Public Gardens

Public Gardens in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area

Public gardens are living examples of which plant performs well in the area. Many public gardens have a reference library, gift shop, web site, and gardening hotline. Usually, public gardens host seminars, workshops, classes, events, and plant sales. They may publish their own books on plants for the area or distribute free handouts. Some have staff horticulturists who can identify plants or answer questions. For a complete list of public gardens by state, check out For local public gardens, check out Call for admission fees and times (not all are free). For books about local public gardens, see the “Books” tab/page at


Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902
(301) 962-1400

Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21209
(410) 367-2217

Historic London Town & Gardens, 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater, MD 21037
(410) 222-1919

Ladew Topiary Gardens, 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, MD 21111
(410) 557-9570

McCrillis Gardens, 6910 Greentree Road, Bethesda, MD 20817
(301) 962-1455

Riversdale Gardens & House Museum, 4811 Riverdale Road, Riverdale Park, MD 20737; (301) 864-0420

William Paca House and Garden, 186 Prince George Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 267-7619

Washington, DC

Dumbarton Oaks, 1703 32nd Street, NW, Washington DC 20007 (closed for renovations until 2018)
(202) 339-6401

Franciscan Monastery, 1400 Quincy Street, NE, Washington, DC 20017
(202) 526-6800

Hillwood Museum & Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20008
(202) 686-5807

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, between Quarles & Douglas Streets on Anacostia Avenue, Washington, DC
(202) 426-6905

Smithsonian Institution Gardens, 900 Jefferson Drive, SW, Washington DC 20560
(202) 633-2220

Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20007
(202) 965-0400

U.S. Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW, Washington DC 20024
(202) 225-8333

U.S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002
(202) 245-2726

Washington National Cathedral (Bishops Garden and Olmsted Woods) 3101 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington DC 20016
(202) 537-6200 or (202) 537-2937

American Horticultural Society’s River Farm, 7931 East Boulevard Drive, Alexandria, VA 22308
(703) 768-5700

Blandy, state arboretum of Virginia (Orland E. White Arboretum) and University of Virginia’s experimental farm, 400 Blandy Farm Lane, Boyce, VA 22620
(540) 837-1758

Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA 22312
(703) 642-5173

Gunston Hall Plantation, 10709 Gunston Road, Mason Neck, VA 22079
(703) 550-9220

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna, VA 22182
(703) 255-3631

Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens
George Washington Parkway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121
(703) 780-2000

Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg, VA 20175
(703) 777-3174

Woodlawn Plantation, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House, Arcadia
9000 Richmond Highway, Mt. Vernon, VA 22309
(703) 780-4000

Demonstration Gardens

Demonstration gardens are a great way to learn what works in the Washington DC metro area and how to manage our local issues, such as deer. The gardens are open to the public, every day, from dawn to dusk, free. Each county that has a Master Gardener program usually has at least one demonstration garden, managed by the volunteer Master Gardeners. To find such a garden, call your local county Master Gardener program representative (your local extension agent) and ask if they manage a demonstration garden. Some have several to showcase various environmental conditions and some use the garden as a place to teach or host workshops.

The Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia (Arlington and Alexandria) have five demonstration gardens:

  • Glencarlyn Library Community Gardens, corner of S. Third and S. Kensington Streets, off Carlin Springs Road, Arlington
  • Simpson Park Gardens (E. Monroe Avenue at the end of Leslie Avenue, next to the YMCA in Alexandria
  • Organic Vegetable Garden, Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Marcy Road, Arlington
  • Rock Quarry Shade Garden, Bon Air Park on Wilson Boulevard and N. Lexington Street, Arlington
  • Sunny Garden, Bon Air Park, Arlington

The Prince William County Master Gardeners manage a very large “Teaching Garden” at St. Benedict Monastery, 9535 Linton Hall Road, Bristow, VA. Within this large garden are mini gardens to illustrate certain conditions or issues, such as a deer resistant garden, shade garden, vegetable garden, and pollinator garden.

The Loudoun County Master Gardeners have Ida Lee Park on Ida Lee Park Drive, Leesburg, VA; which they also use as a teaching garden.

The Montgomery County Master Gardeners have a demonstration garden at the Agriculture History Farm Park, 18410 Muncaster Road, Derwood, MD.

The Prince Georges County Master Gardeners are fortunate to use the Kitchen Garden at the Riversdale Gardens and House Museum, 4811 Riverdale Road, Riverdale Park, MD.

Written in September 2016 by Peggy Riccio and; copyright Peggy Riccio and

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