Tag Archives: Alexandria

Greenstreet Gardens Sets Up Shop in Belle Haven, Virginia

It’s no mirage–that is a tropical oasis on Richmond Highway. Residents of Belle Haven are noticing a pop of color now that Greenstreet Gardens has moved in.

Ray Greenstreet, owner of Greenstreet Gardens, is leasing the lot at 5905 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, Virginia, as an extension of the Greenstreet Gardens retail operation. Instead of building a new structure, Ray created an open air retail garden center featuring houseplants, perennials, annuals, containers, fertilizer, and gardening tools.

“This location just fell in our lap but it is a great opportunity,” said Ray. Despite the windfall, it took months to get the place into shape for the customers. “This was vacant for a long time, maybe 10 years,” said Ray. “Before we came, it was a VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation) lot for the Wilson Bridge where they dumped gravel. We had to remove 5 dumpster loads of trash.”

Currently, the cash register is in an open shipping container. The products, from plants to fertilizers, are outside on racks or wooden benches. The fire hydrant on the sidewalk provides the water for the plants, most of which are in full sun.  Although Ray is working to have electricity, lighting is not an issue now with the long day length. Just the inventory alone, lush green foliage and eye-popping flowers, beautifies the neighborhood but Ray intends to enhance the location even more. “We intend to add trees to create a park-like setting,” said Ray. “In the fall we will sell chrysanthemums and pumpkins followed by Christmas trees.” After the holidays, the location will close in January and February and re-open in March.

I visited the corner lot last weekend. A large, tall display of tropical plants in containers marks the entrance to the parking lot, which is quite spacious. There was a wide variety of plants on benches and racks of new plants that had just been delivered. The plants were well watered and healthy and the employees were pleasant and helpful. Because this location is just south of the Beltway on Richmond Highway with plenty of traffic, stop lights, and median strips, I thought it would be difficult to access. It turned out to be easy to get in and out with no problems.  This new location truly provides a new source of greenery to residents on the northern end of Richmond Highway.

A native Marylander, Ray and his wife Stacy started Greenstreet Growers, a greenhouse operation in Lothian, Maryland, in 2000. They then ventured into retail and opened Greenstreet Gardens on 14 acres of their 65-acre farm in Lothian. In 2012, they expanded into Virginia and opened a retail store at 1721 West Braddock Road, Alexandria, which is thriving. Later they opened a smaller store in Del Ray, now closed. The Belle Haven location is the third Virginia location and is open every day of the week from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. If you are ever in the area, stop by and say hello to our new neighbors!


Peg’s Picks: April Garden Events in the Washington DC Metro Area

In addition to these April gardening events, the Garden Club of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week will take place from April 18 to 25 across the Commonwealth. For more information, read my article posted March 29.

Saturday April 4, 11:00 and Sunday April 5 1:00 Garden Talk: Your Edible Garden, Behnkes Nursery; free but must register; 11300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD; (301) 937-1100; http://www.behnkes.com

Friday, April 10, noon to 1:00 pm, Helen Yoest speaking on Plants with Benefits, U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory, 245 First Street SW, Washington DC 20024; (202) 225-833. free but must register. http://www.usbg.gov

Friday, April 10, Garden Talk: Edibles & Ornamentals, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. fee and must register. Also Saturday, April 11, 9 am to 1 pm, Grand Opening of the Garden Gate Plant Shop, Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria 22312 (703) 642-5173 http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

Friday through Sunday, April 10-12, Colonial Williamsburg’s 69th Garden Symposium; (757) 565-8937, fee and must register; http://www.history.org/conted april 10-12

Saturday, April 11, 9-noon, Saturday in the Garden: Companion Planting, taught by VCE Prince William Master Gardeners Teaching Garden at Benedictine Monastery, 9535 Linton Hall Road, Bristow, VA 20136, free but must register (703) 792-7747; e-mail master_gardener@pwcgov.org. http://www.mgpw.org

Friday, April 10, 10 to noon open to AHS members and open to the public noon to 6:00 pm, Saturday, April 11, 10 to 6 pm open to the public, American Horticultural Society’s Spring Garden Market, 7931 East Boulevard Drive, Alexandria, VA 22308; (703) 768-5700; http://www.ahs.org, free but $5 parking if not an AHS member

Saturday, April 11, 10 to noon, Tomato Grafting Demonstration, $15 or $12 if FONA (Friends of the National Arboretum) member, Register at FONA site; class at the National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue, NE, Washington DC 20002; e-mail lrietkerk@fona.org or call (202) 544-8733 for more information. http://www.fona.org and http://www.usna.usda.gov

Wednesday, April 15, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, Mighty Microgreens by Wendy Kiang-Spray, Takoma Horticulture Club, 7328 Carroll Avenue, Takoma Park, MD; free and open to the public http://www.takomahort.org

Saturday, April 18, 10 to 6 and Sunday, April19, 10 to 5, 25th Annual Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival in Historic Downtown Leesburg, VA; (703) 777-1368; $3.00 suggested donation http://www.flowerandgarden.org

Saturday, April 18, Montgomery County Master Gardeners’ Grow It Eat It Open House 9:00 to 1:30, Agriculture History Farm Park, 18410 Muncaster Road, Derwood, MD 20855; free, mc.growit@gmail.com and http://www.extension.umd.edu/growit

VCE Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia host a series of classes, free but must register (703) 228-6414 or e-mail mgarlalex@gmail.com; http://www.mgnv.org

  • Saturday, 4/18, Square Foot Gardening, 11-12:30 Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Road, Alexandria
  • Monday, 4/20, 7-8:30 pm, Ornamental Edibles in Landscapes, Fairlington Community Center, 3308 S. Stafford Street, Arlington
  • Sunday, 4/26, 1-3 pm, Bees and Butterflies for Every Garden: How to Attract Pollinators to Your Home Garden, Simpson Park Gardens, E. Monroe Avenue at Simpson Park, Alexandria
  • Monday, 4/27, 7-8:30 pm, Plan, Plant and Use Herbs, Burke Branch Library
  • Monday, 4/27, 7-8:30 pm, Design Considerations for Sustainable Gardens, Fairlington Community Center

Friday, April 24, 10-1 FONA members only and 1-4 pm, open to the public. Saturday, April 25, 9-4 pm, open to the public. Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) Garden Fair and Plant Sale, National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue, NE Washington DC 20002. http://www.fona.org and http://www.usna.usda.gov

Saturday April 25, Northern Alexandria Native Plant sale, 1701 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria, VA 22302; 571-232-0375; http://www.northernalexandrianativeplantsale.org

Saturday, April 25, 9-6; Sunday, April 26, 8-4 Herb and Plant Sale with garden tours on Saturday at 11 am and noon, Franciscan Monastery, 1400 Quincy Street, NE, Washington, DC 20017; free. http://www.fmgg.org.

Wednesdays in the Garden, led by Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) volunteers and VCE Master Gardeners, these gardening sessions are Wednesdays,7:00 to 8:00 pm at the Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington VA; (703) 228-5990, free. http://www.library.arlingtonva.us/events/garden-talks

  • 4/1: Superfoods for Health: Learn to Grow and Cook Them
  • 4/8: Spring into Gardening: Transplanting, Direct Planting, and Readiness
  • 4/15: Edible Landscaping and Fruit in the Garden
  • 4/22: Container Gardens for Edibles
  • 4/29: Water, Irrigation and Rain Barrels

Merrifield Garden Center, free lectures on weekends at Fair Oaks (FO), Gainesville (G), and Merrifield (M). http://www.merrifieldgardencenter.com

  • Saturday, April 4, 10 am FO: Amazing Container Gardens and G: Maintaining a Healthy Lawn
  • Sunday, April 5, 1 pm G: Miniature Gardens
  • Saturday, April 11, 10am G: Spring Blooming Trees & Shrubs
  • Sunday, April 12, 1 pm G: The Big World of Conifers
  • Saturday, April 18, 10 am G: Getting started with Vegetables
  • Sunday, April 19, 1 pm G: Great Annuals for your Garden
  • Saturday, April 25 1:30 pm G: Exciting perennials
  • Sunday, April 26, 1 pm G: Container Gardens with Pizzazz