Oak Spring's Gardens
OSGF actively maintains Bunny Mellon’s garden as she managed it herself, a standing tribute to her mastery of gardening and her simple yet elegant style. Bunny planned and tended all the details with great care, from the gravel pathways, to the crabapple tree arch and the profusion of herbs, vegetables and simple wildflowers. OSGF actively engages interns, fellows, and invited guests to learn from and experience the gardens.
Bunny Mellon’s garden is maintained not only for enjoyment, but also to serve as a place for learning and inspiration. For example, OSGF hosts horticultural interns to learn and practice garden design and management alongside the garden team. The inaugural garden interns arrived in the Summer of 2017, in partnership with the New York Botanical Garden School of Professional Horticulture. Beyond students, we also involve educators and others in the magic of the garden. In 2018, for example, we hosted twenty elementary school educators from across the NoVA region to engage in a two-day workshop on incorporating school gardens into the classroom. We believe strongly in supporting the development of leaders in the world of plants and the environment.
A Garden That Gives
In addition to providing a beautiful and inspirational natural habitat, our gardens provide fresh food to under-resourced communities from Washington D.C. to the Blue Ridge. The apple orchards, formal garden, and production garden produce fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs that are harvested throughout the year. In 2017, OSGF donated 3,865 pounds of fresh produce to seven local food pantries and non-profit organizations. We have also incorporated the fresh produce into the meals served at on-site conferences and workshops.
Slideshow: Explore the Gardens
Bunny Mellon once said, “Too much should not be explained about a garden. Its greatest reality is not reality, for a garden, hovering always in a state of becoming, sums its own past and its future. A garden, like a library, is a whole made up of separate interests and mysteries.”