The Smithsonian Castle as seen from the Enid A. Haupt Garden
The Smithsonian will present the annual Garden Fest 2016: Celebrating the American Garden Experiencein the Enid A. Haupt Garden, which is behind the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall on May 6. The event highlights each of the Smithsonian’s gardens and connects people to plants through hands-on activities and educational demonstrations. The Garden Fest will take place in conjunction with National Public Gardens Day. The Bay Jazz Project will provide musical entertainment throughout the day.
The Annual All Hallows Guild Flower Mart at Washington National Cathedral will take place on Friday & Saturday, May 6 & 7. On May 7, the Washington Revels will present a one-hour show celebrating Spring with traditional songs and dances, the crowning of a May Queen, Maypole dancing, a festive procession with colorful banners, children’s singing games, and more. 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 Washington National Cathedral. Drawing locals and tourists alike since 1939, the festival of flowers and fun features musical performances and elaborate floral displays from many countries. The Flower Mart is the work of hundreds of All Hallows Guild volunteers whose efforts support the maintenance of the majestic 59-acres surrounding the Cathedral."
Click on the link below to see the Agenda News video featuring the Flower Mart in 2013.
Hillwood Spring Garden Tours
The French Parterre Garden at Hillwood
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens is offering Spring Garden Tours, thru June 26. 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 one hour long.
The U.S. Botanic Garden is exhibiting Flora of the National Parks, thru October 2 in the Conservatory West Gallery. The art exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and showcases some of the plant species and communities found throughout the more than 400 national parks. The parks contain a diverse representation of the North American flora. Illustrations and photographs “take you on a tour of the beauty and importance of the American flora.”
The U.S. Botanic Garden will exhibit Flourish Inside and Out, May 21-October 2 in the Conservatory East Gallery and Terrace. The focus will be on “how nature can improve human health and wellbeing. Demonstrated through accessible gardens, adaptive tools, engaging programs, and vignettes showcasing the intersection of humans and nature, a visit to the Garden will highlight how people flourish through interactions with plants.” The exhibit is a collaboration with the Chicago Botanic Garden's Buehler Enabling Garden and is designed to motivate visitors to find their place through nature!”
The Annual Landon School Azalea Garden Festival in Bethesda will take place, Friday to Sunday, April 29-May 1. Visitors can tour the two-and-a-half acre Perkins Garden; shop at the Designer Den, where several interior designers and decorators will sell furniture and home accessories; and shop at the Plant Sale and Specialty Boutiques. Entertainment will be provided by Landon student groups and individual performers. FunLand will offer children’s activities, and there will be an All School Student Art Show, plus a 5K race and a one-mile fun run.
Brookside Gardens is displaying their annual Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly & Caterpillar Exhibit, thru September 25. The seasonal display features 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.”
The National Building Museum is exhibiting The New American Garden: The Landscape Architecture of Oehme and van Sweden thru 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.
Rockefeller Park. Photograph - Mick Hales, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation
The Annual Georgetown Garden Tour
The Annual Georgetown Garden Tour, consisting of eight beautiful private gardens, will take place on Saturday, May 7. Each garden “provides a look at the treasured private spaces behind some of Georgetown’s most historic houses.” A tea for ticket holders will take place at Keith Hall – Christ Church. The Tour is sponsored by the Georgetown Garden Club to benefit local organizations, with emphasis on the preservation of gardens, parks and green spaces. Tickets are $40 each ($35 before May 1).
Tudor Place in Georgetown will mark National Public Gardens Dayby offering a day to wander and learn in the historic 5½-acre gardenon May 6 at no charge. Visitors can join free guided tours at select times, and there will be a special Garden Sale featuring gifts, seeds, and live plants cultivated from heirloom specimens on the estate. The American Public Gardens Association celebrates public gardens’ important role in promoting green spaces, conservation, education, and environmental stewardship.
Dumbarton Oaks Estate, Museum and Grounds in Georgetown will offer a docent-tour on Saturday, May 14. The 90-minute tour will highlight the house, gardens, and the Byzantine Collection. “Tour members are invited to stay beyond the guided tour time to explore the house and gardens at their leisure.”
The Garden Club of Virginia'sHistoric Garden Week 2016, featuring House & Garden Tours offered Statewide, continues thru April 30. 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.”
Image below: The Anne Spencer garden in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo courtesy of Roger Foley.
The 2016 DC Design House will be a five-story home on Foxhall Road, NW, in DC's Wesley Heights/Berkley neighborhood, and will be open from October 1-30. The 11,242 square-foot house was built in 2010 and is listed for sale for $10.8 million by Washington Fine Properties. The property includes 7 bedrooms, 8 full and 2 half baths, 5 fireplaces, and an infinity pool. More information will be available later.
Image below: The logo for the DC Design House
The National Arboretum Fair & Plant Sale
Friends of the National Arboretum will present their annual Garden Fair & Plant Sale, April 29 & 30. 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. Businesses donate plants for sale, and others may also donate plants. The Fair is held in the M Street Parking Lot.
Mount Vernon will reopen 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.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon is exhibiting nine unique paintings by John Gadsby Chapman (1808-1889) depicting romantic landscapes and historic sites from the first president’s life, in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center, thru May 30. The Virginia-born artist depicted the site of Washington’s birth at the Pope’s Creek Plantation in Westmoreland County, the site of the Battle of Yorktown, and scenes of Mount Vernon including the bedchamber in which Washington died and the new tomb in which he was interred in 1831.
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.