The U.S. Botanic Garden, in collaboration with Smithsonian Gardens, is exhibiting Orchid Symphony, at the Botanic Garden Conservatory, thru April 27. The exhibition displays orchids “nestled among whimsical topiaries and musical fountains. Illuminated by an orchid chandelier, the Garden Court sings the praises of beautiful orchids.” The display includes orchids from all over the world in many environments. There are desert orchids, jungle orchids, orchids used in medicine and cooking and more. They are shown against the stunning backdrop of the U.S. Botanic Garden.
A Video featuring the 2014 "Orchid Symphony" at the Botanic Garden can be seen directly below:
The U.S. Botanic Garden is exhibiting American Botanicals: Mid-Atlantic Native Plants thru June 15. The plants "feed the biota around us, respond to the seasons and soils of our region, delight our senses and reinforce a sense of place." The display features "masterful, original botanical illustrations of some of the Mid-Atlantic's distinctive and beautiful plants that demonstrate why it is so crucial to conserve this vital part of our natural heritage." Visit http://www.usbg.gov/
Hillwood's Orchid Collection
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens will offer tours of the celebrated Greenhouse, featuring the Orchid Collection, on select days in March. Marjorie Post had the greenhouses at Hillwood built to house her extensive collection of exotic orchids and cut flowers grown for floral arrangements. Jason Gedeik, head of greenhouse design and operations, will lead short tour of the working greenhouse, highlighting its history and Mrs. Post’s love for orchids.
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens will have the annual Fabergé Egg Family Festival, Saturday, April 12, 2014. Participants can celebrate spring's arrival in Russian style as they enjoy a variety of activities. Marjorie Post’s collection of imperial Russian eggs and other Fabergé creations will be on view, and visitors can “Step into Fabergé's Workshop” to decorate their own Fabergé-inspired eggs. There will also be folk music and storytelling and a visit by historic character “Tsar Nicholas II.” A centuries-old egg-rolling game will round out the event.
The annual Georgetown House Tour will take place on April 26 and will feature eight to ten of Georgetown's most beautiful homes and their impressive gardens. Houses are arranged for easy walking at participants’ own pace and in their preferred order. A tour booklet for each participant will provide useful information, including a map of the houses. Parish Tea in Blake Hall at the historic St. John's Church is also included in the ticket price. The tea always features homemade tea sandwiches and sweets.
Historic Tudor Place in Georgetown will have a Tree Feston Saturday, March 29. The festival will take place in the Garden and will "salute Tudor Place’s towering witness trees and gifts of the natural world here in the city. The event marks the planting of white oak in the North Garden to replace the towering sentinel lost last year.” There will be games, food, storytelling, a crafts fair and more, including an artisanal crafts fair and local food market, guided landscape tours, information and tips from local environmental organizations, and tree-focused crafts, storytelling for children and more.
Image at right: A view of the Tudor Place gardens in 2013
Tudor Place & Dumbarton Oaks will present Georgetown Garden Treasureson Saturday, May 17. The two historic estates are less than two blocks apart in Georgetown. Tours of the gardens will be led by the horticulturalists who oversee and care for them: Gail Griffin, Dumbarton Oaks Director of Gardens & Grounds, and Suzanne Bouchard, Director of Gardens & Grounds at Tudor Place. Visitors can learn “how the storied landscapes evolved aesthetically and functionally since the early 1800s and what challenges surround their preservation today.”Visit http://www.tudorplace.org/event/georgetown-garden-treasures-tour/
Historic Garden Week
The Garden Club of Virginia will present Historic Garden Week 2014, featuring House & Garden Tours offered Statewide, April 26-May 3. Tour proceeds fund the Restoration and Preservation of Virginia's Historic Gardens and Grounds. More than 250 of Virginia's most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks will be open during what is called America's Largest Open House. The statewide event “provides visitors a unique opportunity to see unforgettable gardens at the peak of Virginia's springtime color, as well as beautiful houses sparkling with over 2,000 fabulous flower arrangements created by Garden Club of Virginia members.” Garden Week will begin in Old Town Alexandria on Saturday, April 26. The tour will include five urban homes dating from the late 18th and early 19th centuries on South Lee and Duke Streets. Visitors can wander through grand parlors, old flounder houses, historic narrow alleys and enchanting walled gardens and enjoy refreshments at historic St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
Garden & Groves: George Washington’s Landscape at Mount Vernon is on view thru January 12, 2016 in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center. The museum exhibition is the first to focus specifically on Washington’s achievements as a landscape designer. Rarely-seen original documents, artworks, and books are displayed, along with period garden tools, gorgeous landscape photography, and a scale model of the Mount Vernon estate. Visitors can view the first president’s spyglass, watering can, and garden roller, and read Washington’s notes and instructions for Mount Vernon’s landscape written in his own hand. Mount Vernon curator, Susan Schoelwer has commented that few visitors realize that “the views that we enjoy today were all carefully planned by George Washington himself. Gardens & Groves aims to change that, as visitors have the opportunity to ‘unpack’ the landscape surrounding the Mansion, following in Washington’s footsteps to examine each of the elements in the design.”
Image at right: East Front of Mount Vernon, attributed to Edward Savage, ca. 1787-1792; oil on canvas - In the earliest known view of Mount Vernon from the east, the artist captured the short-lived "paddock of deer," inside the picketed fence in the left foreground. The fence was not visible from the yard, creating the intended illusion that the deer roamed wild. Bequest of Helen W. Thompson, 1964 (H-2445/A) - Photograph by Harry Connolly
The 2014 DC Design House, benefitting the Children’s National Health System, will be a stately home at 4600 Linnean Avenue, NW, in the Forest Hills community of Washington. The decorated house will be open for tours on select days and hours, April 13-May 11. Boutiques will be set up on the lower level, and a percentage of sale proceeds will be donated to Children’s National Health System. The house was built in 1929, and is a six-bedroom, five-full and two-half bath estate with a three-car garage and pool situated on a two-third-acre homesite. The stone house has three levels and some 7,929 square feet of living space, Twenty-four designers will be selected to transform the home into a splendid show house. The home has been in the Marshall B. Coyne family for more than six decades and is now owned by his granddaughter, Suzi Wilczynski. She is president of Dig It! Games, which develops educational games for children. Marshall Coyne founded The Madison Hotel, and collected art, French furniture, historic documents and more. Visit www.dcdesignhouse.com
The National Arboretum Garden & Plant Sale
Friends of the National Arboretum will have their annual Garden Sale and Plant Sale April 25 & 26. Offerings will include rare and hard to find plants as well as tried-and-true favorites. In addition to hand-selected offerings, visitors can get expert advice on-site to guide them through selecting plant. The Washington Revels Gallery Voices will entertain with madrigals and some traditional Revels songs on April 26. They will dance the Maypole several times and invite fairgoers to join in more Maypole dancing. To read more about the Revels, visit http://revelsdc.org/events-calendar.html
Brookside Gardens is exhibiting the annual Conservatory Spring Display, thru April 13. The display features plants that flower in cool temperatures and short day length, while bringing color and fragrance to the dark days of winter. Plants from tropical climates, such as Cymbidium orchids, various Citrus cultivars, winter Jasmine and African Melianthus major add global representation to the display.
Brookside Gardens will have their 7th Annual Seed Exchange, sponsored by Washington Gardener Magazine, on Saturday, January 25.