A Gem Find: Green Spring Gardens- Alexandria, VA

Greenspring Gardens

Virginia is home to some of the most beautiful parks in the country. Its diverse scenery and flowing bodies of water make Virginia prime real estate for people looking to have family portraits done. Professionals looking to do a photography session in Northern Virginia need look no further than Green Spring Gardens. Green Spring Gardens is a beautiful, 32-acre park with historical and natural backdrops perfect for family portraits or a photography session. Many families and couples, photographed by Roneyfield Photography, decided to have their family and personal  portraits done in this spectacular Northern Virginia park.  Even brides and grooms find this park a great spot for gorgeous picturesque portrait photographs! (it’s free too, as long as you give them a heads up that you are coming!  –and Photographers:  if you have a Fairfax County Parks Photography permit —which is $25/yr.— then you’re good!)

This family and pet-friendly park is operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority. The gardens in this park are lush and gorgeous, making it a great place for senior portraits, engagement photos, and wedding pictures. It’s even handicap-accessible so everyone can enjoy Green Spring Gardens. Horticulture is the main focus at Green Spring. If you love the art of gardening, Green Spring is the perfect place to get your picture taken. The fabulous gardens create an exquisite backdrop for any photo session. The Green Spring Garden’s Horticulture center doubles as the visitor’s center.

The Horticulture Center allows you and your family to turn your photo session into a little day trip! There is even a gift shop where you can purchase gardening supplies, plants, and other related items. Why not do your Christmas shopping and your Christmas portrait all in one day? Green Spring Gardens is also a great place to learn about gardening and horticulture. The center features a library that is open daily. In the library, you can read books, magazines, and newsletters related to gardening and horticulture. They even rent their space out and hold art exhibits! You can turn your family photo session into a fun learning experience thanks to the Horticulture Center at Green Spring Gardens.

Green Spring Gardens has a rich history. John Moss, a member of an active political family, built the well-known Historic House in 1784. The two-story Georgian home sat on 540 acres, and was farmed by Moss’s sons until it was sold in 1840. The Historic House was sold to Fountain Beattie. He and his wife Annie, along with their 11 children ran a dairy and an orchard until 1911. The next set of owners took over in 1942. The power-couple, Michael and Belinda Straight had the place redesigned and remodeled. In 1970, the house and its remaining 18 acres was turned over to the Fairfax County Park Authority. Since then, more acreage has been added for a total of 31 beautiful acres.  They even decorate it specific to the holidays of the season, such as Christmas, Easter, etc.

Green Spring Gardens hosts several rental facilities perfect for your next event or photo shoot. The venues available for rent at Green Spring Gardens include the atrium, the library, the classroom, the kitchen, and several gazebos. The variety of options allows Green Spring Gardens to serve as the perfect location for any photo session, including engagement shoots.

The atrium is great for receptions. It is available Monday through Thursday after 5 p.m. and all day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for $210 for two hours. Daytime hours Monday-Thursday only cost $170 dollars for two hours. Each additional hour costs $85. The entire atrium can accommodate 100 people and tables and chairs are provided at no extra cost. The atrium at Green Spring Gardens is a a great place to hold your wedding reception and your wedding photos can be done beautifully right outside.

If you are having a small wedding or other event, you can rent the library at Green Spring Gardens. Evening and weekends cost $130 for two hours. Daytime weekday rental costs $100 for two hours. Additional hours cost $50. The library is perfect for your next company meeting. Afterwards, you can utilize the stunning outdoor area for employee photos. The Green Spring Gardens classroom is available for rent at the same rate as the library. The kitchen is available for just $25 per hour. The gazebos, located among the luscious gardens are available at a rate of $200 for two hours.

One of the most famous features of Green Spring Gardens are its shimmering Witch Hazels. You may be familiar with witch hazel essential oil, which is used to treat many common ailments. This stunning fall and winter plant blooms in brilliant yellow and orange hues. The spidery flowers have a scent reminiscent of honey and spice. It is a plant pleasing to the sight and smell. The Witch Hazels at Green Spring Gardens are part of the Plant Collections Network. Green Spring Gardens is home to 215 Witch Hazel plants in 110 different types. Over half of those plants are located in the overflow parking lot and Entrance Garden. Witch Hazel has a unique connection to the state of Virginia. It really adds something extra special to Green Spring Gardens.

As previously mentioned, Michael and Belinda Straight had the Historic House redesigned. The new landscaping was done by the famous Beatrix Farrand. The Beatrix Farrand Landscape at Green Spring Gardens is a garden room behind the house. It is one of the most well-known spots at Green Spring Gardens. Farrand created the perfect outdoor venue for Belinda and Michael to entertain their many important guests, including several renowned writers. Though Farrand typically worked on large-scale projects, she took her talent and condensed it beautifully into this small space. Her design at Green Spring Gardens is her only garden project in the state of Virginia.

Green Spring Gardens is no doubt a pinnacle of beauty, history, and education. Its library and historical sites serve as an educational resource the local community and all Green Spring Gardens visitors. The horticulture brings life and beauty to the location and allows Green Spring Gardens to serve as a venue for many types of photo shoots. Whether you visit the park to learn about gardening, do some gift shopping, learn about the history, admire the landscaping, or to get a spectacular portrait or engagement session, you will certainly be moved by the rich history and beauty at Green Spring.

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