The Annual Kalorama House and Embassy Tour, featuring several of Washington's historic residences and Embassies, will take place on September 14. The Kalorama neighborhood is the long-time home of diplomats, congressmen and “Captains of Industry,” and is a mix of many cultures and architectural gems. The tour will include several of Kalorama's most beautiful homes, including the elegant Embassy of Luxembourg, the Embassy of Latvia (historically known as the Alice Pike Barney Studio House), the Embassy of Slovenia, the Korean Cultural Center, and The President Woodrow Wilson House. Tickets will include a self-guided map detailing the architecture and history of each stop. Proceeds benefit The President Woodrow Wilson House, which is a National Trust Historic Site.
The U.S. Botanic Garden is exhibiting Amber Waves of Grain in the Conservatory West Gallery, thru October 13. The exhibit features the work of Dr. Norman Borlaug and the ongoing research into curing wheat disease. The exhibit extends to the Conservatory Terrace, with planted beds and interpretive panels focusing on wheat. The exhibition enables visitors to “experience the beauty and diversity of this important plant, which has permeated our art, culture and cuisine.”
Image at right: "Wheat Harvesting" - Photo by Conrad Weaver
Brookside Gardens is undergoing a massive makeover in 2014, as they break ground on Phase I and II of their Master Plan and install a new HVAC system. Though the construction will focus on a limited section of the Gardens, the changes will be transformative. As part of the process, they have canceled a number of larger events which would normally take place this year, including the Earth Day Festival, St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt, Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly and Caterpillar Exhibit, Native Plant Sale, Spring and Fall Lecture Series, Summer Twilight Concert Series, many plant shows and sales, Children’s Day and the Pumpkin Panache Family Festival.
During the Makeover, Brookside is exhibiting a Summer Conservatory Display, thru September 21. A jungle garden is sheltered by giant leaves of elephant ears and taro in the summer sun. Color is provided by begonias, petunias, impatiens, Crossandra, lollipop flower, and shrimp plant. Coleus and Caladium add tropical red, pink, yellow and green. Ginger lily flowers will top their leafy stems in late summer, adding fragrance to the garden.
Friends of Brookside Gardens will have the annual Fall Plant Saleon Saturday, September 13 in the Brookside Gardens Hoop House (located on the maintenance hill). Visit
Tudor Place, the historic estate in Georgetown, is offering Guided Garden Tours titled Historic & Growing: The Tudor Place Landscape on select Tuesdays, now through October 28. Visitors can walk across 5.5 acres - and two centuries of landscape design - as they learn about the history and horticulture of centuries-old trees, heirloom plants and flowers and fragrant English boxwood. Guides will identify the many varieties cultivated here over time, and will explain how four owners over six generations of one family “cared for and embellished the landscape, while Georgetown and the Federal city grew around it."
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.
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