Text by Holly Seng
Housing a vast array of diverse plants among its 13 acres, the gardens of Hillwood Estate, located in Washington, D.C., offer visitors a brilliant botanical showcase year-round. From bevies of blossoming blooms in spring to snow-covered sculptures that welcome winter’s tranquility, Kate Markert’s A Garden for All Seasons: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Hillwood successfully captures the estate’s enduring beauty.
Kate currently serves as executive director for Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens. As author of the first book covering both its history and design, she shares the awe and allure of the captivating grounds. Created through Marjorie’s collaboration with renowned landscape architects Umberto Innocenti, Richard Webel, and Perry Wheeler, the site draws numerous visitors each year.
Marjorie’s careful consideration of even the tiniest details makes for a well-thought-out design as quiet, serene spaces lead to more expansive entertaining venues. Legendary for hosting philanthropic gatherings and popular garden parties for the political elite, the Lunar Lawn would accommodate as many as 1,000 guests.
From greenhouses filled with exotic orchids to curved wooden bridges and pagodas beneath the shade of Japanese maple trees, there is a captivating scene on every page of the 182-page book. Each season highlights a new element and creates an escape to enjoy throughout the year, providing inspiration for emulating a similar design process on a smaller scale for your own garden.
Whether this read encourages you to design your own outdoor haven or make plans to visit Hillwood Estate itself, you will surely turn to its glorious content time and time again.