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Astronomy in the Gardens

A Special Summer Evening Program for Hillwood Members

Enjoy an enlightening evening of astronomy in the gardens and full service dining at the café. Embark on a virtual walking tour to discover the celestial connections found throughout Hillwood’s gardens during insightful presentations by gardener and resident astronomy expert Kevin Beamer. From asters to zinnias, armillary spheres to the zodiac, Hillwood’s thirteen acres contain numerous horticultural and sculptural references to the stars and heavens above. 

Treat yourself to dinner at Merriweather Café, presented in partnership with Constellation Culinary Group, and experience a delectable menu specially designed for this members-only evening. Explore the skies with telescopes provided by the Astronomy Education Program at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and leisurely stroll the winding garden paths in early twilight. 

Event Timeline 

5:30 – 9:30 p.m. 
Self-guided touring of the gardens
Horticulture docents available to answer questions

5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Merriweather Café open for seated service

5:30 – 8:15 p.m.
Telescopes available for solar observing
Hands-on astronomy activities
NASM Astronomy Education Program volunteers available to answer questions

6:15 – 7:15 p.m.
Connections: Hillwood Gardens and Astronomy, from Asters to Zinnias, presentation by Kevin Beamer in C.W. Post

7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Connections: Hillwood Gardens and Astronomy, from Asters to Zinnias, presentation by Kevin Beamer in C.W. Post

8:15 – 9:30 p.m.
Telescopes available for viewing stars and planets
Hands-on astronomy activities 
NASM Astronomy Education Program volunteers available to answer questions 

This new and exclusive after-hours event is free for Hillwood members. Reservations are required as space is limited. Café sales are separate. In the event of inclement weather this program may be rescheduled; registered attendees will be updated via email.

For questions call 202.243.3939. Not a member? Join or renew today!

About the Presenter

Kevin Beamer changed careers and entered horticulture after more than twenty years of education and work in computer science and information technology. One of the reasons for the change was a desire to get outside and out from under florescent lights. Kevin graduated from Northern Virginia Community College’s Landscape Design program in 2006 and has been teaching part-time in that program since 2008. He has worked as a landscape designer and with resident landscaping companies, and full-time as a gardener at Hillwood since January 2014. Kevin has had an interest in astronomy for a long time. He has two telescopes of his own and traveled to South Carolina to see the total solar eclipse in August 2017. He has been volunteering in the Astronomy Education Program at the National Air and Space Museum since 2003 and is currently a Lead Volunteer with the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory at NASM, where visitors can use filtered telescopes to safely look at the sun.
 

  • Armillary Sphere

    Armillary Sphere

  • Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, photographed by Eric Kvalsvik

    Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, photographed by Eric Kvalsvik

  • Diana, photographed by Eric Kvalsvik

    Diana, photographed by Eric Kvalsvik