Thursday, June 22, 2006; VA07
Hidden in a nondescript neighborhood on the border between Reston and Herndon, Margaret Thomas's gardens are beautiful, unusual -- and endangered.
Though small, they are an impressionist landscape of color and delight. A group of gray, tumbledown farm buildings half-buried in kudzu provides a backdrop for irises, poppies, peonies and lilies -- an explosion of color at 12410 Lawyers Rd.
For almost 30 years, Thomas has sold rare and unusual flower bulbs. A generation of artists has been inspired by the site and its views, a lush refuge from the bustle of Northern Virginia.
Now Thomas is in her mid-eighties and wants to retire, but she has not found a buyer for her property who is willing to preserve the gardens. She and a community group, the Friends of Margaret's Gardens, hope to persuade the Fairfax County Park Authority to buy the land for a county park.
-- LIZ MILNER