There are so many great gardens with public access in the DC area. With spring finally here it’s time to venture outside and visit one of these lovely spots for a picnic or tour.

My 4 favorite gardens:

1. Dumbarton Oaks: Nestled in Georgetown, Dumbarton Oaks is a 1920s garden with many distinct areas to tour like the informal Lover’s Lane Pool and more famous Pebble Garden designed by landscape architect Ruth Havey. Garden tickets $10. Museum free.

2. Hillwood Gardens: Just off the bike paths of Rock Creek Park and only a 15 minute walk from the Van Ness metro, the Hillwood Gardens is a transit friendly escape. Tour Marjorie Post’s house and grab lunch at the cafe or bring a picnic and sit at one of the many tables overlooking the Japanese garden. Suggested donation $18 for house and garden, includes tour.

3. Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens: On the river and across from the Arboretum these aquatic gardens have a different look with lily pads and bridges. Snack alongside colorful dragonflies which are the garden’s natural mosquito control. Entrance is free.

4. Brookside Gardens: A little further away in Maryland, just off of the Northwest Branch Trail are the Brookside Gardens. One of the bigger gardens, there is lots of variety here with hiking and walking paths. During colder days their conservatory houses seasonal exhibits. Entrance is free.

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