Part VII:The Italian and Kitchen Gardens at Dumbarton Oaks
If I could go back in time and make a film of all the moments I’ve overheard people ooohhh and aaahhh when they see this garden for the first time while coming down the steps from the Rose Garden - I would love it. I was just here a couple of weeks ago and overheard a woman describing the garden to her equally stunned friends, “It’s like Halloween and Thanksgiving rolled into one!” I couldn’t help but smile because that was a pretty apt description. I will never assume the flowers are mostly gone by September again. I had no idea the Fall garden season is on par with Spring.
The lovely thing about this garden is that it is quiet and you want to stay a while. If there were lawn chairs, they would be full. There is a phenomenal teak bench at the stair’s landing, but no one ever sits there. The bench simply looks too nice to use.
There are two fountains adding to the ambiance and a secondary terrace off this main one. The view I most enjoy includes the gate and flowers. The wrought iron gate is lovely and the view is simply picturesque.
In the Spring the Flowers are also stunning. The Tulips here truly are the show.
But this is just another terrace level that leads you below again. That level I leave to you to see for yourself, along with many other areas I have not covered. I am, however, walking us over for our Dumbarton Oaks finale: the ever lovely Kitchen Garden.
The Kitchen Garden:
The Kitchen or Cutting Garden is what’s called a working garden. Dumbarton Oaks uses it’s flowers up in the main house throughout most of the year. It’s really the most charming if you ask me. The most beautiful flowers of the entire ten acres are here and I often find myself shooting it last or first when I head over.
These Cutting Gardens are actually split into two garden areas separated by a lovely tree topped walkway. The other side of the garden, which is much larger, will have to be a treat for your next visit. This little gem is full of wild and exotic plants. The wild ones almost overwhelm the space in the Summer and Fall and are just delightful for picture taking opportunities.
The Fall brings mums and various other colorful varieties that, when photographed just right, can be a sea of color.
I for one spend a lot of time here and find it a small photographer’s paradise. The flowers change over from Spring till fall and if you get a season pass you can see each wonderful new explosion of color as it grows.
Well, I hate to see us leave this place, but that time has come. Please visit the Dumbarton Oaks website and check out their wonderful concert series in the main house music room and lectures. They even have an amazing Museum right inside the front door that is a full Museum of Art featuring Pre-Columbian Art and a stunning Byzantine collection as well as European Masterpieces. Visit http://www.doaks.org/ for more information and don’t forget to stop by the gift shop!
It’s been a pleasure taking you all around and sharing my photographic garden excursions. I hope you come back tomorrow for our first day of my next garden. This time were heading up to Pennsylvania to the truly majestic Longwood Gardens.
- At Dumbarton Oaks there is always a special place to sit…
- Part II: The Dumbarton Oaks’ Rose Garden
- Part VI: The Ellipse at Dumbarton Oaks
- Part V: Walkways Abound at Dumbarton Oaks
- Part IV : The Herbaceous Garden of Dumbarton Oaks