Tysons, VA

(Updated 9/9) The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (Sept. 8)

  • 2020 Tuesday Night 5k –6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Caboose Tavern (520 NE Mill Street)– Runners and walkers can take part in this multi-part series held on the W&OD Trai. Registration is $10 and people should arrive 45 minutes early for registration, the page said.

Wednesday (Sept. 9)

Thursday (Sept. 10)

  • Pets for Vets –4 to 8 p.m. at Settle Down Brewing (2822 Fallfax Drive)– This event invites people to take place in a fundraiser for Pets for Vets, which provides service animals that used to be shelter animals to military veterans. People can enjoy drink specials and free bingo, the Facebook event page said. 
  • The Boro Farmers Market –3 to 7 p.m. at the Boro Tysons(8301 Greensboro Drive)– This local market will feature fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats and pastured eggs and baked goods, the event page said.

Sunday (Sept. 13)

  • Adoption Event –12 to 3 p.m. at Chico’s Natural Pet Market (6349 A Columbia Pike)– Anyone looking for their next furry friend can check out this dog adoption event. This event will allow attendees to meet pups up for adoption and learn about foster opportunities, the event listing said.
  • Intro to Traditional Climbing –9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides East (9200 Old Dominion Drive)– For $125 people can try out this all-day experience which will teach them safe practices for outdoor climbing. Top rope climbing and belay experience is required, the page said. 
  • Music In the Gardens –3 to 4 p.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct)– This series will feature live music from the Virginia Chamber Orchestra. Guests are welcome to bring a blanket or fold-up chairs to sit on. The concert is free with admission to the gardens.

Photo via Meadowlark Botanical Gardens/Facebook

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Where to Buy Plants Around Tysons

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

I do not have a green thumb. I do not know what kind of tree is in your yard or when a specific plant will bloom.

My husband jokes that my wedding vows included NOT doing yard work. He’s not wrong. With that said, I know others are far more skilled and much more invested in how their yard looks. There are lots of places around to buy plants and get advice on what to do with them!

This is also a really easy way to increase your curb appeal. Some of these places also have blogs if you’re looking for specific content or weekly tips on how to maintain your garden, yard, shrubs, etc.

Merrifield Garden Center: Multiple locations — Merrifield/Falls Church, Fairfax and Gainesville. Here’s their blog of Tips and Inspiration.

DePaul’s Urban Farm: 2599 Chain Bridge Road, Vienna. Follow their Facebook page for daily updates. They offer an outdoor nursery for shopping, along with some produce and treats inside.

Four Seasons Flower Market: 6808 Elm Street, McLean. Open from April through December, this outdoor market carries annuals, perennials, veggies, pumpkin & Halloween décor, wreaths, garden supplies, soil and more.

Wolf Trap Nursey: 9439 Leesburg Pike, Vienna. Gardening, plants, Bonsai, flowers, garden accessories, and soil, fertilizer, etc.

Krop’s Crops: 11110 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls. A seasonal 20 acre farm locally owned, that offers plants, produce and offers seasonal activities.

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People with green thumbs can now return to their rented garden plots from Fairfax County.

The county’s Park Authority reopened its 671 garden plots yesterday, according to Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust’s newsletter.

The plots are now available from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and all of the rules apply except for active gardening guidelines, according to the county.

“Gardeners must self-sanitize water hydrants after use and no tools may be shared,” according to the county.

More from the county:

Gardeners are expected to comply with all COVID 19 health and social distancing requirements.

We ask that gardeners:

  • Maintain the recommended social distance of six feet from other gardeners.
  • Please wipe the handles of the water hydrant after you use it.
  • Do not share garden tools with others.
  • Wearing gloves and a mask are recommended when interacting with others.
  • Please begin to wrap up gardening activities by 5:45 p.m. so that staff can close the gates and replace parking lot barricades by 6 p.m.

Tysons Reporter previously reported on the Tysons-area garden plots, which are available at Nottoway Park in Vienna and Lewsinville Park in McLean.

Parks and park amenities are still closed in the county.

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Previously labeled as a “hidden gem” for travelers, Tysons also has plenty of opportunities for people who already live in the area too — without even leaving their homes.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are seeking ways to practice self-care.

People who choose to make a mini-vacation out of their self-isolation have special packages from local businesses to choose from.

Food and Drink 

In addition to many local restaurants offering delivery and curbside pick-up options, several are putting together specialty menus for date nights and other special events or working to come up with craft cocktails for delivery as well now that booze delivery is legal in Virginia.

Blackfinn Ameripub in Merrifield is hosting a “Crab Fest” April 18-19 that allows people to pick up fresh seafood for an at-home feast. The restaurant requests that people submit their orders by Thursday (April 16) by emailing the restaurant or filling out an online survey.

“The Whole Boat” order includes a dozen crabs, three sides, four drafts or a bottle of wine for $85 plus a $10 delivery fee. Customers can also add on other sides such as shareable cocktails for $12 or another side of mac and cheese for $6.

The proceeds will not only go towards helping Blackfinn Ameripub stay open, according to the Facebook page, but will also help Chesapeake Bay watermen.

The Fermented Pig in Lorton is offering special meal packages with an option between an Italian dinner box and a Friday BBQ box.

For $70, people can get a complete barbeque meal set that services up to six people and includes multiple sides and the main course, the website said. With the box, people will receive a full rack hickory smoked St. Louis cut spare ribs, a pound of our hand-pulled pork or pulled chicken, a large mac and cheese, a large bacon baked beans, a medium coleslaw and six dinner rolls, along with two sauces.

The Italian box retails for $72 and includes a a pound of herb sausage, a pound of fresh Foggy Mountain Pasta, 32 ounces of fresh marinara sauce, four ciabatta rolls from Great Harvest Bread Co., four ounces of olive tapenade from Dimitri olive oil and one-ounce herb bread dipping mix, the website said.

Beauty and Entertainment 

Mienne Beauty Supply in Vienna (1880 Howard Ave) is a locally-owned shop that is still open and helping people safely get beauty products. Though they are operating with unusual hours, they are offering curbside pickup on many products, the Facebook page said.

The shop, which carries hair dye, nail supplies and similar items, will be open every Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. for people to pick up the products they ordered either online or by messaging staff on the Facebook page.

CosmoProf, which has a location in Falls Church, is offering online digital seminars through Instagram and Facebook Live for people that include tutorials and tips, the website said.

People can order supplies online and have them shipped to their homes, the website said.

Previously, Tysons Reporter also complied a list of local places that will deliver books to the doorsteps of local bibliophiles.

Exploring the Great Outdoors From Home

For people missing outdoor activities, Visit Fairfax coordinated a plan to help people enjoy activities around Fairfax County.

“Virtual reality offers everyone the opportunity to see what they have to offer from the comfort of home,” according to Visit Fairfax’s website.

There are several virtual attractions around the region including Mount Vernon, the Workhouse Arts Center and Gunston Hall.

Performing Arts

While local community centers, Wolf Trap and 1st Stage Theatre are temporarily closed, fans of the performing arts can watch artists perform online.

1st Stage has been posting performances by local artists to its social media accounts. Recently, videos have shown singing by the cast members for “A New Brain,” a show that was supposed to open this spring but then got delayed.

On Saturday (April 18), people can tune in for the “One World: Together At Home” to support healthcare workers and the World Health Organization.

The event is set to have appearances by artists, actors and comedians including Taylor Swift, Ellen Degeneres and Heidi Klum.

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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.

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Wednesday (June 19)

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service at Angelika Film Center7 p.m. at Angelika Film Center (2911 District Avenue) — As part of their Studio Ghibli summer festival, Angelika Film Center will be screening Kiki’s Delivery Service — the anime classic about a young witch striking out on her own — on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Thursday at 11 a.m. Tickets are $14.50.

 Thursday (June 20)

  • The Boro Summer Kick Off — 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at The Boro — Boro Tysons is hosting a summer kick off event with food trucks, music, lawn games and “puppy therapy.”
  • Summer Reading Party 7-8 p.m. at Bards Alley (110 Church Street NW) — The Bards Alley bookstore in Vienna is hosting a summer book party with finger foods and lemonade available. Booksellers will be in attendance sharing their favorite summer reads.
  • Vienna Stories Book Talk — 7:30 p.m. at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street SE) — Marie Kisner, a former public information officer for the Town of Vienna, collected newspaper stories about Vienna into a new book called “Vienna Stories 1950-2000.” Kisner is also planning a book signing at the Freeman Store on Saturday, June 22, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Friday (June 21)

  • Echosmith at Tysons Corner Center 3:30-9:30 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — HOT 99.5 and Tysons Corner Center are hosting a free concert with the band Echosmith. The show is scheduled to start for 6:30 p.m. but attendees are encouraged early to grab a seat.

Saturday (June 22)

  • Daylily Walking Tour 10:15-11:15 a.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court) — The Northern Virginia Daylily Society President Janice Kennedy will lead a walking tour through the gardens showing the daylily collection including a few award-winning varieties. The tour is free and those participating in the tour will have free admission.
  • Georgia Peach Truck — 12 p.m. at Merrifield Garden Center (8132 Lee Highway) — The Georgia Peach Truck is planning to roll into Merrifield at noon on Saturday with beaches brought up from Georgia available to be purchased by the box. One 23-25 pound box is $45.

Sunday (June 23)

  • Providence Democrats Unity and Summer Solstice Celebration — 4-7 p.m. at Nouvelle Apartments (7911 Westpark Drive) — Following a crowded Democratic primary that saw Dalia Palchik voted as the Democratic nominee for the vacant Providence District Board of Supervisors seat, Providence District Democrats are hosting a buffet and silent auction fundraiser with the nominees and the other candidates. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP early.

Photo via Meadowlark Botanical Gardens/Facebook

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(Updated 4 p.m.) Fairfax County wants to make it easier for locals to garden and for farmers markets to operate.

As the county gets denser, residents are finding new ways to get in touch with their green thumb. A series of zoning changes planned for discussion at tomorrow’s (Wednesday) Planning Commission meeting would loosen restrictions around gardening and farmers markets.

The proposals would create a new “community garden” use in the zoning code. These gardens could be located on either the ground floor or rooftop and could be considered common open space by right, meaning no additional zoning requirements would be required for approval.

According to the staff report on the amendment:

By expanding the definition of open space to include community gardens, homeowners or condominium associations will be able to establish community gardens subject to the proposed use standards… Similarly, the proposed amendment permits non-residential developments, such as places of worship, office, and other commercial and industrial developments, schools, et cetera to establish community gardens by right as accessory uses in open space, subject to the proposed use standards.

Analysis of community gardens by Fairfax County showed that most occupy less than two acres of land, but gardens proposed above two acres could still be approved with a special permit from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

The changes also remove a restriction that only allows gardens on side or rear yards of single-family residential lots. Gardens could be allowed in front yards, provided they are no closer than 15 feet to the front of the lot and limited to 10 feet squared in area.

The zoning changes would also loosen up restrictions on farmers markets. Currently, farmers markets are a temporary special permit with what the report calls “significant restrictions.” They are currently only permitted to sell seasonal or perishable produce between April and November and only on lots that front arterial streets.

But the report recognizes that farmers markets have evolved substantially since those regulations were written and have expanded the to food beyond just produce.

The new regulations would permit farmers markets for two-year periods and allow year-round operation. The markets would also be allowed to operate away from major roads, a rule that the staff report said half of the existing markets ignore anyway.

The only restriction on merchandise at farmers markets would be that items for sale must be farm products or products derived from a farm, like salsa using ingredients from a farm.

The changes are planned to go to the Board of Supervisors on June 25, and if approved, could take effect by 12:01 a.m. the day after adoption.

“Staff believes that this amendment provides a balanced approach to providing easier access to fresh, healthy food to residents in all areas of the County,” staff said in the report, “while ensuring that the uses of community gardens, farmers markets, and residential gardening are established to be good neighbors.”

Photo via @claire_brunette/Instagram

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Northern Virginia is home to an astonishing variety of native species of trees and shrubs, and now you have an opportunity to grow your own.

Fairfax County’s annual Native Seedling Sale will be taking place today, Friday April 5, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and tomorrow, Saturday April 6, from 9 a.m.-noon. The event will be held at the Sleepy Hollow Bath and Racquet Club, at 3516 Sleepy Hollow Road in the Falls Church area.

Note that the pre-sale period has ended, so there’s no guarantee that the plant you want will be available — or even that any plants will. However, the county website states that “We often do have extra packages or individual seedlings for sale on the pickup days (April 5 and 6).”

This annual sale helps local residents beautify their gardens with indigenous plant species that “help cleanse water, prevent soil erosion, provide habitat, cool our climate and clean our air.”

This year’s theme is “Incredible Edibles,” so be prepared for plants that delight the tongue as well as the eye.

The plants include seedlings of pawpaw (Asimina triloba), a tree native to a wide swatch of the greater Appalachian region. It bears a delicious fruit which was recently highlighted by National Public Radio’s The Salt as “the hipster banana”.

Other selections include the American wild plum, the American elderberry, the black chokeberry, the American Hazelnut, and the flowering dogwood (Virginia’s state tree).

The packages cost only $12.50 or $17.50, depending on contents, and are easily transportable in a car — though the organizers recommend you bring a small bucket, basket, or doubled-up paper bag.

Map via Google Maps

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UrbanStems may be gone from the BrandBox pop-up, but those looking for a little more greenery around Tysons Corner Center can look forward to a new “indoor garden oasis” coming to the mall this weekend.

Mall owner Macerich Properties partnered with Bloomia, a cut flower farm, to create “Field of Tulips” — an indoor garden in the mall’s Fashion Court.

According to a press release:

Guests can wander the garden featuring a variety of tulips in different shapes and colors, all hydroponically grown in the USA. The flowers can be picked and purchased with 10 percent of proceeds benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the local charity handpicked by Tysons Corner.

The Field of Tulips garden is scheduled to be in place from March 22-24. The garden is free to enter and is open from 10 a.m.- 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. on Sunday, according to the press release.

Photo via Tysons Corner Center

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