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