French drawing room at Hillwood


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Miniature Zen Garden

Create your own garden of tranquility inspired by Hillwood’s Japanese-style garden.

Carefully composed zen gardens should conjure the intimate essence of nature, inviting you to meditate and bring peace. Build your own oasis of calm in the form of a tabletop zen garden in this hands-on workshop.

Your garden will be approximately 15 by 7 inches, and include sand, pebbles, small stones, and featured rocks, as well as a small Japanese-inspired ornament.  You’ll also receive a miniature rake to create and change calming patterns in the sand.

All supplies are included in this workshop. These containers are shallow. Containers will be available to pack your garden contents before you leave, allowing you to rearrange the materials at home. 

This program is limited to twelve people. Payment is required in advance and is non-refundable.  This workshop must have a minimum of four participants. In the event the workshop is canceled, participants may choose a refund or to participate in another session.

About the Instructor

Frances Vandenbroucke has been a gardener at Hillwood for nearly seventeen years, starting first as a volunteer before being hired to care for the Japanese-style garden in 2002. Before coming to Hillwood, she was the horticulturist at Woodlawn and Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey House in Alexandria, Virginia, a National Trust historic site. There she was responsible for the plantings and maintenance of the gardens and designed a new landscape for the Pope-Leighey House, based on Wright's original drawings. She received her horticultural training at Northern Virginia Community College.