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In 1920, after a long and careful search, Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss found their ideal country house and garden within Washington, DC. They purchased a fifty-three-acre property, described as an old-fashioned house standing in rather neglected grounds, at the highest point of Georgetown. Within a year, the Blisses hired landscape gardener Beatrix Farrand to design the garden. Working in happy and close collaboration for almost thirty years, Mildred Bliss and Beatrix Farrand planned every garden detail, each terrace, bench, urn, and border. The upper sixteen acres were transferred to Harvard University in 1940 to establish a research institute for Byzantine studies, Pre-Columbian studies, and studies in the history of gardens and landscape architecture.

Plan Your Visit

The garden is open Tuesday through Sunday. In 2018, the garden is closed July 4 (Independence Day), November 22 (Thanksgiving Day), December 25 (Christmas Day), and January 1, 2019 (New Year’s Day). The garden may close in hazardous conditions.

Regular Season (March 15–October 31)

2:00–6:00 p.m.

Admission to the garden in the Regular Season is:

  • $10 Regular
  • $8 Military (with valid ID)
  • $8 Senior (60+)
  • $5 Students and Children (ages 2–12)
  • Free for Harvard faculty, students, and staff (with Harvard photo ID)
  • Unlimited access with a Season Pass

Winter Season (November 1–March 14)

2:00–5:00 p.m.

Admission to the garden in the Winter Season is free.

South Lawn

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

Orangery

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

Green Garden

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

 

 

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