All around Leesburg there used to be many more farmlands and small plots where people grew vegetables and raised farm animals. Nowadays, regardless of what direction you go leaving the historic downtown, there are fewer. Many are still there and there, and are also some homesteads that have begun planting kitchen gardens and enhancing gardens with fruit trees and many native species of fruits. Even the Town of Leesburg’s Tree Commission gave away this year Chickasaw Plum trees, a sweet-tart tasting plum that comes from a tree first cultivated by Native American tribes. Chickasaw plums were used for food by Chickasaws, Cherokee, and other Native people long before the arrival of Europeans. William Bartram, a respected naturalist of the late 1700s, cataloged plants, animals and customs of the people he encountered, and this plum species was one of them. Last year, at the Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival the Tree Commission gave away free Persimmon trees, a feast of color for the eyes and for wildlife. The Town of Leesburg is certainly tree-minded and is more and more referred to as a Treesburg (you may have already seen my “Treesburg” painting in progress – almost finished!). This small historic downtown has been for the past 33 years awarded the Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.
This county in northern Virginia is so green, lush, hilly and gorgeous, that if I were plum, cherry or peach tree I’d love to be rooted here. If I were a delicious asparagus, artichoke, or green leafed veggie, I would love to be nourished in these gorgeous watersheds. This painting celebrates Loudoun County and its farmlands and trees, and focuses on the Town of Leesburg and the beautiful farms that call the county home.