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What's in Bloom

Set on twenty-five acres adjacent to Rock Creek Park, Hillwood's gardens contain a diverse and fascinating array of plants, shrubs, and trees. Summer may be hot in DC, but our gardens won't disappoint! Come take a look....

  • 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 taking off now. Giant Papyrus makes a strong architectural statement in the front of the greenhouse. Usually thought of as a pond plant, it does quite well in regular garden soil. See this and much more throughout the grounds.  
  • We still have orchids blooming in the greenhouse! Leomesezia Lava Burst is a compact orchid with delicate sprays of hot red and orange flowers. A hybrid of three other genera, it does best in medium, indirect light. Water just a touch before the soil medium dries out completely and this plant will give years of enjoyment. 
  • Hydrangea 'Limelight' is lighting up the beds surrounding the lunar lawn. This tall, deciduous shrub is edging on 10' tall and is loaded with large, white panicles of flowers. These panicles will change color as they age and are great in fresh floral arrangements or in dried bouquets. 
  • 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.
  • We have lots of visitors to the cutting garden this time of year including this Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly! Here he is enjoying a meal from one of our zinnias. Zinnias have large, daisy-like flowers that stand on straight, erect stems. They are only one of a vast number of flowers in bloom right now in this garden. 
  • 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.   
  • The summer annual display bed outside of the Greenhouse featuring Giant Papyrus

    The summer annual display bed outside of the Greenhouse featuring Giant Papyrus

  • The beautiful red and orange blooms of Leomesezia Lava Burst

    The beautiful red and orange blooms of Leomesezia Lava Burst

  • Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' in the lunar lawn beds

    Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' in the lunar lawn beds

  • BabyWing begonias in the motor court

    BabyWing begonias in the motor court

  • Water lillies in bloom in the Japanese-style garden

    Water lillies in bloom in the Japanese-style garden

  • An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on a zinnia

    An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on a zinnia

  • Violet-blue blooms of Geranium 'Rozanne'

    Violet-blue blooms of Geranium 'Rozanne'