Hillwood's gardens were designed for cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post and located at one of her former homes. Wooded paths connect the gardens and encircle the sweep of lawn on the mansion's south side. Among Hillwood’s delights: a Japanese garden featuring a waterfall and bridge, a rose garden and greenhouses containing more than 5,000 orchids.
Flowers, trees and shrubs grow lavishly on the 40-acre grounds of the Franciscan Monastery. The garden includes pathways and authentic replicas of Holy Land shrines. Tropical treasures cultivated in the monastery’s greenhouse include hibiscus, lantanas, tiger lilies, giant caladiums and palm and banana trees.
Kenilworth is tucked away in Southeast DC along the east bank of the Anacostia River, the city’s last tidal marsh. The gardens span 14 acres, with 45 ponds that sustain more than 100,000 exotic water lilies, ferns and lotuses, the East Coast’s foremost collection.
Whether blanketed in spring green or autumn gold, this prestigious horticultural institution offers a welcome refuge for outdoors enthusiasts. Ten miles of hard-surface roads wind through the scenic grounds, making it ideal for exploration by foot, bicycle or car.
West Potomac Park includes spectacular views of the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, Constitution Gardens, the Reflecting Pool, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the FDR Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Tidal Basin, framed by the famous cherry trees. East Potomac Park also blooms with cherry blossoms in the spring.
Owned by Martha Custis Peter, granddaughter of George and Martha Washington, the gardens have retained the expanse of green lawns, parterres and woodland originally developed by the Peter family. The sloping South Lawn contains the specimen trees planted in the early 19th century. Formal plantings such as the Flower Knot and English Box make up the North Garden.
Azalea, lilies and orchids bloom within the glass-and-aluminum conservatory, while specialized areas of the facility explore primordial plants, medicinal plants and other topics of interest. The Botanic Garden also features an exotic jungle and a tropical rainforest in which climbing vines race toward the top of the tiered greenhouse. The Botanic Garden hosts a variety of permanent and visiting exhibitions.
Located atop the highest point of the city, the 57-acre grounds of the cathedral include a variety of gardens. The Bishop's Garden is the setting for magnolias, orchids and exquisite flowers. The Little Garden is designed to look like a medieval herb garden surrounded by hedges of old English boxwood. The cathedral is also home to a rather mysterious treasure, the Glastonbury thorn tree. True to legend, it has bloomed only on Christmas Day and during Queen Elizabeth's and Prince Charles' visits.