Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dumbarton Oaks, autumn

Folks rave about the beauty of the Washington spring--cherry blossoms lining the Tidal Basin, swathes of daffodils running along Rock Creek Parkway--but autumn is pretty darned lovely, too.

Last weekend, I spent an Indian Summer afternoon at my very most favorite garden, Dumbarton Oaks. I've raved about the sublime Beatrix Farrand landscape in a previous post, so here's a single highlight: the herbaceous border.

From outside the towering walls of yews bounding this garden, all you can see are billowing clouds of pale purple asters.

Inside, two 100-foot long beds of mixed perennials and annuals line a sloping central walk. At either ends are columnar yews. No fantastically exotic flowers here: just masses of zinnias, chrysanthemums, asters, ageratum, and verbena.

And this sublime beauty.

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