Tucked into a residential section of Georgetown, Dumbarton Oaks Gardens is a secret so well kept that the taxi driver from Alexandria had never heard of it. He still wasn’t quite sure where the entrance was even after we discovered the precise address by calling my dear friend Joyce who googled it on her computer in NYC. (FYI, it’s at 31st and R Streets, NW)
Once inside the very discreet opening in the gate, one enters a magical world that is an uncanny mix of intimate gardens and grand vistas. Planned and executed during a thirty-year collaboration between owner Mildred Bliss and garden designer Beatrix Farrand, the gardens reflect many changes of taste and mood and alter dramatically from one season to the next.
Each garden is complete in itself and at the same time beckons to another garden, hinted at by a paved pathway or some beckoning steps.
Here’s how the Gardens looked on a sunny day in late April: