Part I: Brookside Gardens: An Overview

 

Sitting quietly, just outside of Washington D.C., is Brookside Gardens, a formidable garden in a park like setting. Its gardens include both formal and informal setting areas and wonderfully wide and extensive trails to boot.  This isn’t one of those gardens that sits silently waiting for the odd visitor; this is one of those constantly buzzing gardens that is filled with locals who use it daily, weekly and monthly.  There is tons to see and do.  It’s become one of my favorite Washington area gardens to wander and shoot for many of the reasons illustrated below.  I hope you get a chance to come here yourself.

Brookside Gardens © Britt Conley

Brookside Gardens © Britt Conley

Inside the Visitor's Center is this wonderful learning frog © Britt Conley

Inside the Visitor's Center is this wonderful learning frog © Britt Conley

Brookside Gardens dispays a myriad of garden spaces over it’s fifty acres. Each presents it’s own distinct ambiance and, yet, is clearly part of the whole. The main gardens consist of the Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden, Trial Garden, Rain Garden and a Woodland Walk. There are also a set of formal gardens which include the Perennial Garden, Yew Garden, Maple Terrace and Fragrance Gardens.  I visited several of these gardens during my last few visits and they are indeed worthy of the awards the garden has received. Over this week I will be focusing on some Brookside Gardens great assets and bringing you the best of why I love this place.  Their mission, Brookside Gardens states, ”is to foster appreciation for the art of gardening and the science of horticulture through plant collections and displays, learning opportunities and special events.”  That is indeed what they do.  Between a large selection of learning opportunities with classes, demonstrations and exhibits Brookside Gardens is able to keep a steady  active following of garden lovers at their door.

A sneak peak at The Chrysanthemum Festival © Britt Conley

A sneak peak at The Chrysanthemum Festival © Britt Conley

There are two physically linked conservatories which provide ample room for their year long and specialty garden displays. One of which, the chrysanthemum festival, is currently on display until November 29th.

Brookside Gardens © Britt Conley

Brookside Gardens © Britt Conley

The Gardens is situated within Weaton Regional Park which makes it both a park and a garden environment. The trails here are used well. On my most recent visit last week, the trails were buzzing with local walkers and joggers who easily passed by the slower strollers due to the wide paths. It was great to see so many locals use Brookside as either a daily or weekly commute.

Painters at Brookside Gardens © Britt Conley

Painters at Brookside Gardens © Britt Conley

The gardens is also a haven for artists and photographers from all over the area. On this last visit I ran into two artists who were painting the landscape at the edge of the Japanese Garden.

Nancy Heindl at Brookside © Britt Conley

Nancy Heindl at Brookside Gardens © Britt Conley

Nancy Heind, a Maryland plain air landscape artist who’s work appears in local galleries and shows around the area, was at her easel working away when I happened up them. Her work can be seen at http://nancyheindlgallery2.com/

Michael F Shibley at Brookside Gardens © Britt Conley

Michael F. Shibley at Brookside Gardens © Britt Conley

Michael F. Shibley is a watercolor artist who can also be seen painting about the Washington region. His work consists of landscapes, gardens and architecture within landscapes in addition to still lifes. His works are currently on dispaly in the Scenes of Autumn exhibit at Brookside Gardens through December 11th. His work can also be viewed at http://www.michaelswatercolors.com

There are so many distinctly different garden areas and each is truly different from the one before.  If I did landscapes I would be here on weekends as well!

Brookside Gardens @ Britt Conley

Brookside Gardens @ Britt Conley

As a photographer, my favorite garden here is the Rose Garden.  I’ll be featuring it later in the week!

The Rose Garden © Britt Conley

The Rose Garden © Britt Conley

Well, come back tomorrow for a focused feature of the current Chrysanthemum Festival: 40th Anniversay tribute in the conservatory. It’s only up for one more week and closes this coming weekend on November 29th, 2009.  Each day this week I’ll be focusing on another area of the lovely grounds at Brookside Gardens.

For more information visit http://www.montgomeryparks.org/brookside/

‘Til Tomorrow…

Britt

Related posts:

  1. Part III: The Rose Garden at Brookside Gardens.
  2. Part II: Brookside Garden Chrysanthemum Festival!
  3. Part V: Brookside Gardens’ Garden of Lights!
  4. Part VI: Some of the Flowers and Garden areas at Brookside Gardens.
  5. Part VII: The Japanese Style Garden at Brookside Gardens.

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2 Comments

 
  1. Nancy Heindl
    2009-11-23
    14:34:54

    I enjoyed seeing your garden bee website and your photos of Michael and me painting at Brookside Gardens. It is definitely a great place for landscape painters!

     
  2. Michael Shibley
    2009-11-23
    19:06:05

    It was fun to see the photos from Brookside Gardens. It is one of my favorite places to paint. Congratulations on a nice story about such a special place.

     
 

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