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Blog Posts

Repton Revealed: The Art of Landscape Gardening

OSGF

The Oak Spring Garden Library is the proud home of four of Humphry Repton’s (1752-1818) “Red Books,” significant and rare works in the history of landscape design. To celebrate the bicentennial of Repton’s death, the Garden Museum in London recently opened an exhibition, “Repton Revealed: The Art of Landscape Gardening.”

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Healing the Wounds of War

OSGF

Gardens are places of peace and reflection, and as we celebrate Veterans Day, Remembrance Day and Armistice Day, we can reflect on how plants have helped us heal in the dark times of war. Sometimes this healing is symbolic, and sometimes it is literal.

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Preservation and Activation

OSGF

Rachel Lambert “Bunny” Mellon left an indelible mark in the hearts of many through her work in horticulture and philanthropy. Given the significance of her legacy, we often get asked how the Oak Spring Garden Foundation (OSGF) is working to preserve her home and estate.

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Oak Spring Garden Foundation awards two early-career fellowships

OSGF

The Oak Spring Garden Foundation (OSGF) has awarded two newly established early-career fellowships of $10,000 each, named in honor of Rachel “Bunny” Lambert Mellon’s children, Eliza Moore and Stacy Lloyd III. The two awards were established with generous support from the Gerard B. Lambert Foundation.  

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New Work in Historic Places

OSGF

Bunny and Paul Mellon’s passion for art and the environment is evident in their lifelong philanthropic support of these two fields. We are continuing this legacy through a new Artists in Residence (AiR) program that we have been piloting this summer.

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An Oak Spring Herbaria

OSGF

An Oak Spring Herbaria, Bunny Mellon’s last catalog of the Oak Spring Library collection, is now available to view and study online!

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Garden to Table

OSGF

This summer has been a busy one, with a growing number of guests visiting the Oak Spring Garden Foundation for conferences, internships, and other programs. To help feed these guests, we are putting more focus on the utilization of our gardens’ produce in our kitchen.

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Summer Activity

OSGF

This summer has been our busiest season yet, hosting and working with groups that cover a wide array of subjects. These gatherings are proving the value of intimate and focused meetings in Oak Spring's supportive setting – we are seeing concrete outcomes and the beginnings of projects that will continue years into the future.

Read here for a taste of some of these meetings and the ongoing efforts that they represent. 

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Islands in the Pond

OSGF

ON JUNE 15TH, the Oak Spring Horticulture and Landscape Team implemented a unique and ecologically friendly strategy for the restoration of the Spring House Pond and Eliza’s Pond on the property. Read more about one solution that tackles several problems at once.

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The Mississippi in a Can

OSGF

Maps have always conveyed and represented more than simply geographic or spatial reasoning. See how this compact map served to promote a city and national unity after the Civil War.

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A Horse Comes Home

OSGF

(UPPERVILLE, Va.) The Oak Spring Garden Foundation (OSGF) has unveiled a bronze replica of the statue of Paul Mellon’s most famous racehorse, Mill Reef, in the courtyard of the Oak Spring Broodmare Barn where the original statue once stood.

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A Lifetime of Flowers, a Library of Books

OSGF

The nurseryman Robert Furber (c. 1674-1756) was a pioneer in utilizing botanical art to advertise his plant varieties. Based in Kensington, a neighborhood in London, Furber owned and ran a successful nursery garden that provided plants both native to England and imported from around the world. He was the first person in England to use such extravagant illustrations in his advertising pamphlets, and these images remain iconic for their beauty and detail.

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Conferences in the Cold Months

OSGF

This year has already been a busy one here at Oak Spring: throughout the month of February, we've been hosting a variety of conferences, students, scientists and scholars. Scroll through the photos below to see what we've been up to. 

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Making a New America: The Poetry of Phillis Wheatley

OSGF

Born in West Africa before being captured and brought to slavery in the American colonies, Phillis Wheatley was the first African-American woman poet in history. For all her poetic brilliance and international renown, Wheatley died destitute at the age of 31. Triumphant and tragic, eloquent and owned, Wheatley’s writing and life are integral to our understanding of fledgling America.

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The Miracles of William Edmondson

OSGF

William Edmondson (c. 1874-1951), the son of former slaves, started his sculpting career later in his life. That didn't hinder him, however, from becoming the first African-American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

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The Bounty of January: Robert Furber, Oak Spring, and Winter Gardening

OSGF

The nurseryman Robert Furber (c. 1674-1756) was a pioneer in utilizing botanical art to advertise his plant varieties. Based in Kensington, a neighborhood in London, Furber owned and ran a successful nursery garden that provided plants both native to England and imported from around the world. He was the first person in England to use such extravagant illustrations in his advertising pamphlets, and these images remain iconic for their beauty and detail. 

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The Plants We Use to Celebrate

OSGF

As the weather grows colder and the winter solstice has passed, the holiday season is reaching its peak. In nearby Middleburg, Christmas decorations adorn lampposts as parades go through town. Around Oak Spring, colorful evergreen wreathes are hung on doors and fenceposts, providing vibrant green amidst the drab browns of winter. Plants–especially evergreens and agricultural crops–gain an added significance around the peak of winter, as we seek reminders of summer’s warm bounty. In this blog, we look at several different holidays that fall around this time of year and dig into the plants that play such prominent roles in our winter practices. 

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A Fall Without Color

OSGF

For a tree renowned for its vibrant, golden autumn leaves, this year was more than a little
dull. Our friends at the New York Botanical Garden noticed a trend appearing in ginkgoes across
the city: instead of bright yellow leaves covering the trees and then carpeting the sidewalk in
color, the ground appeared awash with dark green leaves usually indicative of late summer. The
trees seem to have skipped the middle step that so often characterizes autumn, the yellow
coloration that we know and love.

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Giving Tuesday

OSGF

This #GivingTuesday we reflect on the philanthropy of our founder, Rachel (“Bunny”) Lambert Mellon.

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