Dumbarton Oaks: The Ellipse
This lovely oval garden of trees, pebbles, grass and fountain was design by Beatrice Farrand.
Originally the oval was, surrounded by a high wall of American boxwood Buxus sempervirens,” Dumbarton Oaks explains on their website tour. However, by the late 1950′s they add the, “declining boxwood with a double row of American hornbeams, Carpinus caroliniana, clipped into an aerial hedge sixteen feet high and fifteen feet wide.”
Each summer these lovely ladders are pulled out and carried to the oval.
The caution tape is gently wrapped around the hornbeams and the gardeners climb up to begin squaring off rounded tree tops.
So that all who wander here can stumble into this incredible formal view of nature, geometrically encircled of flag stone surrounding pebbles.
I personally love these ladders. I am not sure how old they are but they do look like the originals and I am a sucker for inanimate objects with tons of personal history. If they are in fact such, many a gardener have traipsed up these rungs and tended to the beauty and natural growth of this 10 acre garden in all types of weather.
But that is all part of the romance of the garden. Its history, its life and all its days carefully maintained for each new visitor and hopefully many future generations.
It’s a great space for walking, sitting, reading and of course drawing. So next time you need quality “real” time with you and your thoughts I highly recommend this quiet view. It’s especially nice with a gentle rain.
Britt : )
- Part VI: The Ellipse at Dumbarton Oaks
- Romance and Wandering at Dumbarton Oaks
- At Dumbarton Oaks there is always a special place to sit…
- Part V: Walkways Abound at Dumbarton Oaks
- At Washington D.C.’s Dumbarton Oaks, Spring has Sprung!