Friday, July 7, 2017

Hillwood Estate; our first official stop on the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling

Bright and early (VERY early for us West Coast residents) we Garden Blogging "Flingers" piled in the buses and headed out for our fist, of many, stops for the 2017 Capitol Region event. Destination Hillwood Estate...

What's Hillwood? The home of one Marjorie Merriweather Post: "a leading American socialite and the owner of General Foods, Inc." (source) "When both of Marjorie’s parents died in the 1910s, she became, at the age of 27, the owner of the $20 million cereal company that would later become the General Foods Corporation." (souce) The Hillwood website is broken into sections on the Estate, Museum, and Gardens. While I would have loved to have toured them all I was only able to see the gardens...

Onoclea sensibilis

Here's our whole group heading for the steps at the back of the house where the group photo is to be taken. Surely you've heard the expression "herding cats"???...

Post photo we all scrambled to the far edges of the garden. This is the Dacha..."Built in 1969 during the Cold War, the dacha represents a nostalgic view of Russian culture. Featuring some architectural elements of authentic Russian dachas, such as the whole-log construction and the intricate carvings, other details are American adaptations of Russian motifs—like the multiple bright colors or the onion-shaped domes on the roof, which are typical of Russian churches but not rustic homes." (source)

Turning to the right I eventually came across the "Japanese Style Garden"...which certainly seemed very PNW in it's plantings.

My friend Kathy (Gardenbook) was photographing these "millstone" inspired stepping stones (my interpretation) when I walked up next to her. "Are you going to cross them?" I asked. She replied in the negative and mentioned something about being a bit of a klutz. As I started out across them I replied that so was I, "but that wasn't going to stop me..."

I also ventured across these...

And then promptly stubbed my toe on another pathway and fell, tossing my camera a good 5ft. Nobody saw me though and I didn't tear my pants. It's like it never happened!

Seasonal plantings...

I do like this combination.

We all have a Putting Green included in our gardens, right?

This is the beginning of the Friendship Walk...

The Rose Garden...

With a lovely, blooming, Magnolia...

What's that?

Daphniphyllum macropodum?

Could it be?

Next I passed through the French Parterre (I don't know about you, but all these names are exhausting me!)...

And tried to get lost on the pathways.

Only to end up in the spot where we would later be having lunch.

The Cutting Garden...

Wait just a minute! Our first stop of the day and I'm already seeing Agaves? But I was warned I'd be lucky to see even one during the entire 3-day event. Hmmm....

They have the form of Agave desmettiana...

But rather prominent teeth, whereas A. desmettiana usually has smooth margins. Any guesses?

As I laid eyes on these treasures a staff person was passing by, I asked what the name of the tree was...

"Cedrus deodara" she answered, "and those are nature's Fabergé eggs!"

It wasn't until later that I learned Marjorie Merriweather Post was a collector of works by Fabergé.

Hot and muggy as it was I couldn't not step inside the Greenhouse.

No doubt a lot of things are grown in here and then planted out/rotated through the gardens.

Finally there was a visit to the (air conditioned!) gift shop where I purchased an embroidered scarf, which I never got to wear during the Fling, because it was to hot to even think about another layer of clothing!

Weather Diary, July 6: Hi 90, Low 57/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

41 comments:

  1. You had me with the first photo: this garden is exquisite, in particular the Japanese inspired garden. Thankfully you didn't hurt too bad when you fell and the camera didn't go in the water! I'll take nature's eggs over Fabergé any day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although with a couple of those Fabergé versions you could buy a chunk of land and get started on your own version of Hillwood...

      Delete
  2. I think you must have been a cat in a previous life, with that spill that didn't happen. Did you stop and furiously lick yourself afterward? Thanks for sharing your great shots of the garden! I often find big gardens like this tiring (even without the heat), with all the named rooms like parterres and such.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe there's a little Americana mixed in with the desmetiana?

      Delete
    2. Alison - no licking!

      Hoov - could be...

      Delete
  3. Gorgeous garden! so lush, so green! a real wonder.

    ReplyDelete
  4. With 25 acres, of course you'd have a putting green! :) I love big gardens like this, as they're more like dozens of gardens connected together. What was your favorite part of this one?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From the reports of others, my favorite probably would have been the cutting garden, if I'd had the smarts to wander through it! I did really like the formal French Parterre, maybe because its so different than anything I would ever do in my own garden. And I'm a sucker for a rill...

      Delete
  5. That looks like a beautiful place. You were able to get a lot of good photos despite very hot weather--heroic work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Hoov! Must report....

      Delete
  6. I don't care for the formal spaces (even though I do want a Butler's House) but there is so much to see and like at Hillwood. I'd be happy to spend a half a day there!

    Seeing agaves, bromeliads and other tender plants outside was a surprise. Moving them inside for the winter must be quite a production.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With paid staff anything is possible, right?

      Delete
  7. What a place to start and what a generous gift Marjorie Merriweather Post bequeathed to the country. Gorgeous! If a Loree falls in the garden and no one sees it, did she really fall?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love the trees and shrubs especially. Not sure if you know that one of her other homes was Mar a Lago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! I wonder what she would think about it now?

      Delete
    2. Yes, I know. I was trying not to mar her name by association to #45. Poor lady...

      Delete
  9. I've never heard of this, despite having lived in Baltimore for two years and having spent a lot of time in D.C. Maybe after 45 is gone, it will be worth a trip. Looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I entirely missed that putting green, but I did bug out of the gardens pretty early because I needed A/C relief indoors. Whew! My favorite of all the spaces there was the Japanese Garden, which I missed on the first pass and had to go back out and find.

    Your story about tripping cracked me up since you got away with not being seen and then went and outed yourself in your blog post. Telling stories on ourselves is the best kind of humor, and I'm glad you and your camera weren't injured too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gardens with a bit of everything can be exhausting. Each compartment/area here is done to a high standard (and well captured in your photos), but the jumping from one style to another jars a bit. Maybe the transitions are gentler in the in-person experience?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes indeed they were. A little visual downtime with lots of greenery between each room.

      Delete
  12. Very nice! You did Ms Merriweather Post proud. (It's too exhausting to remember the various husbands' names.) And I cannot imagine that camera toss. The last time I tried that it cost me serious $$.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was afraid to pick it up and turn it on, first stop of the day! So relieved when it powered up like nothing happened...

      Delete
  13. My camera battery crapped out shorty after we arrived at this garden so I missed some of it trying for quick charge in the visitors center. I have to admit that although I'm not a fan of Japanese style gardens at all, I thought this one was well done. Sometimes you have to search but estate gardens generally have a little bit of something for everyone even Agave seekers :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even Agave seekers! (bummer about the battery)

      Delete
  14. How could anyone resist those stepping stones! Glad you and your camera are fine after the tumble :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes exactly, they were begging to be crossed.

      Delete
  15. Missed the putting green entirely! I read that the Japanese-style garden was non-traditional in that it was a blend of Japan and America – the design of the former and the plants of the latter. I liked it, but my favourite part had to be the cutting garden. My bouquet-making fingers were itching there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I'd made the effort to explore the cutting garden a little more. Too. Hot.

      Delete
  16. I'd forgotten most of this garden from my summer in DC. Nice to see it again. I'm glad you and your camera weren't injured in that spill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What put you in DC for a summer?

      Delete
  17. You did a great job at covering Hillwood, Loree! I don't think I captured half what you did. (I still haven't waded through those photos.) I wasted some time on a docent-led tour of the gardens that I eventually jettisoned when the group took just too much time getting moving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG...you're a brave woman. I can't do docent led tours. While you might learn a thing or two it's the slowness that kills me.

      Delete
  18. Loree, enjoyed seeing this garden through your eyes. Sorry you took that tumble. I loved the paths through the Japanese Garden. Lovely serene spot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I'm so glad we got to meet!

      Delete
  19. Nice overview of the Hillwood visit. I thought the Japanese/PNW garden was the highlight - I also crossed it despite being a klutz.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The Japanese garden here had to be one of my favorites of that sort that I've ever visited.Small but interesting. I even have a couple photos of you bravely crossing the water !

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!