Their grove of ginkgos is particularly significant not only because it’s one of the largest collections outside the tree’s native habitat of China, but because the grove is a happy result of a science experiment and love of knowledge. In 1929, Dr. Orland E. White, the farm’s first director, began collecting seeds from a single 'mother tree' on the grounds of the University of Virginia. After the seeds germinated, he planted over 600 to determine the sex ratio of said mother tree. 301 trees survived and the ratio was proved to be very nearly 1:1, just as Dr. White had hypothesized. He did not live to see the experiment completed, but the grove lives on today, turning a magnificent gold every fall and dropping its leaves to carpet the floor below. What an amazing memorial, right?
There was a family running around with a photographer and several other couples leisurely enjoying the display. Newly weds in full attire asked to take a photo in front of the Virginia is For Lovers truck I happened to be navigating. Circumstances, happenstances, being in the right place at the right time; I find joy and appreciation in these moments. Sometimes I feel like the Grinch whose heart grows a size every time I recognize how amazing life is. Then I realize my chest should have exploded some time ago, and I'm glad that's not how it works!