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Renovation Notice

The gardens will be closed from July 10, 2017, until March 15, 2018. A reduced season pass is available.

Pebble Garden

Elaborate stonework and low flowerbeds play off trellises of wisteria in this stately courtyard.
Pebble Garden

To the east of the Swimming Pool and Loggia is a rectangular area enclosed by wisteria-draped walls, originally designed by Farrand to be a tennis court. Beginning in 1959, Ruth Havey and Mildred Bliss redesigned the space into a pebble garden with pebbles imported from Mexico and set into distinct patterns and colors, in the Italian manner. Curved limestone edgings enclose beds of thyme and sedum. The shallow pebble pool was designed to be covered by a thin layer of water, but is now dry.

At the northern end of the garden is a deeper pool with three lead eighteenth-century French sculptures originally located at the Meridian House in Washington, D.C., and given to Dumbarton Oaks by Mrs. S. W. Chandler in 1959. At the southern end of the garden are carved limestone cornucopias flanking the central pebble pattern of a wheat sheaf. Set in stone below is the Bliss family motto: Quod Severis Metes (As ye sow, so shall ye reap).

 
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More Exhibit Items

South Lawn
South Lawn

This grassy expanse is sculpted by the old driveway that approaches the house.

Orangery
Orangery

This small greenhouse is one of the oldest structures still standing on the grounds of Dumbarton Oaks.

Green Garden
Green Garden

This grassy terrace, shaded by a tall oak tree, provides panoramic view of the entire estate.

Beech Terrace
Beech Terrace

The wide, shady branches of an enormous beech tree stretch over this quiet enclosed space.

Urn Terrace
Urn Terrace

The Urn Terrace serves as an ivied transition between the Beech Terrace, Box Walk, and Rose Garden.

Rose Garden
Rose Garden

A riotous variety of roses fills this sunny space between the Urn and Fountain Terraces.

Fountain Terrace
Fountain Terrace

A traditional flower garden in a blend of English Cottage and Arts and Crafts style.

Arbor Terrace
Arbor Terrace

A wisteria-covered arbor opens onto a sunny terrace overlooking the lower gardens.

Terrior Column and Enclosure
Terrior Column and Enclosure

The story of a terrier given to a Neapolitan girl by a French admiral inspired this column.

Lovers’ Lane Pool
Lovers’ Lane Pool

A shallow pool sits at the bottom of a small brick amphitheater, bordered by a stand of bamboo.

Mélisande’s Allée
Mélisande’s Allée

This narrow brick walk wends through a dreamlike woodland spotted with daffodils and hyacinths.

Herbaceous Border
Herbaceous Border

These large flowerbeds explode with color the whole year round.

Orchard
Orchard

Apples, cherries, pears, and plums blossom and bear fruit every year in this small orchard.

Prunus Walk
Prunus Walk

The plum trees on this walk guide a visitor through the Kitchen Gardens.

Kitchen Gardens
Kitchen Gardens

This area includes a cutting garden for flowers and a working vegetable garden.

Lilac Circle
Lilac Circle

Hidden near the edge of the gardens, Lilac Circle offers a secluded spot for rest and contemplation.

Cherry Hill
Cherry Hill

When the trees blossom in springtime, this hillside becomes one of the gardens’ most magical spaces.

Catalogue House
Catalogue House

This small shelter at the edge of the gardens now houses educational displays.

Forsythia Dell
Forsythia Dell

Blooming forsythia turns this corner of the gardens bright yellow at the beginning of spring.

Ellipse
Ellipse

A double ring of hornbeams encircles a fountain, creating a hypnotic sense of calm.

Box Walk
Box Walk

This gently descending staircase, flanked by boxwood hedges, is the gardens’ central axis.

Pebble Garden
Pebble Garden

Elaborate stonework and low flowerbeds play off trellises of wisteria in this stately courtyard.

Crabapple Hill
Crabapple Hill

Farrand planned to feature a variety of similar blooms en masse here.

North Vista
North Vista

Elegantly tapering walls project a grand view from the steps of the historic house.

Ondine’s Walk
Ondine’s Walk

Swirling brickwork surrounds a Japanese maple just outside the museum.

Star Garden
Star Garden

This small room features custom stonework, wrought-iron furniture, and a fountain ornamented with various constellations.

Swimming Pool and Loggia
Swimming Pool and Loggia

The swimming pool and beautifully decorated loggia attest to Dumbarton Oaks’ history as a private residence.

Garden Library and Ribbon Walk
Garden Library and Ribbon Walk

The brick and limestone ribbon walks simulate the quality of flowing cloth.

East Lawn
East Lawn

“One of the loveliest of the features of Dumbarton Oaks in its freedom from detail.”

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