Visiting the State Arboretum of Virginia
Initiated in the 1930s, the State Arboretum of Virginia consists of 172 acres set on the Blandy Experimental Farm, a research field station for the University of Virginia that’s maintained to increase understanding of the natural environment though research and education. The State Arboretum is the only mature arboretum on limestone soils on the east coast and includes more than 5,000 woody trees and shrubs from around the world. It is also a reference garden for the Southeast Region of the American Conifer Society and includes the American Boxwood Society’s Memorial Garden.
Special features of the State Arboretum of Virginia
- The Boxwood Memorial Garden, with the largest variety of boxwood cultivars in North Americ, approximately 160 different species and varieties – all labeled.
- More than half the world’s pine species.
- A 300-tree Ginkgo grove.
- The Virginia Native Plant Trail includes a half-acre woodland featuring ephemerals, perennials, shrubs and trees that are native to Virginia forests and forest edges.
- 34-acre meadow with trails, featuring Virginia native warm season grasses and wildflowers.
- A wetland area with a half-acre pond and a boardwalk and overlook pavilion for viewing wildlife.
- A 36-tree Cedar of Lebanon allee.
- Herb garden, with perennials and shrubs grown for flavor, fragrance, medicines, dyes, and other uses, with annuals and vegetables incorporated into the garden each summer.
- Pollination Garden, designed to attract and demonstrate bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators.
- Zoo Garden, demonstrating plants with animal names.
- An Iris collection showcasing more than 80 award-winning Iris donated by the American Iris Society.
- Kiosk Annual Display Garden, with a host of vegetables and a great demonstration illustrating the quantity of produce that can be grown in a limited space.
- Virginia Native Garden, planted in 2010 to demonstrate how gardeners can incorporate Virginia native plants into formal gardens and home landscape.
- A dwarf conifer collection, and much, much more!
Tips for Visiting the State Arboretum of Virginia
- Check out the incredibly useful Find Our Trees plant database for an easy-to-use guide to locating different trees at the State Arboretum of Virginia.
- Make a day of it. The State Arboretum offers a variety of workshops, classes, walks and other programs throughout the year, so check program schedules in advance.
- Bring your phones. Some of the trees at the arboretum have a “Dial-a-Tree” feature, enabling visitors to call phone numbers or scan QR codes with smart phones and learn about the cultural history and ecology of specific trees. Cool!
- Consider your method of viewing. The State Arboretum offers a three-mile loop drive, extensive walking trails, and even a four-mile bridle trail.
- If you love Iris, plan a trip for the first week of May, when the extensive Iris collection is in full bloom.
- The State Arboretum is open to the public at no charge, dawn to dusk, 365 days a year.
400 Blandy Farm Lane, Boyce, VA 22620