Washington DC — By Jon Rochetti on May 31, 2010 at 7:46 am
Filed under: Events, featuredarticle, Food & Beverage, gardens, tea, Tours

Tea & Garden Tour at Green Springs Garden

Enjoy a docent-led tour of the historical gardens at Green Spring Gardens & Manor, one of DC’s preeminent places for horticulture located in Alexandria, Virginia, followed by afternoon tea service.

IMG_0080 The house dates back to 1784 when farmer and land owner John Moss built Green Spring, the brick home on his 540 acre farm in Alexandria, Virginia.  What were once tobacco fields were turned into farmlands that produced wheat, corn, oats and rye, plus livestock.  Three generations of Moss’s lived there until the farm was sold in 1843.

Thirty-five years late, Fountain Beattie, a veteran of Mosby’s Raiders purchased the farm. Beattie, at the age of 20, enlisted in the First Virginia Cavalry just a month after the start of the Civil War in 1861. The unit became part of the First Virginia Cavalry, led by his friend Col. John “Gray Ghost” Mosby.  After the war, he and his wife Anne Hathaway purchased the about 60% of the original Moss farm (339 acres) and raised their 13 children there.

One other notable owner was Michael Straight, the owner from 1942 until the family deeded it to Fairfax County in 1972.  Straight was probably the property’s most unique resident. Admitting to being a spy in pre-WWII England while at Cambridge, he later helped break up a major communist spy ring in the 1960s. He was also the editor and publisher of the family-owned The New Republic magazine.  After piloting a B-17 bomber during WWII, he worked as a speechwriter for President Franklin Roosevelt and may have still been a double agent for the KGB until the 1960s.

Besides the garden tour and teas, the garden hosts 3 summer tasting parties, including chocolate, unusual fruits and teas.

Green Spring Gardens & Manor – 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, Virginia  (map)

Dates & Times -

  • Tea and Garden Tours – June 3 & 17, July 15, August 19, 2010 – 1:00 – 3:00  p.m.
  • Summer Tasting Parties – June 19, July 17 & August 21, 2010 – 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Tickets – Tea and garden tours – $27.00 and reservations are required.  Tasting Parties – $22.00 each or $60 for the series of 3. Call 703-941-7987 for reservations.

Nearest Metro Subway Station – Van Dorn Street – Blue line, then a 2.5–mile cab ride.

Parking - Free

Image – from personal collection – ©2010, Jon Rochetti

Tags: Events, featuredarticle, Food & Beverage, gardens, tea, Tours

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