, I’ve managed to kill two poor fig trees when I let them winter in pots  on my back porch. I still haven’t figured the perfect spot for this absolutely necessary, incredibly delicious, oh-so-beautiful fruit tree, and would welcome any suggestions.)

Next, we stopped at the herb garden, abloom and tall and filled with scents. Talk about inspiration. I could have stared at the perfect, round, gigantic cabbage all day, which perhaps says more about my mental state than I should reveal, but, man were they gorgeous. The lavender was an overrun bundle of intoxicating scent, just wonderful. Each plant was carefully marked with its name to guide visitors who may have been taking notes.

Deep in thought, I’m planning on how to replicate GW’s neat boxwood border in my future veggie garden.

I like the creative borders used in this colonial-themed garden. I believe vegetable gardens should be just as beautiful as they are functional, and this one, with its neat rows and lovely boxwood border, certainly pulls it off.

However, my favorite little takeaway came as we peered into some of the little outbuildings surrounding the main house. In what we surmised to be the cook’s house, I noticed a hook holding a bundle of dried herbs. I’ve always  envied the look of dried herbs hanging from a kitchen’s massive mantel or exposed beams, it never occurred to me a simple hook could be painted to blend in with the ceiling and easily do the trick. I’m wondering now how these herbs might hold up on my screened porch.

This bundle of herbs adds charm and lovely fragrance to the tiny colonial kitchen.

I hope your next vacation escape provides you with gardening inspiration! In the meantime, happy Fourth of July!


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