Sunday, March 19, 2017

One of My Favorite Gardens

Our trip to the city a few days ago gave us an opportunity to visit the Enid Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian castle in Washington DC.  We were there as the most recent snow was melting away.




The recent hard freeze had turned the magnolia blossoms to dirty tissues as so often happens at this latitude.

This is a four acre public garden that also includes a permanent Zen garden and some temporary outdoor art/sculpture. 



Many people do not know that it is a roof garden that it is over the National Museum of African Art, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and the S. Dillon Ripley Center.  If you look closely you can see some of the skylights in the plantings. 

Enid Haupt was an Annenburg and came from the family that published a racing form, the TV Guide and Seventeen magazine among other things. But rather than fame for publishing, she is considered the foremost horticultural philanthropist in America by some people. And this garden is one of my favorites. She provided an endowment of over 3 million dollars which thus allowed a legacy for years. You would never know you were in the heart of a city.

Unfortunately, this garden is under a plan of removal and replacement by something with more sweeping grass and less "garden" as entrances to the museums below are recreated. The new design is very contemporary and a bit teeth cringing in my opinion when placed next to the red brick Smithsonian Castle. You can go here for more information. The museums do need repair and remodel and the roofs in some areas are leaking, which means the garden would have to be torn up to fix that.  I am not in favor removing the tradition feel of this escape.  I am glad I visited and will continue to do so. The new work on the museums and gardens is costing over 3 billion dollars in expense, taken mostly from private donations.

12 comments:

Marie Smith said...

Amazing to have so much funding from private sources.

Studio Maywyn said...

Amazing
Three billion could fund Meals on Wheels for years.

messymimi said...

Sometimes "progress" doesn't feel much like it.

The Furry Gnome said...

Did you say $3 billion!?

Anita said...

Such treasures we have in our country! Your appreciation for it is infectious.

Red said...

It's sad that we have to fight to keep things that are not being made anymore.

Snaggle Tooth said...

I too mourn garden removal, but roof repair would be important. Like the idea of roof top greenery! Amazing. Read the other blog, but can't comment. Yep, today's parents have to do too much! Glad you didn't,'t get that flu which did me in for so many weeks this winter.

ellen abbott said...

well, you know, we don't take much pride in our cultural past. award winning building? tear it down. famous botanical garden? get rid of it.

Mage said...

OOh, I loved that space too. Yes, the thought of grass instead of garden in that area doesn't sit well. Perhaps the endowment had vanished? Very sick again here, but was buoyed by remembering the gardens.

joared said...

Seems a shame to not be able to keep more of the garden. Guess they call it necessary change -- or some form of progress.

Granny Annie said...

I must go take a picture of my field. It is covered with purple flowers that are actually weeds. They will go away so I must capture them on my camera before I mow.

Bob Bushell said...

Nice garden, stunning trees.