Virginia Garden Week will take place Statewide, April 22-29. More than 250 of Virginia's most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks will be open during "America's Largest Open House." Visitors will have a unique opportunity to see unforgettable gardens at the peak of Virginia's springtime color, plus beautiful houses adorned with over 2,000 flower arrangements created by Garden Club of Virginia members. Tour proceeds will fund the restoration and preservation of Virginia's historic gardens and will provide graduate level research fellowships for building comprehensive and ongoing records of historic gardens and landscapes in the Commonwealth - and support the mission of the Garden Club of Virginia.
Image below: Norfolk, backyard beds. Photo courtesy of Connie Kellam & Garden Club of Virginia
The Annual Georgetown House Tour, which is believed to be the oldest of its kind in the nation, will take place on April 29. The upcoming tour will present ten homes and gardens which are within easy walking distance and can be visited at your own pace and in your preferred order. The tour price includes a House Tour Magazine full of useful information that serves also as your admission to each home, and includes a map of the houses along with historic information and background on each house. Also included in your ticket price is a not-to-be-missed Parish Tea in Blake Hall at historic St. John’s Church. The House Tour provides vital funding for ministries that support the needy in the community.
The Annual Flower Mart will take place at Washington National Cathedral on Friday & Saturday, May 5 & 6. There will be “an irresistible array of festival foods, children’s rides, artisanal & boutique gifts and, of course, herbs & flowers, will once again fill the nave and grounds of the Cathedral. The festival of flowers and fun will celebrate All Hallows’ Guild’s centennial of service to the 59 acres of gardens and grounds around Washington.”
The Washington Revels & many others will participate in the beloved event. Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser will be the Honorary Chair and will open the Flower Mart at 10 a.m. on May 5.
Image above: A view of a previous Flower Mart, with the Carousel in the foreground
The Washington National Cathedral community and the Botanical Art Society of the National Capital Region are exhibiting The Spirit in Bloomin the Garrett Lounge Exhibition Space on the Cathedral’s 7th Floor thru thru May 17. The exhibition is sponsored by All Hallows Guild in celebration of its Centennial Year.
Image below: "Fred and Ginger," by Donald Beekman Myer - Oil on canvas (c) 2013
The Annual Georgetown Garden Tour will take place on Saturday, May 13 and will feature some of Georgetown's most intriguing gardens. Previous tours have featured a wide variety of gardens - from spacious sweeping lawns and majestic trees to intimate outside rooms. Christ Church, at 31st and O Streets NW, will be the headquarters for the Tour. The tour is presented annually by the Georgetown Garden Club, which is an affiliate of the Garden Clubs of America. The ticket price includes afternoon refreshments served at Keith Hall, Christ Church, from 2 until 4 p.m. Visit www.georgetowngardenclubdc.org
Image below:A Garden which will be featured on the Tour.
The Hirshhorn Museum
The Smithsonian Gardens and U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) are displaying their annualOrchid Exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum, now thru May 14. The exhibition showcases over100 orchids selected from the collections of both Smithsonian Gardens and the USBG. The stunning blooms are presented as "colorful time-based installations, constantly changing throughout the exhibition’s four-month run. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the exotic assemblage as a whole as well as each orchid as it stands in that moment, and return again and again to enjoy the display as it evolves.”
Image below: Orchids displayed in the 2014 exhibition.
The U.S. Botanic Garden is exhibiting You Can Grow It!in the Conservatory Terrace and East Gallery, thru October 15. The exhibit “helps experienced and novice gardeners alike to have more fruitful indoor and outdoor gardening experiences. Wander the Terrace and the exhibit Gallery to explore the basics of growing plants and investigate solutions for many common plant problems. Along the way, discover foolproof plants, learn about the right plant for the right place and person, and even pick up a few specialty horticulture techniques for plants requiring a little extra care.” The exhibit is designed for all skill levels of gardening.
Brookside Gardens will display their annual Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly & Caterpillar Exhibit, April 26-September 17. The seasonal display will feature hundreds of live butterflies from North America, Costa Rica, Africa and Asia as they soar among colorful flowers. Visitors can “learn about their amazing metamorphoses, the important role butterflies play in having healthy ecosystems, and how to ensure these beautiful insects thrive in our own gardens.”
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens is offering Spring Garden Tours, thru June 25. The seasonal tours of the estate’s thirteen acres of formal gardens take place Tuesdays through Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the visitor center upon opening each day. Each tour is about an hour long.
Image below: The Parterre Garden at Hillwood
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens is exhibiting Friends and Fashion: An American Diplomat in 1820s Russia, thru June 11. The exhibition focuses on 45 portraits from an album assembled by the family of politician and statesman Henry Middleton and acquired by Hillwood in 2004. Middleton, his wife, and the six youngest of their ten children left Charleston, South Carolina in 1820 on a nearly two-month-long journey to Russia, where Henry would become Minister to Russia. The watercolor and gouacheportraits on view in this exhibition were originally assembled in an album that documents the family’s time in St. Petersburg and the people they met through their diplomatic and social engagements. Objects, images, and publications were selected to complement the portraits and offer “an exploration into a number of themes, including the historical events surrounding his time there, the family’s social life in Russia, the artistic traditions of the period, and the elaborate fashions and hairstyles of the day.”
Image below: A watercolor from Friends and Fashion: An American Diplomat in 1820s Russia
The Annual Landon School Azalea Garden Festival in Bethesda will take place May 5-7. Landon’s 75-acre campus will welcome thousands of visitors for a weekend of family fun and fundraising. At the festival, visitors can shop for gifts, buy plants and flowers, eat delicious food, listen to live music, and enjoy carnival rides and games. Visitors can also take in the budding beauty of Landon’s Perkins Memorial Garden and get exercise for a great cause by participating in the Mark’s Run 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run. All proceeds from the weekend’s events go toward student financial aid and faculty enrichment.
The American History Museum will exhibit Cultivating America’s Gardens beginning May 4. The theme of the exhibition will be “how garden-making has evolved over time, shaped by history, social attitudes, the environment, and new ideas. Illustrating this history with books and other materials from their vast holdings, the Smithsonian Libraries and Smithsonian Gardens will take visitors on a special kind of garden tour.”
An aerial view of the Haupt Garden near the Smithsonian Castle - Photo by Eric Long of the Smithsonian
Dumbarton Oaks Museum & Gardens
Dumbarton Oaks Museum & Gardens will join the celebration of a European Month of Culturewith a concert featuring violinist Keir GoGwilt and composer and conductor Matthew Aucoin on May 21. The duo will perform works by Bach and Mozart, as well as the premiere of Aucoin’s piece titled Its Own Accord. The event will also include an open house and a reception in the house and gardens. The rare book reading room will also be open, and several special exhibitions will be on view. Visitors can explore the many connections between the historic “home of the humanities” and the vibrant cultural heritage of Europe.
The Gardens at Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown will be temporarily closed to the public from July 10 to March 15, 2018. During that time, the estate will make large-scale improvements to the gardens’ water-supply network as well as enhancement of storm-water management throughout the property.
Friends of the National Arboretum will present their annual Garden Fair & Plant Sale, April 28 & 29. The event is enjoyed by gardeners with skills ranging from novice to expert, and it’s a great time to see the Arboretum’s collection in full bloom.
Mount Vernon opened a new exhibition titled Lives Bound Together: Slavery at George Washington’s Mount Vernonon October 1. The exhibition “shares the personal stories of the enslaved people who lived and worked at Mount Vernon and explores the first president’s evolving views on slavery.”
Image below: The Mount Vernon greenhouse, reconstructed between 1950 and 1953 based on Washington's original structure. The wings of the brick structure contained slave quarters. Photo by John Henley – Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.
Mount Vernon opened The Chintz Room, formerly known as the Nelly Custis Bedchamber, after two years of research and restoration work, on May 7. Mount Vernon senior vice president Carol B. Cadou has commented that “The careful research carried out by Historic Preservation and Collections staff is breathing new life into this space. This room will give visitors a real taste of the vibrancy of the late 18th century.” An original crib, given to Nelly Custis Lewis by Martha Washington in 1799, will be returned to the room.
Photo below: The Chintz Room – Photo by Rob Shenk – courtesy of The Mount Vernon Ladies Association.
Dumbarton House museum in Georgetown has been closed temporarily for replacement of the heating, ventilation and cooling system, but will reopen to the public on May 23. A new exhibit series, titled The Exchange, will be the first featuring a rare copy of the Articles of Confederation from the museums's collection. There will be a Dumbarton House Community Re-opening event on June 3.