The Rise of the Spring Roses at Dumbarton Oaks

After five incredibly long weeks of being hold up indoors recovering from surgery I finally made it out to my favorite local garden yesterday with my husbands help. I can’t begin to tell you just how incredible it was to be back amidst a garden again.  I asked Steve to take me so that I could finally finish my rose post which I began photographing the weekend before my surgery.

Sun rise © Britt Conley

Each year the landscapers at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C. begin preparing the rose garden far earlier than you would imagine!  By the time the first signs of Spring arrive they well into the process.  What I love about this garden is that the process in and of itself is just beautiful.  There isn’t a rose in the bunch here and yet the variety of colored leaf varieties and stems that are a joy for this photographer.

Early roses © Britt Conley

I love getting up close with nature and this time of year is perfect for catching the birth of a season.  I often get far to attached to photographing blooms but when there are none there is still beauty everywhere.

Early Rose Growth © Britt Conley

I especially am found of new leaf growth and the lovely patterns they play in the soft air that surrounds them.  The seasonal birth of a rose is a fascinating and lovely thing.

Rose Leaf Growth © Britt Conley

It is clear from our visit yesterday that the lush explosion of foliage on these lovey bushes are a sign that we are just weeks away from our annual explosion of color.

Roses pre-bloom © Britt Conley

There were, however, roses to be found!  A wall of climbers had already burst forth on the far end of the garden.  They were fresh and almost dewey in the softness of their petals.

Rose © Britt Conley

Even the stems were nubile and filled with natural newly born life.

Thorns © Britt Conley

After being home for so long I could have spent  and hours photographing this small jungle of stunning wall roses just basking in the sun!  Alas, an hour is all this Bee had and there was still more garden areas to be had!

A jungle of roses © Britt Conley

But not before getting in every last fiery bloom.  I may have missed early Spring but have plenty of gardens ahead for the full bloomage of Late Spring.  This Bee can’t wait!

Rose © Britt Conley

For more information on The Dumbarton Oaks Rose Garden visit my previous post on the garden and Dumbarton Oaks!

For anyone who would like to guest blog there is still time!  I can’t quite travel yet and there are still plenty of days in the week to fill and it’s a great opportunity to bring Bee Fans your way!  Just email me at  All you need is your camera and imagination! It’s your day.

‘Til Tomorrow…

Britt : )

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