Set on twenty-five acres adjacent to Rock Creek Park, Hillwood's gardens contain a diverse and fascinating array of plants, shrubs, and trees. In late spring, there's a lot to see both in the gardens and in the greenhouse!
- Here at Hillwood, our seasonal display beds are an important part of our history and culture. Over 8,000 summer annual flowers and tropicals were planted in May and they’re really starting to take hold now. Papyrus makes a strong architectural statement with a river of Bounce Violet impatiens in front of the greenhouse. Learn more about the designs and the plants on a specialized afternoon tour of the gardens.
- March’s orchid extravaganza may be long gone but someone didn’t tell the orchids. We still have quite a few Phalaenopsis or moth orchids in bloom right now. Phalaenopsis can be found in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Phalaenopsis Sogo Yukidian x Princess has maroon markings on a background of yellow. Find this and more in the greenhouse today!
- The large yellow singular flowers with showy orange stamens make the climbing rose ‘Mermaid’ a standout. It grows very vigorously with strong woody canes and has better than average disease resistance. Originally introduced to the United Kingdon in the late 1800’s, this rose is an oldie but goodie. ‘Mermaid’ is blooming on the pergola in the rose garden now.
- New cultivars of begonias are proving themselves to be versatile annuals that can grow in sun or shade. In the motor court, we have a bit of both conditions and the BabyWing® begonias are thriving. This series typically grows to 15”, has an upright habit and produces nonstop blooms until frost. The mix of red, pink, bicolor and white flowers really jazzes up the border gardens.
- The water lilies (Nymphaea spp) are blooming in the Japanese-style garden. There are many different species in the world, known for their large, oval green leaves and slightly fragrant blooms that float above the water. The flowers come in many shades: pink, blue, purple, pure white and even yellow but ours are a beautiful salmon color. Nymphaea odorata is the common North American white water lily that is often seen in the wild.
- The cutting garden is still singing spring with a gorgeous bed of snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus ‘Rocket Mix’) and Sweet Williams (Dianthus x barbatus ‘Amazon’ series). The rocket mix snapdragons can grow to nearly 3 feet tall and have flower heads over a foot long. The Sweet William Amazon series is just a tad bit shorter and sports wide dense clusters of flowers that are often fragrant. Ami Wilber, our floral designer, likes to use both in her fresh floral arrangements. Meet Ami and learn more in one of her workshops.
- The cranesbill geranium (Geranium ‘Rozanne’) has come into bloom. A true hardy perennial geranium, this plant has been wonderfully reliable and flowers non-stop until frost with beautiful violet-blue blooms with white centers. The deeply cut, deep green foliage is pleasing in itself. We have it planted in full sun in the lunar lawn beds near the vista terrace. It also does well if afforded a little afternoon shade in the DC climate.