Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dumbarton Oaks Gardens


Sunday was such a gorgeous day and we decided to go downtown in the late afternoon and walk around the gardens at Dumbarton Oaks in upper Georgetown. We got there around 4:30 and I've decided that's the perfect time to visit a garden. It wasn't too crowded, the light was perfect, and everything seemed so calm and tranquil.  The gardens are in the middle of a neighborhood, and we saw many people sitting on benches reading the newspaper or a book.  Dumbarton Oaks was originally owned by Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, who bought the property and gardens in 1920, and then collaborated with famed American landscape designer Beatrice Farrand for the next thirty years, refining every garden detail. There are more than 50 garden benches, most designed by Farrand, encouraging visitors to sit and reflect. The garden was donated to Harvard University in 1940,  and the adjoining woodland was donated to the U.S. government.

One of the things I like the most about this garden is the beautiful ornament--exquisite urns, balustrades, gates, garden benches, columns, finials, steps, and stonework.

The Rose Garden was in full bloom and each bed of roses was breathtaking. Placed in a geometric pattern, the rosebushes are enclosed by boxwood hedges. The fragrance was amazing, with over 900 roses.

I loved, loved, loved this climber, against that stone wall.  I think it might be 'Joseph's Coat.'

The hilly landscape is terraced into different garden rooms (Rose Garden,  Beech Terrace, Herbaceous Borders, Kitchen Garden, Cutting Garden, Pebble Garden, Green Garden, Fountain Garden, and more), which are further defined by hedges, allĂ©es, and gates. All that green is so restful.

The herbaceous borders were a blooming landscape of purples, blues, greens, and silvers.


And the peonies--so gorgeous and lush. I just wanted to lie down right there.

Detail of the Pebble Garden

The Orangery

And finally, this spreading Katsura tree (Cercidiphyllym japonicum), planted in the 1800s, was gorgeous. I can't tell you how many pictures I took of just this tree.

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