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Historic Gardens, Homes Open to Public

Garden Club of Fairfax celebrates the 70th annual Garden Week in Virginia.

Later this April, the Garden Club of Fairfax will celebrate the 70th season of the Commonwealth Historic Garden Week in Virginia with tours of area homes and gardens. The tours benefit the restoration of historic grounds and gardens throughout the state.

In Fairfax, three gardens and two homes will be open for public showing on Friday, April 25. Gardens in Leesburg will be open on Sunday and Monday, April 20 and 23, and a walking tour in Alexandria will occur on Saturday, April 26.

"All the proceeds go to the restoration of historic sites in Virginia," said Page Styles, a member of the Garden Club. "It's an opportunity to see gardens that are not open to the public all the time."

The Garden Club of Fairfax is affiliated with the Garden Club of Virginia. For more information, go to www.VAGardenweek.org, or call (804) 644-7776.

AN OAKTON RESIDENCE

<bt>2800 Chariton Street, Oakton. Instead of the traditional rear lawn, a multi-level, woodland garden surrounds a free-form pool. The side and front of the property feature a perennial garden, and mounted beds screen the yard and house from the street. The home's interior features artwork by the owner and her daughter.

CANNON RESIDENCE

2205 Aryness Drive, Vienna. Elegantly designed by landscape architect Linda Wright, the grounds of the home of Carol and David Cannon feature native woodlands and designed gardens. Inside the house, the garden room features a theme of bunnies and birdhouses, with its painted furniture and wicker chairs. A sail boat bed and a circus wagon toy chest made by "Poppy" for his grandson are in one bedroom, and furniture inherited by Mrs. Cannon from her parents and grandparents are in another. The balconies across the rear of the house overlook the back gardens and the pool area below.

MEADOWLARK BOTANICAL GARDENS

9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna. The mission of Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is to display plants native to the Potomac River valley, as well as plants from around the world. A 95-acre park with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens features 5,000 seasonal bulbs, annuals and wildflowers, as well as collections of cherry and crabapple trees, lilacs, azaleas, Siberian irises, hostas, daylilies, herbs and peonies.

In addition to the gardens, the park features walking paths, a Visitors Center and a restored 1750 log cabin.

ROBERTS RESIDENCE

8521 Leemay Street, Vienna. Historic artifacts abound in the 1980 colonial home of Taylor and Aimee Roberts. A Seth Thomas antique clock rests on top of an antique chest in the foyer. The formal dining room features collections of demitasse cups, blue and white china and miniature mirrors. Upstairs, the hallway is lined with Mrs. Roberts' needlework and family photographs.

BIER GARDENS

1951 Horseshoe Drive, Vienna. Horticultural designer Peggy Bier has worked on her garden for 40 years. A perennial buyer at the Merrifield Garden Center, Bier's gardens seeks out new and unusual plants in additional to the traditional. Also in her garden are more than 500 azaleas and a large hosta garden.

"It is spectacular," Styles said of Bier Gardens. "She's always trying something new."