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What's in Bloom

Set on twenty-five acres adjacent to Rock Creek Park, Hillwood’s gardens feature a diverse and fascinating array of plants, shrubs, and trees, offering something to see in every season. October is a glorious month at Hillwood, with mums adding vibrant, early color throughout the grounds. While the height of fall color is just around the corner, we have planted a brilliant display for you to enjoy this month.

Since she was in residence at Hillwood in the fall, Marjorie Merriweather Post planned glorious fall gardens, which included large, diverse plantings of mums. We carry on this tradition today, while always keeping the displays fresh and interesting. Highlights of the fall display include:

  • The mum ‘Amphion Purple’ surrounds Eros in the motor court. Grown especially for Hillwood, ‘Amphion Purple’ opens with a daisy-style flower that sports a yellow center. This will be complemented in the borders of the motor court by ‘Sundance Yellow’ and ‘Venus’ mums.
  • Patches of small ‘Flamingo Pink’ and ‘Okra Yellow’ mums punctuate the border of the French parterre, with larger, eight-inch ‘Flamingo Pink’ and ‘Okra Yellow’ plants calling attention to Diana.
  • Though roses may not be in season, ‘Red Bor’ kale dotted through a mass of ‘Avalon Pink’ mums, along with ‘Penny Rose Blotch’ add brilliant color to the rose garden.
  • On the Lunar Lawn, ‘Tropicanna’ cannas, ‘Black Diamond’ colocascia and ‘Cannova Rose’ cannas left in from the summer display will create a rich backdrop for the ‘Pumpkin Pie’ mums.
  • On the nearby south portico and vista overlook ‘Matrix Topaz/Garnet Mix’ pansies adding early fall color now will later be joined by ‘Pumpkin Pie’ mums and ‘Yellow Ripple’ ivy.
  • Walkways are dotted with ‘Sorbet Citrus Mix,’ ‘Sorbet Lemon Chiffon,’ and ‘Sorbet Yellow’ violas.
  • We love to highlight specialty mums, and beds around the area of the cutting garden feature ‘Kurume,’ ‘River City,’ ‘Mancetta,’ ‘Senkyo Kenshin,’ Carex ‘Toffee Twist,’ Nasella, Panicum ‘Northwind,’ and Millet ‘Purple Majesty.’ Kale ‘Peacock White’ and ‘Lacinato’ is also in the mix. Around the border wall, look for groupings of ‘Emberglo’ mums, ‘Redbor’ kale, ‘Penny Orange Jump-Up’ violas, and ‘Yellow Ripple’ ivy.

The cutting garden is still in bloom. Fall-blooming perennials include dahlias, asters, goldenrod, and more. These fall beauties continue to dazzle in the garden and in the cut flower arrangements around the estate.

Bright berries bring color to shrubs this season. Look for the bright red berries from Ilex verticillata (winterberry) and the bright orange berries of Pyracantha (firethorn).

  • 'Amphion purple' in the motor court at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens in Washington, DC

    'Amphion purple' mums surround Eros in the motor court.

  • Dahlias in the cutting garden at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens in Washington, DC

    Dahlias are one of many fall flowers from the cutting garden that make up the colorful arrangements across the estate.

  • Pansies dot the cutting garden wall for the fall garden display at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens in Washington, DC

    Pansies add color to the early fall garden display

  • 'Pumpkin pie' mums in the Lunar Lawn at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

    'Pumpkin pie' mums fill the Lunar Lawn with vibrant fall color.

  • An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on a zinnia

    An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on a zinnia