Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens , is simply one of my favorite off the beaten path places to visit.  I am in love with two words in the mission statement “to delight and engage”. Not just the public, but the employees that greet us and make us feel at home when we visit.  The quality and professionalism that is required, speaks to how Marjorie Merriweather Post would want it to be.  Mrs. Post demanded excellence, gracious hospitality as she embraced the arts, history and of course, her gardens.IMG_2095

Needing a moment to catch up with two avid Master Gardener friends and neighbors, I suggested a Ladies Day Out starting with lunch and then touring the grounds.  It was the perfect opportunity to pause, dine and aimlessly wander the grounds of Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens.

IMG_2154We started at the Café and had a rather healthy lunch ….until the dessert came. Deborah Turner, District Heights Community Garden Lead had a delicious gazpacho – appropriate as it was a tad warm outside) and Sandra Womack, all around good neighbor and assists with the District Heights Community Garden had one of my all time favorites – the curried chicken sandwich.  That was where the healthy idea paused as the dessert menu called our names!!!  I had the Tiramisu, Debbie had the fruit crepe’s and Sandra had the cookie trio…all accompanied by the signature iced tea. IMG_1998

I could not think of a better place to walk off calories….so we embarked on our journey to explore and enjoy the Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture Exhibit….as well as the gardens.  We peeked…IMG_2000

We cooed and ahhed at the wonderfully abundant plantings that caressed the paths and we finally made our way to the Japanese Gardens.IMG_2010


Deborah Turner wandering through the Japanese Gardens at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens


Sandra Womack (foreground) and Deborah Turner enjoying he chance for a photo op in the Japanese Gardens at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

I could barely tear the ladies away from the intimate walkways throughout.  It proved to be the perfect place to pause.

Of course I had to venture into the rose garden where Mrs. Marjorie Merriweather Post ashes are interred in the base of the tasteful pillar.IMG_2129

I like to pause here and dream about what her world entailed as one of the Grand Ladies of Washington.  Ever a gracious hostess, independent thinker and a very giving soul, Marjorie Merriweather Post still shares the beauty that can be found in Washington, DC in her gardens.  Even in her physical absence, she is ever-present in the garden.IMG_2150

While we enjoyed the ambiance and beauty of the summer gardens, I can’t wait to go again and see the autumnal fall color. As the trees gracefully change their party dresses in shades of yellow, red and brown, the Winter structure allows us to dream about the promise of Springtime blooms at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens.IMG_2095

Will I see you there as the season unfolds???

Always Mentally In the Garden,


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