…to build a comprehensive record of Virginia’s important historic gardens and landscapes

2023-2024 Garden Club of Virginia Restoration Fellow: Margaret “Greta” Mattheis, UVA’s Blandy Experimental Farm, The State Arboretum of Virginia

Pictured are Restoration Committee Chairman and former GCV President Jean Gilpin, Restoration Fellow Greta Mattheis, and Professor Emerita Nancy Takahashi.

Margaret “Greta” Mattheis, a second-year graduate student in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia, will be seeking better linkages and connections across UVA’s Blandy Experimental Farm, The State Arboretum of Virginia, to improve visitors walking and learning experience on the trails, and exploring potential trail network expansion that highlights and preserves historic cultural features.

The plant collections at Blandy were started by the first director, Orland E. White, beginning in 1927. Now, almost a hundred years later, there is a native plant trail and notable groves of oaks, ginkgoes, and conifers among other examples of the plant kingdom. How best to discover exciting uses for these places where visitors can gather is part of Greta’s and the Blandy team’s mission.

The State Arboretum has 200,000 visitors annually and close to 4,600 students were served by Blandy educational programs in 2022. Greta will make a presentation of her findings at the GCV Annual Meeting in May 2024, and her report will be filed in the archives of Fellow’s reports for future reference.