Exploring State Symbols: The Meaning Behind Seals and Emblems

Exploring State Symbols: The Meaning Behind Seals and Emblems

When it comes to beauty, Virginia has it all. From the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains to the bustling downtown areas, this state offers a wide range of natural wonders for everyone to enjoy. One of the best ways to partake in the beauty of Virginia is by exploring its state symbols, seals, and emblems.

Shenandoah National Park is a true gem of Virginia. With its breathtaking views and abundance of wildlife, it’s no wonder why this area is a favorite among nature enthusiasts. Visitors can hike along the picturesque trails, fish in the trout-filled creeks, or simply relax and take in the surrounding beauty.

The state flower of Virginia is the lovely Dogwood. With its delicate white petals, it adds a touch of elegance to the state’s botanical gardens—both in Vienna and Norfolk. These gardens boast a wide variety of flora, from the vibrant Aquilegia formosa (known as the flame-colored columbine) to the striking Mertensia virginica (also known as Virginia bluebells).

Williamsburg, known for its historical significance, is also home to stunning gardens. The garden at the Governor’s Palace is a sight to behold, with its nodding trillium, fiery red rhododendrons, and vibrant Cardinal flower. Meanwhile, Norfolk Botanical Gardens offers a peaceful sanctuary with its picturesque waterways and gorgeous displays of rhododendrons, azaleas, and more.

If you’re in the mood for some outdoor adventure, head over to Nokesville Farms. This area is a paradise for nature lovers, featuring over 50 acres of beautiful lavender fields. You can pick your own lavender or simply enjoy a leisurely walk around the farm.

Virginia truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re exploring the wildflowers at Mount Rogers or enjoying the music at the Whitetop Mountain Music Festival, you’ll find that the state is full of natural wonders waiting to be discovered. So grab your hiking boots and get ready to explore the beauty of Virginia’s state symbols, seals, and emblems.

Where to Spot Virginia Wildflowers in Bloom This Spring

Virginia is known for its diverse and beautiful natural landscapes, and one of the best ways to experience the state’s natural beauty is by taking a hike or a leisurely walk through its many wildflower-filled areas. Here are some of the top spots in Virginia where you can see a wide variety of native flowers in bloom this spring:

  • Individual woodland areas throughout the state: Virginia is home to a wide range of native wildflowers that can be found in woodlands and forests. Some popular species include the Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica) and the Nodding Trillium (Trillium cernuum).
  • Maymont Park–Richmond: This beautiful park is home to a variety of gardens–including the Italian and Japanese gardens–that are filled with colorful blooms throughout the spring. The park also features an arboretum and a wildlife center.
  • River Farm–Alexandria: Located along the banks of the Potomac River, this historic property features beautiful gardens filled with a variety of flowering plants. Visitors can stroll through the gardens and enjoy views of the river.
  • Shenandoah National Park–Luray: This national park boasts miles of scenic hiking trails that wind through forests filled with blooming wildflowers. The park is particularly known for its vibrant displays of native azaleas and rhododendrons.
  • Whitetop Mountain–Damascus: Known as the “Virginia Creeper Trail,” this area is famous for its stunning displays of wildflowers, including the rare fire pink (Silene virginica) and the lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata).
  • Potomac Overlook Regional Park–Arlington: Situated along the Potomac River, this park offers views of Washington, D.C. and features a variety of habitats where wildflowers can be found. Visitors can partake in guided nature walks to spot the many blooms.
  • Jamestown Settlement–Williamsburg: This historic site is not only a gateway to the history of Virginia, but also a place to admire the beauty of native wildflowers. The site features gardens filled with blooming roses and daffodils.
  • Historic Jamestowne–Jamestown: Adjacent to Jamestown Settlement, this historic area offers opportunities to observe native wildflowers in their natural habitats along the banks of the James River. Look out for the Virginia blue flag (Iris virginica) and the lanceleaf coreopsis.

These are just a few of the many locations throughout Virginia where you can spot beautiful wildflowers in bloom this spring. So grab your hiking boots, pack a picnic, and head out to one of these natural havens to experience the true beauty of the state!

Historic Garden Week–Locations Throughout Virginia

Historic Garden Week is an annual event in Virginia that showcases the beauty and diversity of the state’s gardens. Each year, a selection of private gardens and historic properties are opened to the public for one week in April. Visitors have the opportunity to explore these stunning locations and immerse themselves in the rich horticultural heritage of Virginia.

One of the most beautiful venues to visit during Historic Garden Week is the Rogers’ Garden in Coreopsis. Spread across 14 acres, this garden is a true gem. With its 13 themed gardens, including the beautiful Foxglove garden and the Monticello–Charlottesville garden, visitors are in for a treat. The garden is home to a wide variety of flowering plants, including the Meadowlark and the Mertensia. Visitors can also learn about the history of the garden and its significance as a botanical treasure.

Another must-see location is the Rhododendron Garden in Beautiful Ridge Park–Portsmouth. With its stunning display of blooming rhododendrons, this garden is a sight to behold. Visitors can learn about how to choose and care for these beautiful flowers, as well as enjoy the vibrant colors they bring to the landscape.

The Lavender Arboretum in Trillium 7 Pipe Park–Centreville is another highlight of Historic Garden Week. This garden has been meticulously maintained for over 8 years and boasts a variety of lavender plants. Visitors can stroll along the lavender trails and learn about the different varieties of this fragrant herb.

If you’re looking for a unique experience, be sure to visit the Butterfly Farm–Boyce. This garden features a tower of fire, where visitors can enjoy the vibrant colors of the butterflies as they flutter around. There are also couple-friendly games and live music on the Butterfly Farm Stage.

For rose enthusiasts, the J. Carillon–Arlington garden is a must-visit. With its collection of over 16 different varieties of roses, this garden is a rose lover’s dream. Visitors can partake in rose-picking activities and learn about the history and care of these beautiful flowers.

These are just a few of the many gardens and historic properties that visitors can explore during Historic Garden Week. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or simply enjoy the beauty of nature, this event provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the horticultural history of Virginia.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden–Richmond

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a popular native attraction located in Richmond, Virginia. This beautiful garden is known for its stunning collection of plants and flowers from around the world.

One of the most notable features of the garden is its diverse collection of native plants, which include the cornus florida (dogwood), Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed Susan), and Parnassia caroliniana (Carolina grass-of-Parnassus). Visitors can also find exotic plants from other countries, such as the blue flag iris from the Netherlands and the green-headed coneflower from the Shenandoah Valley.

The garden is divided into several themed areas, each showcasing different types of plants. Visitors can stroll through the Asian Valley, where they can see bamboo forests, koi ponds, and traditional Japanese teahouses. The Central Garden is known for its beautiful flower beds and vibrant bloom displays, while the Children’s Garden offers interactive exhibits and activities for kids.

If you’re visiting during the spring, you’ll be treated to a stunning display of azaleas, daffodils, and cherry blossoms. In the summer, the garden comes to life with vibrant colors as sunflowers, lilies, and daylilies bloom. Fall brings a burst of fiery hues as the leaves change, while winter showcases the beauty of evergreen trees and holly.

The garden’s iconic landmark is the “Flame,” a 17-foot tall sculpture that resembles a flame made of stainless steel and glass. This sculpture was created by renowned artist Dale Chihuly and has become a symbol of the garden.

In addition to its stunning natural beauty, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden offers a variety of activities and events throughout the year. Visitors can attend classes and workshops on gardening, photography, and art. The garden also hosts concerts, festivals, and special events for the whole family to enjoy.

Overall, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a must-visit destination in Richmond. Whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for a peaceful escape, this garden offers something for everyone to enjoy.


Maymont is a beautiful estate located in Richmond, Virginia. It is home to several state symbols, seals, and emblems, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the history and culture of the United States.

Within the estate, there are many attractions and landmarks that showcase the rich history of the area. The Cornus flower, also known as the Dogwood, is the state flower of Virginia. It can be seen in abundance at Maymont, adding a touch of natural beauty to the surrounding landscape.

One of the highlights of Maymont is the Washington’s Mount, a hilltop offering panoramic views of the city. From here, visitors can see the historic Colonial Parkway, which winds its way through the mountains and bends of the region.

The estate is also home to a variety of native wildflowers, including the Parnassus grass and the state bird, the cardinal. The gardens at Maymont are meticulously maintained and feature a wide variety of plants and flowers, including native azaleas, foxglove, and rhododendron.

Exploring Maymont is like taking a step back in time. The estate is home to several historic buildings and structures, including a beautiful stone bridge and a replica of a colonial-era farmhouse. Visitors can also take a guided tour to learn more about the history and significance of each individual building.

In addition to the attractions within the estate, Maymont is also located near several other points of interest. Downtown Richmond is just a short drive away, offering a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. The Bluebell Farms and the Eastern Appalachian Mountains are also within easy reach, providing opportunities for outdoor recreation and exploration.

Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or simply enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, Maymont is a must-visit destination in Richmond. With its abundance of state symbols, seals, and emblems, it offers a unique and enriching experience for visitors of all ages.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.