2016 Garden Tour: 9 Georgetown Classics

The Ambassador Bruce House, now owned by Under Armour's Kevin Plank, will open its refreshed gardens on 34th St. NW this year. | Courtesy WFP.

Washington is known to politicians and tourists as the granite and marble center of the world, where history, policy, government, embassies and the Powers That Be comingle among the monuments and statuary.

But for residents of the city’s many neighborhoods, Washington has always been a city of trees — in fact a city of foliage and flowers — where oaks, beeches, sycamores and magnolias preside over homes and yards, front and back, shading green lawns and colorful clusters of roses and tulips. If Rock Creek Park sometimes seems like the most endless, greenest place on earth, the blocks of row houses, duplexes, single-family homes and apartment houses, dappled in light and shadow, give the city its lived-in, at-home-with-nature character.

If Washington is a city of trees, then Georgetown is a village of gardens. In spring and fall especially, but all the year through, among the old streets and splendid homes, you can sometimes see the results out front — hints in the flower boxes of the well-tended patios and gardens within.

Every year, the Georgetown Garden Club sponsors its annual Georgetown Garden Tour, when visitors can see and peruse and stroll in gardens on both the east and west side of the village. As always, the tour will benefit local organizations that work for the preservation of gardens, parks and green spaces.

This year’s tour is Saturday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Refreshments made by Garden Club members will be served in Keith Hall at Christ Church, 3116 O St. NW, between 2 and 4 p.m.

Among the nine gardens selected this year is the Pyne garden at the 30th Street house owned by Nancy Gray, the widow of Gordon Gray. A favorite — it was on the tour two years ago — the extensive garden is beautifully planted and maintained. There is an emphasis on boxwoods, especially hardy varieties, and many of the terraces and perennial beds have a formal feel. There are also vegetable gardens designed by Adrian Higgins.

Another highlight is the garden on 34th and O Streets where elegant Georgetown hostess Evangeline Bruce lived with her husband, Ambassador David Bruce. Its garden was designed by Amy Mills. The home, now owned by Kevin Plank of Under Armour, has undergone a complete renovation. A third showpiece is a property that was once adjacent to Tudor Place, featuring a garden with an eye-catching perennial border. The garden was designed to be handicapped accessible.

Tickets for the Garden Tour are $40. Tickets may be purchased online in advance and at Christ Church on the day of the tour. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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