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Gardener's Focus: Bones of the Winter Garden

Get an intimate look at Hillwood’s gardens with the experts!

The winter garden may not be as splashy as spring bulbs or summer blooms, but there’s something equally amazing about a peaceful, winter garden. Evergreen plants take center stage, deciduous woody plants become architectural, and hardscapes become more important. Winter’s cool light shapes the experience, and we can sense more subtle shades of green and brown. The few flowers in bloom are very special, and the texture of conifer needles and tree bark seem richer in the winter sunlight.

Tickets are distributed at the visitor center upon opening each day. A limited number of tickets may be pre-reserved by phone by Hillwood members. This twenty-minute tour is limited to ten, and meets in the visitor center conservatory.


Brian Barr is Hillwood’s director of horticulture. He joined Hillwood in 2005 and is responsible for the entire horticulture operation.  Interestingly, Brian’s first experience of Hillwood was when his father brought him as a visitor over thirty-one years ago. He has worked professionally in public horticulture for over thirty years, beginning as a gardener and subsequently working in several gardens around the country.  Brian has a master’s degree from the Longwood Graduate Program in Public Horticulture and an undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky in Horticulture. 

  • Winter gardens at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens in Washington, DC