The Allure of the Georgetown Garden Tour

Betsy Emes’s garden on N St. One of the nine featured gardens
Betsy Emes’s garden on N St. One of the nine featured gardens

The 86th Annual Georgetown Garden Tour will open nine gardens to lovers of horticulture and design this Saturday, May 10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Unique gardens, big and small, will be revealed, whether at the Pyne house with its antique Japanese rooster at the center or at the Bradlee house with its sloping greenery.

Tickets are available for $35 at or at Christ Church at 31st and O streets Saturday along with a garden boutique and an afternoon tea at Keith Hall.

The following are descriptions of the gardens, as provided by the Georgetown Garden Club, an affiliate of the Garden Club of America.


= A just about perfect small Georgetown garden behind a house built in 1810. This felicitous and appealing garden has a beautiful, unusual fence, boxwoods, a redbud in the corner, and a long path that carries the eye back to a totally charming pergola complete with a dragonfly.

= This stylish and original south garden is like a tapestry on the ground; shallow watercourses bisect richly planted parterres, a trompe l'oeil mirror reflects wonderful touches: espaliers, olive trees in pots, banks of camellias. (By DCA Landscapes, Inc.)

= A James van Sweden creation with its signature grasses and big fishpond, this garden has been revitalized in shades of lime green and white with red as a feature color. Plantings include Japanese "Bloodgood" maple, hydrangea 'Limelight' and a spiral boxwood with white roses. A path of metamorphic stepping stones edged with flagstone leads to a charming carriage house in back. (By Amy Chaffman Landscape Designs)

= A linear ornamental pool -- a runnel -- of river rock accents this deep, slender garden perfectly complemented by rows of river birches. A brick path bordered by shrubs circumnavigates and reinforces this unusual and effective treatment.

= This grand and stately garden, recently rejuvenated, has not been open to the public in years. Upon entering the garden one finds another world: a charming latticed cupola/library full of garden books, a big swimming pool, levels and terraces, a playhouse, a small octagonal ornamental pool, a greenhouse, named varieties of boxwood, and a knockout vegetable garden planted like a parterre. (Designed by Adrian Higgins, garden writer for the Washington Post)

= This handsome historic house, constructed in 1794 and once owned by Robert Todd Lincoln, features a bold sweep of lawn in back, edged with shrubs and perennials that leads down to the pool and below that to the tennis court. All this is watched over by a long, covered, south-facing porch. It's a grand combination of style, comfort and history.

= This fine 1810 house has a deep south garden of many levels and great presence. Full of history, there are pre-Civil War boxwoods, an old mounting block and hitching post (evoking a former carriage house) a row of male ginkgos, hydrangeas, lilacs, peonies, a large Japanese maple and delicate urns on pedestals.


= A trompe l'oeil mirror reflects a large pool edged by bamboo. Nearby, the very successful use of mondo grass creates a fairy tale atmosphere in this totally beguiling garden, complete with a little playhouse in a woodsy, fern-filled setting, with mossy rocks and an iron bench. Where are Hansel and Gretel?

= This knockout modern garden creates visual treats using the very latest technologies. Five geothermal wells linked by tubes tap into a Georgetown aquifer. Special effects: a stunning pool cover and a stainless steel natural gas-powered fire pit, filled with tempered crushed glass.

Comments are temporarily disabled.
Sun, 28 May 2017 22:05:36 -0400

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest Georgetowner updates.