St. Albans School at Washington National Cathedral will have the annual Christmas House Tour on Friday & Saturday, December 4 and 5. Five distinct homes, including the German Ambassador’s residence in the Wesley Heights/Foxhall neighborhood, will be on display and decorated by highly-regarded florists. Bus transportation will be provided from the school to the neighborhood where the beautifully-adorned homes will be opened to the community and filled with the holiday spirit. Back at school, more than 50 vendors will offer a holiday marketplace on both days on the third floor of Marriott Hall (entering off Senior Circle) and the Cafritz Refectory. Before or after touring the houses, participants can enjoy a seated holiday luncheon in the Cafritz Refectory. Tickets are required for the house tour and luncheon - but not for the holiday boutiques.
Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardensis exhibiting From Ingenue to Icon: 70 Years of Fashion, thru December 31. The exhibition is the first to focus on the style of the late Marjorie Post, who founded Hillwood. The heiress and business woman had a lifelong passion for quality, including clothes that were exceptionally beautiful and impeccably designed. The exhibition and the accompanying archival materials and portraits offer insights into the changes in American fashion from the early 1900s to the 1970s. They also offer a new perspective on Marjorie Post's life, her sense of self, and the changing times in which she lived. The exhibition “draws from Hillwood's collection of more than 175 dresses and over 300 accessories, including shoes, hats, gloves, and purses.”
The U.S. Botanic Garden is exhibiting the annual Season's Greenings thru January 3. The Conservatory has one of the largest indoor decorated trees in Washington, and a showcase of poinsettias. The train display in the East Gallery is a favorite for thousands. Trains chug along tracks around and above you through imaginative structures created with plant materials. There is a Pollination Station where you can visit oversized flowers, bees and butterflies in this year’s scenic wonderland. Miniatures of D.C. landmarks will be displayed in the Garden Courts, including the Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument - all made from plants.
Video: Click on the arrow below to see a video of the 2014 Season's Greenings Display which was recorded by the Agenda News.
Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland will exhibit The Garden of Lights November 27-January 3 (except December 24 & 25). More than one million dazzling colorful lights will be shaped into hand-crafted, original art forms of flowers, animals and other natural elements. Visitors can stroll from garden to garden enjoying twinkling tree forms, fountains, sparkling snowflakes overhead and more. Inside the Conservatory, G-Scale model trains will wind through a seasonal landscape in The Conservatory Winter Display and Garden Railway Exhibit. There will be hot cocoa and nightly musical performances in the Visitors Center.
Images below: The Garden of Lights, followed by the Model Trains Display and the Conservatory Display
Historic Alexandria Candlelight Tours will take place December 12-13 featuring Gadsby's Tavern Museum, Carlyle House, Lee-Fendall House, and The Lloyd House. The holiday event blends history, food, and drink through special tastings, seasonal decorations, period music and tours highlighting festive traditions. Special seasonal libations may be purchased along the tour! Free shuttle service between sites is available.
Image below: A view of Carlyle House in the Fall - courtesy of Alexandria Convention & Visitors Assn.
The National Building Museum is exhibiting The New American Garden: The Landscape Architecture of Oehme, van Swedenthru May 1, 2016. Wolfgang Oehme (1930-2011) and James van Sweden (1935-2013) revolutionized modern American landscape architecture by using ornamental grasses and perennials to create living tapestries requiring relatively little maintenance. They founded their company, based in DC, in 1977 and went on to design projects for clients across the U.S. The exhibition includes both photographs of key projects designed by the company over the past several decades, plus related drawings and artifacts from the firm’s practice. Original paintings and sculptures by prominent artists—such as Henry Moore—that strongly influenced Oehme and van Sweden’s design work are displayed.
Image below: Rockefeller Park. Photograph - Mick Hales, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation
Gardens & Groves - George Washington's Landscape at Mount Vernon - is on view thru May 30, 2016 in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum & Education Center. The exhibition is the first to focus specifically on Washington's achievements as a landscape designer. The image below of the East Front of Mount Vernon is attributed to Edward Savage (ca 1787-1792). The oil on canvas offers the earliest known view of Mount Vernon as seen from the east and is a bequest of Helen W. Thompson (1964) - The photo is by Harry Connolly.