Tuesday, April 24, 2012

In Camelot, Where We Live: More Than Houses

Camelot is a tall-tree-and-azalea neighborhood. Its main street is King Arthur Road, which crosses the Accotink Creek. Our houses line the Accotink Stream Valley. Water that falls on our roofs, washes across our yards, down our driveways, and down King Arthur Road, sluices into the creek.

King Arthur Road links Little River Turnpike and Gallows Road.

Camelot's place names are Broadway kitsch and Kennedy-era optimism. You can't tell people where you live without saying, "Cam-e-LOT" and looking away to a pearly horizon, your chain-mail gleaming, and your horse stomping.

Bulldozed out of pine woods in 1961, when the Beltway was a muddy gulch, the cherry trees planted along King Arthur Road, pooling up in Druid Way and Ector Court link us to the history, culture, and suave mid-century internationalism of Washington, DC. Every house was allotted a gas lantern - some electric now, some dark protesting war or global warming. Most houses sport chunks of unbudgable, much-coveted native quartz. Children walk to Camelot Elementary School along Saxony Drive. Lancelot Way curves up a hill house backed by old woods to Pine Ridge Park, its baseball and soccer fields and community gardens - once an African American community taken by imminent domain for a segregated school that was never built. On spring evenings, neighbors, their dogs winding around their legs, talk on the corner with baseball games cheering and baseball bat clonging and lights from the soccer field rising up over them.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Annandale's Camelot: Green Community is Strong Community

Camelot is an azalea-and-dogwood woodland neighborhood in Annandale, Virginia. This spring, with a $1000 matching grant from Fairfax County's Neighborhood Enhancement Partnership Program, we're re-vamping our fescue and giant-wall-of-barberry median strip at Little River Turnpike into a water-smart, design-savvy Entrance Garden demonstrating how to cultivate native plants, handsome garden design, and community spirit.