I was disappointed that no one seemed familiar with Dumbarton Oaks. The concierge at our hotel gave us a blank stare when we asked about it and the cab driver told us he'd never heard of it. I suppose a garden is not the first thing that comes to most people's minds on a visit to Washington D.C. Oh well, I've always marched to a different drummer!
My friend Rebecca and I toured the garden on a blazing hot Tuesday afternoon (it is open from 2-6pm only) and we practically had the garden to ourselves until a group of design students showed up toward the end. Despite the heat, I thought I had found heaven. I took over 200 photos - here is a small sample.
|Rebecca enjoying one of the views|
|A section of the front lawn|
|The front of the house|
|The back of the house is also restrained with plantings. The elaborate gardens (below) are to the left of the house on a sloping hillside.|
|Detail of the grass steps on the back lawn.|
|The Rose Garden lies just below the Urn Terrace and above the Fountain Terrace. The roses here are hybrid teas and there were not too many blooming. The tomb of Robert and Mildred Bliss can be seen at the center of the wall.|
|The walls of the Rose Garden (the Urn Terrace sits right above this area).|
|This was my favorite area of the garden. It is the Fountain Terrace which features two matching lead fountains. The plantings in this area change with the seasons.|
|Inside the arbor with the wading pool in the foreground.|
|This is the famous Ellipse, comprised of a double row of American Hornbeams that have been clipped into an aerial hedge 16 feet high and 15 feet wide. An antique Provencal fountain sits in the center of the circle. Very elegant, very restrained.|
|The Lovers Lane Pool is a miniature Roman-style amphiteater made of brick rows that overlook a shallow pool.|
|In the sweltering heat, the pool looked so inviting. It was actually closed off so that you could not walk around it.|
|In early August, most of the color in the garden was in the Cutting Garden and the Herbaceous Border. They were a riot of color.|
|A monument commentating the work of Beatrix Farrand, the woman |
who created this beautiful garden.