Set on twenty-five acres adjacent to Rock Creek Park, Hillwood’s gardens feature a diverse and fascinating array of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, offering something to see in every season.
Today's highlights in the garden:
- Seasonal color was an integral part of the gardens for Marjorie Post. This year the putting green patio is overflowing with rich red hues of Coleus ‘Redhead’ and Verbena ‘Endurascape Red.’ The containers sport Cordyline ‘Picasso’s Red,’ Angelonia ‘Archangel Cherry Red’ and wire vine (Muehlenbeckia axillaris). They are just a small part of the nearly ten thousand annual and tropical plants in our summer display on view now.
- The water lilies (Nymphaea spp) are blooming in the Japanese-style garden. There are many different species in the world known for their large, oval green leaves and slightly fragrant blooms that float above the water. The flowers come in many shades: pink, blue, purple, pure white and even yellow but ours are a beautiful coral color. Nymphaea odorata is the common North American white water lily that is often seen in the wild. Learn more about our Japanese-style garden with a gardener’s focus tour in July.
- The cutting garden is just full of summer color including zinnas, amarantha, marigolds and so much more. One stand out is Celosia cristata ‘Kurume Orange Red.’ This is a cockscomb type of celosia with large red heads that shows great tolerance for drought and disease. Strong straight stems make this a favorite for cutting for arrangements.
- Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ is following its name and lighting up the Lunar Lawn beds. This deciduous shrub can get quite large, easily reaching 8 feet tall and is just chock-a-block full of blooms. The flowers develop on the ends of the branches into conical panicles 6 to 8 inches long. These long lasting blooms start out creamy white, turn a tad chartreuse and can pick up a hint of rose tones before fading to beige. The dried flowers can add interest to a winter landscape.
Plants of note in the greenhouse:
- Several of our Encyclia radiata are in bloom and you might smell them before you see them! These small orchids native to Mexico have a wonderful, sweet fragrance that is filling the western orchid house. Another interesting feature of these plants is that the flowers look like they are upside down. With the lip being at the top of the plant, it looks a bit like a cockle shell. Encyclia radiata is also known as a cockle shell orchid.
- The Tibouchina grandifolia is making quite the statement in the entrance house. Spikes of purple flowers reach nearly 7 feet in the air. The plant’s foliage is a show stopper too with large fuzzy leaves that can turn a bit orange towards fall. This Brazilian native has become quite popular in Florida and with the Hillwood horticulture staff.
- Another interesting plant in bloom is the orange medinilla (Medinilla scortechinii). The flowers, born at the ends of short branches, are reminiscent of orange coral. Its habit is shrub-like with dark green leathery leaves. It makes a good house plant in bright light and grows one to two feet tall.