Spotlight on the Garden: Margaret Thomas' Garden
Margaret Thomas and her husband George moved onto their Herndon, VA, property in 1963. Margaret started this iris garden with flowers donated by her neighbors.
Widowed in 1974, she supported herself and her son by selling irises and vegetables. Since then, for over 30 years, she has opened her gardens to photographers, painters, school groups, community adult education classes and many others. The garden has become a landmark for the area and provides community identity: it also is the last open space left on the busy Reston-Fairfax corridor. Margaret Thomas (now 84) is not in a financial position to donate her land to Fairfax County. However, if the land could be saved via a conservation easement, the garden could be run using the revenue from the sale of the plants and grant funding, along with the potential use of the property as a "Sustainable Technology Center". An established corps of volunteers would carry out many of the seasonal gardening tasks.