Museum to open free on National Public Gardens Day

By Josette Keelor

Enjoy free access to the gardens at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley as part of National Public Gardens Day.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, visitors to the museum may enjoy planned activities or stroll leisurely through six acres of gardens surrounding the Glen Burnie House.

Free children’s activities will include a garden gnome hunt, pressed-plant button making and a seek-and-find game called “Can You Find This?” A free audio tour for children and adults will teach on soil.

“What’s in Bloom” garden walks will start at the top of odd hours beginning at 11 a.m., featuring more than 100 new boxwoods, said deputy director of community relations, Julie Armel.

“We’re in the middle of a two-year garden renovation,” she said. “… Those beds have been replanted to size, the size they’re supposed to be.”

“In the water garden is bluebells and bleeding hearts,” she said. “We’re starting to see some iris.” Also, she added, “We’ve got some tulips in the picnic area and we still have some daffodils.”

Armel said the free admission day will offer an opportunity for the community to meet Perry Mathewes, new director of gardens. At 2 p.m. he will present a lecture on restoring a historic garden and preserving its history in a modern world.

Visitors are invited to bring a bag lunch to enjoy in the gardens, and museum exhibits and tours like Becoming Patsy Cline, every hour on the half from 10:30 to 1:30, and Moveable Feasts: Entertaining at Glen Burnie will be free.

Enter a free drawing in the museum lobby for a one-year family membership worth $75, and check out the museum store open all day or the café open from 11:30 to 2 p.m.

More than 500 North American public gardens will participate in National Public Gardens Day, which, presented by the American Public Gardens Association, raises awareness of the role of the public gardens nationwide. Its timing right before Mother’s Day presents an unofficial start to spring when, according to the website www.nationalpublicgardensday.org, environment is a priority for many Americans.

The MSV is located at 901 Amherst St., Winchester. For more information, call 540-662-1473 or visit www.theMSV.org.

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com