Public Gardens

Visitors and residents alike can enjoy many publically-accessible ornamental gardens in the DC metro area. Unlike community garden spaces, these areas are typically comprised of non-edible plants, and often serve as not only beautiful urban spaces, but also educational resources for visitors. Check out the public gardens and organizations that support public gardens below.

Brookside Gardens

Brookside Gardens is Montgomery County’s incomparable, award-winning 50-acre public display garden situated within Wheaton Regional Park. Included in the gardens are several distinct areas: Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden, Trial Garden, Rain Garden and the Woodland Walk. The Formal Gardens areas include a Perennial Garden, Yew Garden, the Maple Terrace, and Fragrance Garden. Brookside Gardens also feature two conservatories for year-round enjoyment and a horticultural reference library.

Brookside Gardens

DC Gardens

logo for DC Gardens

DC Gardens is a nonprofit, multi-media and in-person campaign promoting DC-area public gardens to visitors and residents alike. DC Gardens also promotes gardening with extensive “Local Info” that connects residents to the gardening and greening community.

DC Gardens

Friends of the National Arboretum (FoNA)

logo for Friends of the National Arboretum (FoNA)

FONA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit membership organization with the mission to preserve and enhance the U.S. National Arboretum. We work to provide valuable financial and volunteer support, especially for Arboretum internship programs, maintenance of the gardens and collections, The Washington Youth Garden and many other projects.

Friends of the National Arboretum (FoNA)

Green Spring Gardens

logo for Green Spring Gardens

Green Spring Gardens is a “must visit” for everyone in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. It’s a year-round gold mine of information and inspiration for the home gardener. It’s an outdoor classroom for children and their families to learn about plants and wildlife. It’s also a museum, a national historic site that offers glimpses into a long, rich history with colonial origins.

Green Spring Gardens

Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

logo for Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Hillwood’s spectacular gardens capture the vision Marjorie Post conceived when rebuilding the estate in the 1950s. She hired prominent landscape architects Umberto Innocenti and Richard Webel to expand the existing gardens. Thirteen acres of formal gardens extend from the house’s terraces and porches in a progression of “outdoor rooms.”

Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Smithsonian Gardens

logo for Smithsonian Gardens

An integral part of the Smithsonian Institution (SI), the Smithsonian Gardens creates and manages the Smithsonian’s outdoor gardens, interiorscapes, and horticulture-related collections and exhibits. Established in 1972 to manage the museum grounds, Smithsonian Gardens extends the museums’ exhibits and learning environment in a public garden setting while shaping visitors’ overall experience of the Smithsonian. Smithsonian Gardens are located around museums throughout the National Mall in Washington, DC. They are open year-round, seven days a week, with something to see in every season!

Smithsonian Gardens

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