National Public Garden Day

On May 6th, we will be participating in National Public Garden Day sponsored by the American Public Garden Association and Rain Bird. This event gives us an opportunity to highlight our historic landscape and our ongoing preservation efforts. The Tudor Place gardens have evolved over the past 200 years with each generation of the Peter family leaving their imprint on the garden. Thomas and Martha Custis Peter purchased the property in 1805 using an $8000 legacy left to her by George Washington, Martha’s step grandfather. They set about designing formal garden spaces to improve the landscape of their new suburban villa along with the agricultural areas of the property. Some of those formal features can still be seen today.
The most outstanding feature that still survives is the English boxwood Ellipse on the north side of the house. This hedge was originally kept at twelve inches high and had a large black locust tree (the stump is still there) in the northwest portion where visitors’ horses would be tied. Martha Peter wrote in her journal that the horses would nibble the boxwood hedge while they were waiting. The original formal features in the north garden also included the east garden which was the original home of the knot garden, the west garden square which was more open, and the circle seat overlooking the dell which was enlarged in 1930. The South Lawn’s formal features extended to the east and west islands which were typical design elements of an English inspired landscape. In 1805, the house overlooked the port of Georgetown and the beginnings of Washington, DC.
We will be offering two free guided tours of the garden on May 6th at 11 am and 2 pm, each led by a member of the garden staff. The garden will also be open for our regular self guided tours from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission to the garden will be free for this event and we will have a plant sale on May 6th and 7th to celebrate National Public Garden Day highlighting our plant material including English boxwood cuttings from the Ellipse.
Please join us on May 6th to celebrate National Public Garden Day.