Edinburg Mill Biofiltration Garden
Friends of the North Fork, working with multiple partners including the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association (NSVMGA), helped create the Edinburg Mill Biofiltration Garden, one of the largest storm water biofiltration projects in the Shenandoah Valley. Situated next to historic Edinburg Mill, the garden helps halt erosion and filters polluted runoff between the parking area and Stony Creek. Many of the plants used in the rain garden are native edging/barrier plants (e.g. sedge). The rain garden serves as a teaching venue for local and regional water issues. NSVMGA provides ongoing educational assistance to the Town of Edinburg at the garden.
On the day of the tour, the Town of Edinburg is offering free admission to the mill museum plus a 10% discount on gift shop purchases to all garden ticket holders.
- Location: 5 miles west of Edinburg
- Estimated tour time: 40 minutes
This private garden at an historic homesite features a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. It is a good example of open vegetable gardening that could be duplicated by those with a little bit of land who want to ramp up their vegetable growing. The space is well laid-out and easy to walk through. It even includes some small historical excavations. The extended property includes a number of different fruit trees, from figs to cherries, pears and apples. The owner makes use of compost piles and rain barrels but no pesticides. She works hard to create an environment that hosts beneficial bugs to keep “bad” bugs in control. While success is mixed, she harvests a significant bounty each year.
Monarchs on Meadow
When the current owners moved to this address in 2010, the 4-acre site was a blank slate. Now this garden features a wide variety of plantings, laid out in strategic locations to provide both visual interest and serve practical purpose, such as a windbreak and hill cover. To beautify this landscape, the owners have added more than 200 plant species in a variety of informal island beds, foundation plantings, and edible garden space. Significant space is devoted to native species, pollinator-friendly annuals and perennials, and wildlife habitat. It includes tree and perennial plantings in the front yard, lots of native plants, a mini meadow, herb garden, raised bed vegetable garden, and a conifer garden. This garden setting will easily inspire visitors with ideas they can try at home. The garden is registered both with the Monarch Watch program and as a Habitat Garden through the NSVMGA.
- Location: Downtown Woodstock
- Estimated tour time: 35–40 minutes
This private home garden is a great example of the extensive amount of gardening that can be done in an urban backyard. The diverse garden offers a large vegetable garden, many flower patches, a shade garden, a grape arbor, and variety of trees. There are examples of composting, rain barrels, bee and bird houses, as well as a small fountain. There’s even a tree house. Although in slight disrepair, it adds visual interest to the environment. This delightful space shows visitors what can be done in a city setting with an average-sized back yard.
The home belongs to an NSVMGA Master Gardner who is our resident expert on the spotted lanternfly (SLF), a very destructive gardening pest rampant in southeastern Pennsylvania and now entering our area. Significant infestation has been found in Frederick County, especially in the Winchester area. In late 2020, SLF were found at several locations in Shenandoah County. This bug, originally from Asia, has no natural enemies in North America and could be devastating to local farm crops including corn and wine grapes. Visitors can learn more about SLF at this site and what to look for in their own backyard gardens.
Veatch’s Gleann (pronounced “glen”) Arboretum
- Location: 17 miles west of Strasburg
- Estimated tour time: 60–90 minutes
This huge KNOCK OUT site is only open for special tours. The site is nearly comparable to the National Arboretum in Washington, DC. It features every imaginable component of gardening: water control/erosion control/water features, extensive evergreen plantings, flower beds, architectural features and garden sculptures, vegetables, pollinator gardens, pine forest, shrubbery borders, espalier fruit trees, meadow, and more. The owners are gradually replacing invasive and non-native plants with (mostly) native plants. Their plan is not only for beauty and serenity but also has practical purposes, especially water filtration, water control, and erosion control as the property includes a portion of Cedar Creek. Their network of French drains is “disguised” as creeks and rock beds. Everything here is formally designed (even the meadow) and it’s all beautiful and amazing. The 270-year-old house onsite was a civilian fort in the French and Indian War. Its restoration is a great backdrop to the restoration that is happening on the land.