(This video is closed-captioned in English and Spanish.)
(Este video tiene subtítulos en inglés y español.)
In 1927 Farrand designed the Kitchen Gardens as three outdoor rooms: an arboretum where the Cutting Garden is today, a vegetable garden in the present Growing Garden, and a frame yard in the present Peony Garden. All three rooms were enclosed by a combination of walls, hedges and, in the case of the vegetable garden, a grape arbor running along its eastern edge. Farrand also designed the three tool sheds, whose terracotta-tile ogee roofs have recently been restored.
The uses of these gardens have evolved over time. During the Second World War, the arboretum became a Victory Garden with demonstrations given by Dumbarton Oaks gardeners to the leaders of the American Women's Voluntary Services. Eventually it evolved into a Cutting Garden to provide fresh flowers for the Main House and for official functions. At some point the other, larger vegetable garden changed to a chrysanthemum Growing Garden, and vegetables and herbs are now grown in a smaller area between the Prunus Walk and Growing Garden.
Mouse over the image to see the transformation of the Kitchen Gardens between 1927 and the present.
More Exhibit Items
The brick and limestone ribbon walks simulate the quality of flowing cloth.
This small greenhouse is one of the oldest structures still standing on the grounds of Dumbarton Oaks.
The wide, shady branches of an enormous beech tree stretch over this quiet enclosed space.
This grassy terrace, shaded by a tall oak tree, provides panoramic view of the entire estate.
This small room features custom stonework, wrought-iron furniture, and a fountain ornamented with various constellations.
The swimming pool and beautifully decorated loggia attest to Dumbarton Oaks’ history as a private residence.
Blooming forsythia turns this corner of the gardens bright yellow at the beginning of spring.
When the trees blossom in springtime, this hillside becomes one of the gardens’ most magical spaces.
Hidden near the edge of the gardens, Lilac Circle offers a secluded spot for rest and contemplation.
Elaborate stonework and low flowerbeds play off trellises of wisteria in this stately courtyard.
The Urn Terrace serves as an ivied transition between the Beech Terrace, Box Walk, and Rose Garden.
A riotous variety of roses fills this sunny space between the Urn and Fountain Terraces.
A traditional flower garden in a blend of English Cottage and Arts and Crafts style.
This narrow brick walk wends through a dreamlike woodland spotted with daffodils and hyacinths.
A shallow pool sits at the bottom of a small brick amphitheater, bordered by a stand of bamboo.
The story of a terrier given to a Neapolitan girl by a French admiral inspired this column.