As many of you know, I live in the metropolitan Washington DC area. One of my favorite photographic haunts is Brookside Gardens (part of the Montgomery County park system). This year they have organized a tour of seven private gardens in Bethesda, Maryland for Saturday June 2nd. I’m very impressed how quickly they’ve been able to organize it, find gardens, and arrange publicity. (I worked on the local Garden Conservancy Open Days Tours here in 2010 and it was a lot of work!).
I have photos of two of the gardens, so I’ll start with those. First is fellow designer Barbara Katz’s own garden, which was last open to the public in spring 2009 as part of the GC Open Days tours here that year. Welcoming you in the front yard you’ll find a friendly boxwood caterpillar:
Originally designed for a client of hers, this garden came into Barbara’s own possession when the client moved to Boston. She makes changes every year. I love visiting and photographing it because of the amazing plant combinations she has come up with, not to mention her containers.
The other garden on the tour which I know well is – full disclosure – one I designed in 2003, and which I continue to work on with its owners, Robyn and Bill Collins. Because the house sits on an underground spring, the site is consistently wet and one of the issues we had to address (and still struggle with today) is moisture. This is true especially in the back garden, which may be why these astilbes look so happy, and hostas thrive.
Although the primulas aren’t likely to be in bloom by the time of the tour, the hostas and other shade plants shown in this photo will be in full glory.
Other gardens on the tour include the personal garden of Holly Shimizu (director of the US Botanic Garden) and three other gardens personally selected by the staff at Brookside. For more details and photographs of the gardens, click here. You can register for the tour in advance here or by coming to McCrillis Gardens in Bethesda on the morning of June 2nd, where on-site tickets will be sold and addresses for the gardens will be available. This is a fundraiser for one of our area’s premiere public gardens. If you’re within driving distance, please mark your calendar! This is a rain or shine event. You may even run into me at the Collins garden, where I expect to be on hand to answer questions most of the day.