Spring Garden Tours in the DC Area

by McEnearney on April 18, 2017

Art bench and flowers in the morning in an English park

April showers really do bring May’s flowers! Finally, spring has made its long-awaited appearance around the Metropolitan region and it is time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather and the seasonal blooms. Gardens from around the regions have begun opening their gates to the public. Experience Virginia’s Historic Garden Week from April 22 – April 29, take a walk through the White House gardens for a weekend, or head to the McCrillis House and Gardens for a real-world secret garden experience! Whether you’d like to spend a Sunday afternoon having tea in a fragrant garden or spend a day hiking through an ancient tree grove, we have picked a few of our favorites for you this spring.


Washington, DC & Maryland:

1. United States Botanic Garden

Open Daily | Admissions Free | Washington, DC

Spring is the perfect season to visit DC’s living plant museum. From roses to orchids, the rainforest to the Mid-Atlantic, rare and endangered plants to the latest in home gardens, you will find a world of plants and environments in our permanent exhibits and gardens. Any time of year, you’ll see something beautiful in bloom at the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory, the National Garden, and Bartholdi Park.


2. White House Garden Tours

April 22-23, 2017 | Admissions Free | Washington, DC
Saturday 10 AM – 4:30 PM | Sunday 10 AM – 2:30 PM

The White House Garden Tours have been a tradition since 1972 when Pat Nixon first opened the White House gardens to the public. Two weekends each year, visitors are invited to view the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Children’s Garden and South Lawn of the White House. Come see what’s in bloom!


3. Hillwood Estate

April 1 – June 25 | Admission RatesWashington, DC

Posted by Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens on Thursday, April 13, 2017


Seasonal tours of Hillwood’s thirteen acres of formal gardens take place Tuesday through Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the visitor center upon opening each day. Each tour is approximately one hour long. Not looking for a formal tour? Not to worry, take your time strolling at your own pace or listen to an audio tour of the property.


4. Mary Livingston Ripley Garden

Open Daily | Admissions Free | Washington, DC

Did you know that this fragrant garden was destined to become a parking lot in 1978? That was until Mrs. Ripley persuaded the Women’s Committee of the Smithsonian Associates to support a garden! Because of these efforts, you can enjoy this metropolitan oasis daily. Come see raised flower beds of seasonal blooms or spend a moment taking in the beauty of the Ripley Garden fountain.


5. McCrillis House and Gardens

Open Daily | Admissions Free | Bethesda, MD

Mertensia virginica – Virginia bluebells

Posted by Brookside Gardens on Thursday, April 6, 2017


The Gardens feature paths that wind through the remarkable collection of ornamental trees and shrubs, along with bulbs, groundcovers and shade-loving perennials that add year-round color and texture.  A pavilion and benches provide restful vantage points.  McCrillis Gardens is reminiscent of a secret garden, hidden in the heart of Bethesda!


6. Dumbarton Oaks

April 25 to July 9 | Admission Rates | Washington, DC

Take a walk through this fifty-three acre property at the highest point in Georgetown. Celebrate spring by taking a leisurely walk on Cherry Hill where you will experience the trees in bloom, or the Fountain Terrace where you will be surrounded by an English cottage style flower garden. There is so much to explore from lavish vegetable gardens to dreamlike woodland areas.


Northern Virginia:


7. Tuckahoe Home & Garden Tour

May 13 | Admissions Rates | Arlington, VA

Posted by Tuckahoe Home & Garden Tour on Monday, May 2, 2016


Each year, this self-guided tour begins at Tuckahoe Elementary School and continues through the Arlington community, showcasing up to 8 newly-renovated homes and as many as 3 beautiful gardens. Homeowners, design/build professionals, landscape professionals, families, and friends make this event a yearly destination to gather ideas and inspiration for all kinds of home improvement projects. For reference during the tour, the event program contains details on the goals, challenges, and solutions unique to each home or garden project.


8. Oatlands Plantation Historic Garden Week

April 22-29 | Admissions Free | Leesburg, VA

Known for its beautifully manicured and terraced gardens, Oatlands Plantation is a need to see Spring spectacle. Do you know an arbor enthusiast? Oatlands is well known for not only their spring perennials, but also the list of 30 unique tree specimens scattered through the property. What better time to visit than during Virginia’s Historic Gardens Week!


12. River Farm

Open Daily | Admissions Free | Alexandria, VA

Posted by The American Horticultural Society on Monday, April 17, 2017


A short drive along the scenic George Washington Parkway from Alexandria, Virginia, River Farm is acclaimed for its spell-binding vistas stretching down to the Potomac River, along with its creative children’s gardens, beautiful four-acre meadow, and colorful flower displays. Come get lost in the Franklinia Grove or spend the afternoon under one of the black walnut trees in André Bluemel Meadow!


9. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

April 22 | Admissions Free | Vienna, VA
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Looking for some insight into how to create your best home garden? Horticulturist Keely Levy will be joining you on this walking tour to educate about the resident blooms as well as discuss how to prolong the spring beauty in your own garden. At the end of the tour, participants will be given a surprise ephemeral of their own! Please note that reservations are requested, but not required.


10. Mount Vernon Gardens & Groves Tour

April to October | Admission Rates | Mount Vernon, VA

There’s nothing more beautiful than Mount Vernon in spring. Plan your visit today → http://bit.ly/VisitMV

Posted by George Washington’s Mount Vernon on Monday, March 14, 2016


History buffs and gardening enthusiasts alike would love this one-of-a-kind garden tour! This 60-minute guided walk examines Washington’s brilliant design for the grounds at Mount Vernon. Visit the gardens he created, see some of the original trees that are still standing, and learn how he merged areas for work and leisure to create a master plan for his beloved home.


11. Green Spring Gardens

Open Daily | Admissions Free | Alexandria, VA

There’s something here for everyone: a wooded stream valley with ponds, a naturalistic native plant garden, over 20 thematic demonstration gardens, a greenhouse filled with tropicals, and a well-stocked horticultural reference library. Green Spring Gardens is a “must visit” for everyone in the metropolitan area, the ideal year-round gold mine of information and inspiration for the home gardener!

This entry was posted under Local Events, Neighborhood Guides and tagged , .
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