Happenings at DC-Area Gardens, plus News.

April - May 2016 Garden Events                                

Starting with cherry blossoms:
– March 20 - April 17: Cherry Blossom Festival!  


17+ Cherry Blossom Viewing Alternatives in the DC area - the definitive list, from Washington Gardener Magazine. (Seen here, cherry blossoms at Meadowlark Botanical Garden, photo by Tom Stovall.

– April 2: Children’s Cherry Blossom Celebration at Green Spring Gardens. 1:30-3:30 pm. Celebrate spring and the Japanese gift of the cherry trees. Advance registration for a craft ticket is recommended. Intended for ages 5 to adult. $10/person for a craft ticket.

- April 9: Tram tour of the hundreds of flowering cherry trees that grace the National Arboretum’s grounds. Horticulturist David Kidwell-Slak will share the stories of the most remarkable specimens, trees of historical significance, and the results of the Arboretum’s research program. Stops include short walks into the research fields for close-up inspection of selected areas. Fee: $22 ($18 FONA) Email registration required.

- Through April 16: Beyond the Tidal Basin: Introducing Other Great Flowering Cherries. Self-guided tourCome to the Arboretum to explore nearly forty different types of flowering cherries and discover the great diversity of shapes, sizes, flower colors, and bloom times these trees feature. Look for three new varieties developed by Arboretum scientists and don’t miss the remarkable weeping Yoshinos. Drive, bike, or walk over several miles of Arboretum roads to see them all.  Pick up a brochure in the Visitor Information Center. Free, no registration required.


April 2: Garden Party and Spring Sale at Community Forklift in Hyattsville area of MD. 


April 2: Annual Lahr Native Plant Symposium: Good Design, at the National Arboretum. Join the nation’s top practitioners of landscape design, ecology, and resource management to learn how you can apply their approaches, insights, and techniques. Fee: $95 ($76 FONA). Registration required. Click here for complete symposium details and registration information.

April 2: Native Plant Sale at the National Arboretum. 8:30 am - 2 pm at the Administration Building.

April 8: Green Matters Symposium at Brookside Gardens. A favorite event for gardeners who want to keep up on the best and greenest in gardening today. 

- April 1 through June 26: Guided tours of Hillwood Gardens at 10:30 and 12:30. Learn about the history, design, and the plants and flowers of the 13 acres of formal gardens. First-come, first-served upon opening each day. Approximately one hour long. Reservations are available for Hillwood members and groups of 10 or more. Included in suggested donation. 

- April 2, 14, 15, 19, 21 and 22 from 2:30 to 3:15: Gardener's Focus Tours of Hillwood Gardens feature the spring seasonal plantings (25,000 flowering bulbs!) and the creative design process used with them. Guide will be Jason Gedeik, head of design operations or Jessica Bonilla, head gardener. Tickets are distributed at the Visitor Center upon opening each day. A limited number of tickets may be pre-reserved by Hillwood members.Included in suggested donation.


- April 16: Cherry Blossom Tea and Garden Tour at Tudor Place. 

- Now through April 17: Orchids in Focus in the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory. Learn about this innovative display used here.   


April 6 - Nov 2: Learn Art in the Garden at Tudor Place.
Beginning and advanced artists alike are invited to join Director of Gardens and Grounds and professional botanical artist Kellie Cox, to explore a variety of subjects, media, and locations in the historic garden. Attend single classes or all eight. Register here.

April 3, 9, 16 and 17, 1-3 pm. Ikebana Demonstrations at the National Arboretum’s Bonsai Museum. Free. No registration necessary.

April 8-9:  Spring Garden Market at River Farm.

April 16-17  Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival.

April 16 - Talk by Perennial Diva Stephanie Cohen at National Arboretum titled "Perennial Foliage: Stripes and Splashes, Dots and Dashes." She
 presents the best and brightest perennials, including natives and grasses, to brighten your space with rich color and eye-catching patterns. Details and registration here.

April 16 - Ikebana Flower Design Workshop with Lanna Mai at Green Spring Gardens. Information and registration here. 

April 16 - Edible Gardening at Green Spring Gardens with Longwood Gardens instructor Nancy Bell: Vegetable Gardening 101 in the morning and Edible Landscape Design in the afternoon. 


April 17: Earth Day Plant Sale Kick-off and Picnic at Tudor Place.

April 21: Garden Tour and Tea at Green Spring Gardens. After the tour enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea served in the 1784 historic house. $32/person. Reservations required – call 703-941-7987.

April 22 - October 28: Guided Garden Tours of Tudor Place.

April 24: Earth Day Festival at Brookside Gardens. Vendors, music, crafts, walks, tours and more!

April 23-24 Herb and Plant Sale at the Franciscan Monastery.


April 22: Earth Day Open House at the U.S. Botanic Garden. Enjoy hands-on activities and meet with representatives of environmental organizations from throughout the region. Drop by and learn all the ways that you can make the planet a healthier place and become a more active steward of the plants that support life on earth. 10 am - 2 pm.

April 23 Coffee and Book Talk at Green Spring Gardens: "Right-size Flower GardenSimplify your Outdoor Spaces with Smart Design Solutions and Plant Choices" by perennial garden expert Kerry Ann Mendez. She'll share her successful recipe for having a garden we can manage and love again. Book signing to follow. More info here.

April 23 Earth Day Volunteer Event at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

April 29 - Arbor Day Celebration at the National Arboretum. GREAT line-up of speakers!

April 30 Blossoms and Battles Photo Safari at Mount Vernon.

April 30 Green House Open House at the Franciscan Monastery. 10 - 11:30.

April 27 – September 25: Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly & Caterpillar Exhibit. 10 am – 4 pm daily. 


April 29-30 Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) Garden Fair and Plant Sale. Extremely popular!

April 30: Urban Gardening Expo 10-2 at the Silver Spring Civic Center.

White House Open Garden & Grounds, date will be announced on the White House website and through a special White House Alert e-blast from DC Gardens. Free.


May 1 Grow It Eat It Event at the Agricultural History Farm Park in Derwood, MD.  Register here.

– May 6-7: National Cathedral Flower Mart. Festival foods, children’s rides, artisanal & boutique gifts and, of course, herbs & flowers. Drawing locals and tourists alike since 1939, this festival of flowers and fun will celebrate All Hallows’ Guild’s centennial of service to the 59 acres of gardens and grounds around Washington National Cathedral. 10-6 on Friday and 10-5 on Saturday. Watch the video!

May 1, Takoma Park House and Garden Tour.

– May 6: Smithsonian Garden Fest.  
Garden Fest highlights each of the Smithsonian’s gardens and connects people to plants through engaging hands-on activities and educational demonstrations. 10 am - 3 pm.

– May 6: Visitor Appreciation Week and National Public Gardens Day at Green Spring Gardens. Free gardening discussions, demonstrations or plant giveaways at 11 am and afternoon refreshments.

May 6: National Public Garden Day – it’s free at Tudor Place.

May 8: Mother’s Day Floral Tea at Tudor Place.

May through October: Weekly Tours of the Smithsonian Gardens. Schedule posted here soon.


May 7-8: Capitol Hill House and Garden Tour.

May 13-15: World Bonsai Day Festival at the National Arboretum, with the Potomac Bonsai Association. See full schedule here.

May 7 Georgetown Garden Tour.

May 14 Spring Garden Day BIG Plant Sale at Green Spring Gardens.

May 17: Shepherd Park Garden Tour.

May 21 BIoBlitz Volunteer Day at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

May 22: Columbia Heights Garden Tour.

Now through October 23: "Flora in the National Parks" displays winning artwork of indigenous plants in parks across the U.S. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Here's the story.    

What's New 


The big news is that two Bald Eagles were born at the National Arboretum and they've become media darlings, thanks to the amazing two-camera Eaglecam installed by American Eagle Foundation. It's totally addicting!  It's good for the cause of eagle restoration AND awareness of the amazing 446-acre gem we have in the heart of D.C. 

It's no surprise that Arboretum is one of two public gardens making the DCist list of the Best Outdoor Getaways in the DC area. Also on the list is Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens.

Planning for a new pedestrian and bike trail along New York Avenue to the National Arboretum is now "officially under way!" Read more about it in GreaterGreaterWashington. Clearly, people want to get to the Arboretum!

And will DC be getting its own High Line-type green space attraction? Actually, the new 11th Street Bridge Park looks better. According to Read this article, it'll bring the citizens of Washington together, and to the edges of the Anacostia River and in include an environmental education center, boat launch, café, gallery, performance space, play area, and will serve as a pedestrian bridge. 

There's a new garden in town - the Mediterranean Room at the U.S. Botanic Garden. Read all about it here, 

There was a nice feature in Washingtonian Magazine about a wedding at River Farm. 

Thanks to Washington Gardener Magazine for their video of Rooting DC 2016

Visiting the Gardens in April   .

Click here to see photos of 12 DC-AREA GARDENS in APRIL


Visiting the Gardens in May

Click here to see photos of 14 DC-AREA GARDENS IN MAY.
Written by Susan Harris, Director and Photo Editor of DC Gardens. Published April 1, 2016.
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