Since spring has sprung and you may be itching to go out and get your hands dirty in your gardens, be it the size of a pot or the FedEx field, you might be looking for inspiration. Well, we will help you find said inspiration while helping you discover the city’s hidden gems for an outing on a lovely spring day. We generally don’t associate a metropolitan city like D.C. with perfectly manicured gardens or acres and acres of land comprising exotic gardens and woodlands open for the public to explore, but they do exist. And if it rains, as it is known to do in the spring, remember that all these locations have indoor gems to be enjoyed. Here are some of the gardens for you to visit during the warm spring days:
- Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens located near Howard University is, in our humble opinion, D.C.’s jewel box. It sits on 25 acres of land; 13 acres of which are dedicated to the beautifully maintained gardens that complement (dare we say even rival) the mansion and its extensive collections. Once thoroughly overwhelmed by its breathtaking rose gardens, orchid greenhouses and waterfall and the equally breathtaking interior of the mansion, you can rest your feet at their charming cafe. We also suggest you visit their calendar for their many events throughout the year.
- The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America is our runner up for the District’s well hidden treasure with a beautiful interior of the main church and a glorious serene garden with over 1200 plants, herbs, and flowers including many different kinds of roses on 40 acres. They are open Monday through Sunday for select hours, so be sure to visit their website for their times.
- Sitting on 444 acres of land is The National Arboretum, where you can find various trees, herb and flower gardens, bonsai museums, the Capitol’s original columns, and much much more. You can walk or bike on the trails or drive to the various spots or just sit on one of the many benches along the trails to explore the various flora and enjoy the scenery. The National Arboretum is open to the public Friday through Monday and it is right on New York Ave NE.
- The Tudor Place Historic House and Gardens is another gem that offers guided tours through the gardens where you learn the history of the century old trees, plants and flowers including a Japanese tea house on 5.5 acres. They also offer a “Tea and Tour Package” where they treat you to a traditional Victorian tea and delicious accompaniments. When you leave this delicious experience and you still feel like you need more gardens in your day, remember you are a stone throw away from the historic Dumbarton Oaks, home of yet another of D.C.’s exquisite gardens.
Some of us apartment or condo dwellers, however, may not have an outdoor space to garden, or we may not have the desire to go out and ruin our manicures in the dirt. Well, we suggest you bring the already beautifully arranged (by someone else) gardens in a dish indoors. We can help with that too.