Happy April !
April Showers are upon us and we survived April Fool’s Day. I live in the prettiest City on the East Coast, although as a native Washingtonian, I might be a bit jaded. Washington, DC in bloom is like a fairy tale in motion. It is officially time to start doing what I do, embracing nature and all the beautiful things that surround me daily. I am so looking forward to the 2016 garden season for many reasons. Allow me to share a few. I started out this year committing to explore more locally, as well as in nearby places that might be considered a day trip. The Washington, DC area has so much to offer in the form of horticultural bliss, just getting to work on time is often a struggle (first I have to escape my front yard, which always has something growing) !
This morning as I drove past the United States Capitol, there were trees that appeared to have pearls on them. These were the dogwood trees, swollen buds along the branches, there was even a pink one just beginning to bloom.
All along Pennsylvania Avenue from Maryland into Washington, DC, there were signs that the Spring Party has officially begun! Honestly, after the late winter we had…..I AM SO READY!!!
In my effort to support and explore all things beautiful locally, I am so grateful for a wonderful site that will definitely keep me in the know. dcgardens.com. From a calendar of events to photos to simply drool over, dcgardens.com is a best-kept secret – I say we share it often and repeatedly. I strongly see the value of this informative site. Even if you are not visiting DC…it makes for great dreaming and seeing what is beautiful in DC., especially as we spring into our loveliness. I want to share a little bit about another treasure that I aim to explore other than the United States Botanic Gardens (my all time favorite place next to Giverny). Although I had to stop by there to see if the Icicle Camellias were in bloom….and well……Simply beautiful!!!
This local treasure is Hillwood. A brief bit of history about the family behind Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens. If you are a movie buff, a local Washingtonian or admire women who found their voice when it was not the popular thing to do….then you should know the name Dina Merrill, heiress, philanthropist, Fashion Hall of Fame recipient and actress. A truly strong and outspoken beautiful woman, I am certain that she got her spirit from her Mother – the Late Marjorie Merriweather Post. Hillwood is the former home of the Late Marjorie Merriweather Post. It was her home until her passing in 1973. Marjorie Merriweather Post was an astute business woman, Washington socialite, art collector, philanthropist – giving financial support towards causes such as The American Red Cross, Washington Ballet Guild and many others. Her gift to the Washington, DC community that she loved so, is Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens. The spirit of her sincere and gracious personality can be felt throughout the property and especially in the gardens.
Yesterday was the first day of the official Spring Garden Tours. My first memory of Hillwood was a trip I took years ago with The City of Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation Department. I remembered it because of the rose garden, The Friendship walk and the emphasis that was put on Dutch Elm disease. There were fans dotted across the lawn to help with the air circulation due to the humid DC summers. Impressive to say the least…..then there was the view from the back of the house….oh what a view! That view will forever be etched in my mind along with the Faberge Egg collection and Russian history that can be found throughout the exhibits within the Estate House. I urge you to pay attention to the breakfast nook…I could hide in there…simply exquisite!!!
On April 12, there is a discussion on Faberge in St. Petersberg at Hillwood. Quite a few activities are shared that include a Spring Floral Design Workshop, limited small group tours of the Spring plantings found throughout the grounds via the Gardeners Focus Series and another Spring Garden tour that also shares information about the history as well as the design of the 13 acres of gardens. Can you believe that they have planted over 25,000 blooming bulbs…now that is a garden. There are garden rooms, gardens surrounding the terraces as well as outdoor rooms that offer inspiration to gardeners of all levels. Hillwood is the perfect place to wander on a Spring afternoon, exploring the nooks and crannies and perhaps also enjoy a spot of tea. In addition to everything else I have mentioned, there are concerts, Girl Scout adventures and THIS is just in the month of April!!! There is also a Museum Shop….and it is truly a worthwhile place to pause…TRUST ME!!!
I plan on stopping by Hillwood this month to see the beauty unfold, as the season progresses. I want to say Thank You Marjorie Merriweather Post and your Estate for your vision and forward thinking of future generations that needed to see the beauty that surrounded you and perhaps, be inspired.
Click here for more information about dcgardens
Click here for more information about the United States Botanic Gardens
Click here to find out more about Hillwood
Always enjoying the beauty that surrounds me,
Loropetalum…..so pretty in pink!by