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About Cherry Hill

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This informal garden area is an example of one of the few plantings where Farrand played with variations on a single type of bloom. On this remote hillside in the far northeastern corner of the property, she experimented with juxtaposing several varieties of cherry tree in one lush concentration. To add depth to the design, beds of bearded irises dotted the hillside below the trees. However, the irises proved too time-consuming for the garden staff to keep healthy. This complication, combined with rot and insect damage, led to the elimination of the iris beds before 1940. As replacements, Farrand placed vinca, ferns, and violets.  

A narrow, winding path passes east to west below the cherries, stretching from the Catalogue House to the Kitchen Gardens. The pathway overlooks the fence that separates the Dumbarton Oaks garden from Dumbarton Oaks Park. Beyond the fence, a Farrand-designed path and stone bridge are visible, just inside the parkland (several bridge design drawings are accessioned under GD Q-2-04A through D). The bridge, path, and park were all part of the Blisses’ property until they gifted Dumbarton Oaks to Harvard and the Park to the United States government in 1940.