a visit to Maymont Park in Richmond, part 1

IMG_6378If you have been visiting this blog, you know that I frequently post photos about the places I visit, especially if they have a garden.  In our quest to explore Virginia, my husband and I came across Maymont Park in Richmond.  We were first attracted to the park because of the gardens and the fact that it is an arboretum as well as the mansion tour but the $5 donation is what convinced us to go.  While we do not have a problem paying to visit a site such as this, it can get expensive if you try to go somewhere every week, especially if you must also travel an hour or more each way.  We packed a cooler and hit the road to Richmond during the week to avoid the crowds.

The grounds are extensive and I suggest grabbing a map as you enter.  We followed the trails down hill to the Japanese garden and began taking in the sites.  The Dooleys were serious gardeners and this first photo is a reflecting pond outside a grotto that is carved into the hillside.

IMG_6380Pardon me, I have a thing for reflections and I take photos of them all the time…

IMG_6382As we walked the trail, there was so much to see.  The pond, the plants, the trees and the structures.  The Dooleys spared nothing and built a beautiful landscape.

IMG_6384We ventured out onto this raised walkway over the pond and quickly saw that the pond is full of fish.

IMG_6385Beautiful Koi to be exact and many of them were well over a foot long.

IMG_6389Dragonflies are abundant here as well, and they came in many colors.

IMG_6390Water lilies; how I wish I had a pond or a water feature in my garden that I could fill with water lilies!

IMG_6393Turtles were also abundant.  This is an Eastern Painted Turtle.

IMG_6394So many of the decorations and structures were added by the Dooleys and have managed to stay in tact nearly 90 years after they passed away.

IMG_6395If you take the mansion tour, you will see a photo of this bridge and sculpture in the house.  Do yourself a favor, go to the Japanese garden and walk over the bridge, it is beautiful.

IMG_6443The park itself is huge and I suggest you spend the entire day exploring it.  We took a quick walk through the wildlife area and I spied this little waterfall in an enclosure with Bald Eagles.

IMG_6448At the top of the hill above the Japanese Garden is the Italian Garden.  It is much smaller and easier to get to-no steep hills to climb.

IMG_6452And an Italian Garden is not complete without a pergola and this one is a welcomed relief from the heat of the sun!IMG_6453This garden was so colorful and I wanted to walk through it more but the heat…

IMG_6455Another feature, the Italian Gazebo.  There is so much to see and it must all be done by walking.  Be prepared for that, bring water and wear the right shoes.  We will go back, we want to see the seasons and visit some of the specialty gardens that we did not linger in for long.

We did take the mansion tour, you can read all about that here.  Get out and explore, you will be surprised by what is right in your own backyard.

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