New rules could put community gardens on Tysons rooftops, but if you have a green thumb and can’t wait that long, there are two community gardens in the area where you can start planting.
One is in the back corner of Lewinsville Park (1659 Chain Bridge Road) in McLean and the other is at Nottoway Park (9537 Courthouse Road) in Vienna.
To rent a garden plot in Fairfax, you must be a resident of the county with a valid mailing address and email address. Residents can sign up for a waitlist for multiple parks, but only one plot is permitted per household.
The annual rental cost of most garden plots is $130, which includes access to a shared water supply.
Dick Black has been gardening at Lewinsville Park for around eight years after retiring.
“It’s a lot of work, but I consider it a workout,” said Black. “I’ll come out [and garden] instead of going for a run.”
Black grows tomatoes, arugula and other vegetables to give to neighbors or for his wife to take to work.
For those planning to get started, Black reiterated that growing a garden is a commitment. Locals should make sure it’s something they’re willing to put the sweat and time into. But if they decide that they are, Black said growing a garden is an extremely fulfilling experience.
“I still get joy after seven or eight years,” Black said. “[It’s about] going in with the right attitude.”
There is currently a waitlist for garden plots, though new regulations could soon open up more spaces throughout the county. The regulations adopted by the Board of Supervisors on June 25 allow community gardens in a wider variety of residential, commercial and industrial properties than previously allowed.
According to the Fairfax County website:
Previously, the county’s zoning rules limited community gardens to planned residential communities like Burke or Reston. These gardens now are allowed without restriction in open spaces as long as they are under two acres, and they aren’t the principal use on a property… Now, fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and plants can be grown from the rooftops of office high-rises in Tysons to opens spaces at houses of worship to the common areas of suburban homeowners associations.