Thursday, May 15, 2008
Tudor Place, Washington, DC
At some point soon, I'll return to my own back quarter acre, but again this past weekend found me far from home. In the meantime, a sneak preview of the season was afforded by a trip to a warmer hardiness zone, namely, to the zone 7-8 Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC.
As my husband has said of the green thumbs in our nation's capital, "People down here really love their gardens." They do. And it shows.
During a few free hours, I paid a visit to Tudor Place, an early 19th-century neoclassical house set on 5 1/2 acres deep in Georgetown. The bracingly austere rear facade overlooks a series of tightly constructed outdoor rooms.
These acres combine all those evocative components of Southern gardens: the gravel paths that crunch underfoot, the heady scent of boxwood, the irrational exuberance of azaleas (sadly, now past their prime) . . .
. . . and then there are lawns, real lawns, lovely sweeps and strokes of pure green that set off the plantings along their borders.
Lawns are currently consuming an unusually large portion of my psychic space, as I'll explore further in a later post. The Tudor House lawns are inspirational.
Flanking the central path is a rose garden edged with low boxwood plantings. Perhaps echoing the Meissen collection inside the house, the roses are in sugary porcelain shades of pink and ivory--except for this very congenial Bourbon cultivar, "Variegata di Bologna."
Okay, it was all inspirational.