Public Gardens You’ll Want to Visit in Washington, DC

When you’re looking for inspiration for your garden design, plant selections, companion plantings and landscape design, don’t miss checking out our local botanical gardens, arboretums and other public-garden spaces. Inspiration aside, these spaces offer so much more — historic importance, learning opportunities, fun events and just what everyone could use — a dose of “happy vibes.”

We’ve put together a list of great places to visit in Washington, DC where you’ll find plenty of inspiration. Best of all, most are free and open year-round!

Smithsonian Gardens Logo

Smithsonian Gardens

10 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20050

Cost: Free

As a vital and vibrant part of the Smithsonian experience, Smithsonian Gardens engages people with plants and gardens, informs on the roles both play in our cultural and natural worlds, and inspires appreciation and stewardship.

Smithsonian Gardens extends the Smithsonian’s museum experience in a public garden setting with over 180 acres of outdoor gardens including 13 public exhibition gardens often called the Smithsonian institution’s “museum without walls.” Staff also produces interior exhibits and horticultural displays around the Smithsonian, develops educational programing, and manages artifact, archival, and living collections.

Smithsonian Gardens Washington DC
Smithsonian Gardens Washington DC
Smithsonian Gardens Washington DC
Smithsonian Gardens Washington DC
Smithsonian Gardens Washington DC
Smithsonian Gardens Washington DC
United States Botanical Gardens logo

United States Botanical Gardens

100 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20001

Cost: Free

Steeped in history, the United States Botanic Garden is a living plant museum that informs visitors about the importance, and often irreplaceable value, of plants to people and Earth’s ecosystems.

From roses to orchids, the rainforest to the Mid-Atlantic, rare and endangered plants to home garden inspiration, you will find a world of plants and environments in our permanent exhibits and gardens. Any time of year, you’ll see something beautiful in bloom in the U.S. Botanic Garden’s Conservatory, gated outdoor gardens, and Bartholdi Fountain and Gardens.

United States Botanical Gardens Kitchen Garden Bertholdi Park in Washington, DC
United States Botanical Gardens in Washington, DC
United States Botanical Gardens in Washington, DC
Dunbar Oaks park Conservancy logo

Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservatory

1703 32nd St NW
Washington, DC 20007

Cost: $7 per person (under 2,  free)

Dumbarton Oaks is a Harvard University research institute, library, museum, and garden located in Washington, DC. The institution is the legacy of Robert and Mildred Bliss, collectors of art and patrons of learning in the humanities.

The historic garden and museum form the public face of Dumbarton Oaks and receive tens of thousands of visitors each year. The garden is perhaps the last remaining landscape in North America that hews closely to the original Farrand design; in 2014 it was singled out by National Geographic as one of the ten best gardens in the world.

Buildings of architectural significance on the Dumbarton Oaks campus include the Pre-Columbian Gallery, designed by Philip Johnson and completed in 1963, and the Research Library designed by Venturi, Scott Brown and finished in 2005.

Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in Washington DC
Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in Washington DC
Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in Washington DC
Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in Washington DC
Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in Washington DC
U.S. National Arboretum logo

U.S. National Arboretum

3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

Cost: Free

The grounds of the U.S. National Arboretum are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the year except for Christmas Day. The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except for federal holidays from November through February. Admission to the grounds and museum is free and no tickets are needed.

The U.S. National Arboretum enhances the economic, environmental, and aesthetic value of ornamental and landscape plants through long-term, multi-disciplinary research, conservation of genetic resources, and interpretative gardens and exhibits.

Whatever you do, don’t miss visiting the bonsai collection. It’s amazing!

Asian Collections | Azalea Collections | Dogwood Collection | Fern Valley | Friendship Garden | Gotelli Conifer Collection | Holly & Magnolia Collections | National Bonsai & Penjing Museum | National Capitol Columns | National Herb Garden | Washington Youth Garden

U.S. National Arboretum in Washington DC
U.S. National Arboretum in Washington DC
U.S. National Arboretum in Washington DC
U.S. National Arboretum in Washington DC
U.S. National Arboretum in Washington DC
Hillwood Estate Gardens Logo

Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

4155 Linnean Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

Cost: Adult $15.00, Senior $12.00, Student $10.00, Child (6-18) $5.00

Hillwood’s spectacular gardens capture the vision Marjorie Post conceived when building the estate in the 1950s. She designed the gardens to flower in the spring and fall, when she was in residence at Hillwood. Today, they offer something beautiful in every season.

Nestled in the hills of Northwest Washington, D.C., Hillwood welcomes visitors from around the world with its gracious hospitality. Escape into an oasis only five miles from downtown Washington and explore the pristine mansion, dine at Merriweather Café, and enjoy the beauty of the formal gardens.

U.S. National Arboretum in Washington DC
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

1550 Anacostia Ave NE
Washington, DC 20019

Cost: Free

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, a one-of-a-kind destination within Anacostia Park, is home to both cultivated and historic water gardens. It offers a vast wild wetland, displaying a unique beauty that includes some of the original tidal freshwater wetlands that characterized the area before the city was built.

Open year round. Walk the trails in winter and spring for birding and blossoms, see our famous lotus flowers bloom (late June to July), and come during fall to enjoy the crisp cool air and vibrant leaves as you picnic. Regardless of what you’re in the mood for, there is an ever changing pallet of activities for ALL throughout the year.

The summer lotus and lily blossoms are a “must see” during their peak blooming period in July, not unlike viewing the cherry blossoms in the spring.

Kenilworth Park & Garden
Kenilworth Park & Garden
Kenilworth Park & Garden
Kenilworth Park & Garden
Washington National Cathedral Logo

Washington National Cathedral

3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016

Cost: Free

The National Cathedral welcomes visitors to enjoy the peaceful quiet that surrounds the Cathedral. The grounds are open daily dawn to dusk.

The grounds consist of cultivated gardens, including the Bishop’s Garden; the Olmsted Woods, an oak and beech forest; manicured lawns; a prayer path; and the landscaped grounds and athletic fields of the Cathedral schools.

The National Cathedral's Bishop Garden
The National Cathedral's Bishop Garden
The National Cathedral's Bishop Garden
The National Cathedral's Bishop Garden
The National Cathedral's Bishop Garden
The National Cathedral's Bishop Garden

Our neighbors in DC sure have a wealth of garden delights, dontcha think? So many great spaces. So many planting ideas. So many places to just tuck yourself away and enjoy the experience. We hope you get a chance to visit all of them. And after you do, come by and tell us all about your visit! 

Happy gardening!

Want more? Find more articles on all your gardening needs.

How To Start Your Own Rain Garden

How To Start Your Own Rain Garden

You can improve rainwater absorption (less puddles in your yard!) AND have a beautiful & beneficial space by creating a downspout garden.

What Are The Benefits of Rain Gardening?

What Are The Benefits of Rain Gardening?

You can improve rainwater absorption (less puddles in your yard!) AND have a beautiful & beneficial space by creating a downspout garden.

A Downspout Garden can be Downright Beautiful

A Downspout Garden can be Downright Beautiful

You can improve rainwater absorption (less puddles in your yard!) AND have a beautiful & beneficial space by creating a downspout garden.

Public Gardens You’ll Want to Visit in Virginia

Public Gardens You’ll Want to Visit in Virginia

When you're looking for inspiration for your garden design, plant selections, companion plantings and landscape design, don't miss checking out our local botanical gardens, arboretums and other public-garden spaces. We've gathered a comprehensive list of great places to visit in Washington, DC where you'll find plenty of inspiration and good vibes. Best of all, many are free and open year-round!

Hosta: Proven Winners’ Shadowland® Coast to Coast

Hosta: Proven Winners’ Shadowland® Coast to Coast

This striking shade perennial has bold, gold-colored leaves, which really pop and shine, helping it stand out in a shady location. And bonus, that gold coloring will become even brighter in the morning sun. Even more, the leaves are a bit puckered, adding nice textural interest.

Roses: Proven Winners’ Oso Easy Double Red®

Roses: Proven Winners’ Oso Easy Double Red®

Not only does this beauty have creds (she was the National Rose of the Year in 2020), the Oso Easy Double Red® Rose is a hard worker, putting out double petals for a lush, luxurious look. She also blooms all summer and is disease resistant.

Proven Winners Eco+ Pots for the Win!

Proven Winners Eco+ Pots for the Win!

When you’re out shopping for flowers at Reston Farm Garden Market, you’ll notice a large selection of our Proven Winners plants are now packaged in Eco+ Grande® and Eco+ Quart® pots.

Russian Sage: Proven Winners’ Denim ‘n Lace

Russian Sage: Proven Winners’ Denim ‘n Lace

The Denim ‘n Lace Russian Sage is an award-winner and one of “Garden Answer” Laura’s personal favorites. Their lacy-like, bright, sky-blue flowers bloom an exceptionally long time, and are a favorite of hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. Plus... both flowers and leaves are quite fragrant!

Rose Mallow: Proven Winners’ Summerific® “Holy Grail”

Rose Mallow: Proven Winners’ Summerific® “Holy Grail”

When it comes to flowers, blue is always a harder color to find. Which is just one reason why the Blue Chiffon® Rose of Sharon is such a spectacular plant. Plus, they just cover the plant when they start to bloom about mid-summer usually lasting right through our first hard frost.

Rose of Sharon: Proven Winners’ Blue Chiffon®

Rose of Sharon: Proven Winners’ Blue Chiffon®

When it comes to flowers, blue is always a harder color to find. Which is just one reason why the Blue Chiffon® Rose of Sharon is such a spectacular plant. Plus, they just cover the plant when they start to bloom about mid-summer usually lasting right through our first hard frost.

Plan Your Garden Around the Color Wheel

Plan Your Garden Around the Color Wheel

When designing your garden's color pallette, use color-wheel theories for a stronger, more focused theme. Check out these inspirational gardens.

Smooth Hydrangea: Perennial Shrub with Easy-Care Nature

Smooth Hydrangea: Perennial Shrub with Easy-Care Nature

If you’re looking to add a touch of serene beauty to your landscape, you need to meet the Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens), a delightful shrub that promises to transform your garden into a lush haven.

Coreopsis: Perennial with Plenty to Offer

Coreopsis: Perennial with Plenty to Offer

A great addition for beginner and seasoned gardeners alike, the low-maintenance beauty knowns a the Cinnamon Fern adds seasonal interest to your landscape. Great for shade or sunny, wet locations in your yard and garden.

Grow Your Own Veggies From Seed: Planting Guide for Zones 7a & 7b

Grow Your Own Veggies From Seed: Planting Guide for Zones 7a & 7b

Growing your own vegetables from seed can be rewarding and cost-saving! Get our easy-reference Vegetable Seed-Planting Guide.

Cinnamon Fern: Easy Perennial with Seasonal Interest

Cinnamon Fern: Easy Perennial with Seasonal Interest

A great addition for beginner and seasoned gardeners alike, the low-maintenance beauty knowns a the Cinnamon Fern adds seasonal interest to your landscape. Great for shade or sunny, wet locations in your yard and garden.

Garden Trends 2024: Get Back to Nature and Go Wild!

Garden Trends 2024: Get Back to Nature and Go Wild!

The trend of “rewilding” is gaining momentum this year. If you haven’t heard of this, it’s essentially what it sounds like: returning your garden to a more “wild” state, and managing it in a way that allows nature to play a bigger role in your landscape design.

Garden Trends 2024: Grow Your Own Tapestry

Garden Trends 2024: Grow Your Own Tapestry

Flowering ground covers, such as chamomile, thyme, yarrow and self-heal, can be wonderful choices for your tapestry lawn!

Turn Your Winter Blues into Garden To-do’s

Turn Your Winter Blues into Garden To-do’s

Waiting for spring to arrive? There are plenty of things we can do now to plan for a new, a better, a more fruitful season in our gardens. It's time to start planning!

Have you Introduced Zook’s Homemade Pot Pies to Your Mouth?

Have you Introduced Zook’s Homemade Pot Pies to Your Mouth?

Look for Zook's Homemade Chicken, Sausage and Beef Pies in the refrigerated section of our market.

What are USDA Plant Hardiness Zones and Why Are They Important?

What are USDA Plant Hardiness Zones and Why Are They Important?

When we say a particular plant is suited for Zone 7b, do you know what we’re referring to? The United States Department of ...

Bonita’s Apple Butter Oatmeal Bars Recipe

Bonita’s Apple Butter Oatmeal Bars Recipe

Come on over the Garden Market and stock up on Bonita’s Apple Butter so you can make your own delicious apple butter oatmeal bars!

Deer-Resistant Plantings: Proven Winners® EZ Scapes™ Plant Combo

Deer-Resistant Plantings: Proven Winners® EZ Scapes™ Plant Combo

Oh, deer… If you have deer nibbling on your precious plants, we have an EZ Scape™ easy recipe to share from our friends at Proven ...

Foliage for Shade: Proven Winners® EZ Scapes™ Plant Combo

Foliage for Shade: Proven Winners® EZ Scapes™ Plant Combo

Our friends at Proven Winners® have created easy recipes — called EZ Scapes™ — that consist of combinations of three to four ...

How to Build an Easy and Safe Fire Pit

How to Build an Easy and Safe Fire Pit

Fire pits are not too difficult to build and you don’t need any fancy equipment. We’ll walk you through the steps to do it yourself…

Fall in Love with These Autumn Garden Container Ideas

Fall in Love with These Autumn Garden Container Ideas

Dive into our curated collection of seasonal designs and plant combo ideas to transform your space with autumn's rich colors and textures.

Your Guide to Pruning Hydrangeas in the Fall

Your Guide to Pruning Hydrangeas in the Fall

Knowing when to prune is critical to strengthening flowering on the different hydragea varieties; some bloom on new wood and some bloom on old wood.

Colorful & Fragrant Shrubs to Plant in the Fall

Colorful & Fragrant Shrubs to Plant in the Fall

Gardening is a wonderful journey, especially when you're just starting out. The fall season offers an exciting opportunity to plant shrubs that will flourish in the upcoming year. We’ll introduce you to some amazing shrubs to plant in the fall, the how-tos of planting them, and why fall is the ideal time for your gardening activities.

Let’s Make Some Sweet & Crunchy Honeycomb Brittle

Let’s Make Some Sweet & Crunchy Honeycomb Brittle

Try making this fun candy concoction using our locally-sourced honey, and your mouth will thank you. Honeycomb Brittle, also known as Honeycomb Toffee and Hokey Pokey, is a treat your family will love.

7 Things to Do in Your Zone 7 Garden in August

7 Things to Do in Your Zone 7 Garden in August

Here's your essential list of August garden activities you'll want to finish or at least get started before fall arrives.

Are Bad Bugs a Growing Problem in Your Garden?

Are Bad Bugs a Growing Problem in Your Garden?

Know the difference between the good bugs and the bad bugs in your garden. Learn how to attract the good bugs, and how to safely treat for bad bugs.

How to Identify and Address Powdery Mildew

How to Identify and Address Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a common fungus that affects a wide variety of plants. The good news is it can be easily identified. Know how to spot it and treat it!

How to Get Berry Good at Raising Healthy Blueberry Bushes

How to Get Berry Good at Raising Healthy Blueberry Bushes

Check out how easy it is to have dwarf bushes developed by Bushel & Berry®, created especially for the home gardener. Grow them in containers or in your garden.

Quenching Your Plants’ Thirst: How to Properly Water Your Plants

Quenching Your Plants’ Thirst: How to Properly Water Your Plants

Overwatering plants is one of the most common ways plants die. If you're not sure what to do, read on for the proper ways to water your garden & plants.

Layer Gardening: When You Can’t See the Forest For the Food

Layer Gardening: When You Can’t See the Forest For the Food

A “food forest” is a fully enclosed ecosystem designed so it can take care of almost everything on its own. In other words, little to no maintenance. Learn how to implement your own food forest.

Things are Looking Up With Vertical Gardening

Things are Looking Up With Vertical Gardening

Use a vertical garden to define a particular space, say a wall, a screen, or a length of fence. Creating a vertical garden can be as simple as you want.

Herb Gardening: How to have a Scratch and Sniff Garden

Herb Gardening: How to have a Scratch and Sniff Garden

Check out our top picks for your herb gardening. Herbs have the power to transform your stroll through your garden, reaching out to you with their fresh, delightful aroma, whether you brush by them or you pick a leaf and rub it between your finger and thumb.

Are You Ready to Rock Garden?

Are You Ready to Rock Garden?

Whether you have natural rock formations in your garden or not, you can create a beautiful rock garden. And the best part: Rock gardens can be low-maintenance.

Get the Low-Down on Low-Maintenance Shrubs & Plants

Get the Low-Down on Low-Maintenance Shrubs & Plants

Looking for garden and landscaping options that don't take a lot of care? Consider these low-maintenance shrubs and plants for stress-free landscaping.

AquaPots®  Keep Your Plants Happy and Healthy

AquaPots® Keep Your Plants Happy and Healthy

With an AquaPot, you don't have to worry about under or overwatering your plants. Get the best of both worlds: convenience and beauty.

Organic Lawn Care Tips (Thanks, Espoma!)

Organic Lawn Care Tips (Thanks, Espoma!)

Organic lawn care focuses on growing a healthy lawn, which helps defend it against insects and diseases. Healthy lawns begin with healthy soil. Learn how...

Your Mulch Questions Answered

Your Mulch Questions Answered

How much mulch do I need? What is the best kind of mulch to use? What kinds of mulch are there? We have answers to your mulching questions!

Design Your Garden for Year-Round Blooms & Interest

Design Your Garden for Year-Round Blooms & Interest

Your garden is constantly changing with plants cycling in and out of bloom. Synchronize blooms and growth for year-round interest with a little planning.

Happy Gardens Love Espoma’s Line of Organic Fertilizers

Happy Gardens Love Espoma’s Line of Organic Fertilizers

As gardeners, we know that making sure our soil is healthy and filled with the right nutrients is one of the most important things we can do. That’s why we love Espoma’s line of organic fertilizers, compost and soils.

Yummy Baked Apple Recipe

Yummy Baked Apple Recipe

Apples have been called nature’s perfect snack. We especially love ‘em baked with brown sugar and cinnamon, served with vanilla ice cream.

Fall is the Best Time to Plant Trees and Shrubs

Fall is the Best Time to Plant Trees and Shrubs

Planting trees and shrubs in the fall gives your new trees and shrubs a better chance for good root development before winter.

August and September is Time to Plant Your Fall Veggies

August and September is Time to Plant Your Fall Veggies

Reston Farm Garden Market is here with all the things you need to help you successfully grow and harvest your food, from plants to soils to amendments.

Easy Raised Beds and Container Gardening with Root Pouch

Easy Raised Beds and Container Gardening with Root Pouch

Root Pouches offer so many benefits for your raised bed and container gardening! Made from recycled material. Allows plant roots to breath. Moisture and temperature control. See why you should use these!

Make Your Yard Stay-cation Worthy With Tropicals

Make Your Yard Stay-cation Worthy With Tropicals

Add these tropicals to your northern Virginia garden and you'll have a garden worthy of a staycation retreat. Three of our faves are Croton, Caladiums and Palms.

Do you want more peace and tranquility in your garden? Just say “Zen.”

Do you want more peace and tranquility in your garden? Just say “Zen.”

If you’re interested in creating your very peaceful, very relaxing, very beautiful Zen garden space, we can help you.

Reston Farm Garden Market Contributes to ‘Plant a Better Tomorrow’ Program

Reston Farm Garden Market Contributes to ‘Plant a Better Tomorrow’ Program

The “Plant a Better Tomorrow” program raised $14,500 in 2021. "We are so excited to be a contributing part of this effort. There are so many families in need of help, that we want to contribute in the most profound way possible."

Ideas for Using Dark Foliage Plants in Zone 7A

Ideas for Using Dark Foliage Plants in Zone 7A

Looking for ways to help your vibrant and colorful plants stand out in the garden? The trick is pairing them with dark foliage counterparts. We have four stunners that will help your garden sing.

Reston Farm Garden Market Carries Raw Honey from Golden Angels Apiary, VA

Reston Farm Garden Market Carries Raw Honey from Golden Angels Apiary, VA

Golden Angels Apiary specializes in raw honey and is one of the most well-regarded apiaries in Virginia.

Let’s Plant a Spring Moss Container

Let’s Plant a Spring Moss Container

When freezing temps have passed, but it might be too early to start planting in the ground, consider creating a moss-lined container with cool-temp blooming & loving plants. Garden Answer Laura shows us how!

Say “Welcome” With a Beautiful Fall Porch

Say “Welcome” With a Beautiful Fall Porch

Autumn is one of our favorite seasons! We love decorating our front porches with the textures and colors of fall. Check out these ideas and inspiration for YOUR porch and home entrance.

Autumn Garden Beauties You’ll Fall For

Autumn Garden Beauties You’ll Fall For

In our zone 7 area here in Reston, Virginia area, we are crazy about these show-off plans for fall garden beauty. Mums, violas, pansies, flowering kale and croton are a few of our favorites. See how these can liven up your fall garden.

Perennials Offer Style and Convenience

Perennials Offer Style and Convenience

Perennials perfect for those gardeners who like consistency and/or have limited time to spend in the garden. Usually having a shorter blooming cycle compared to annuals, try mixing different kinds to establish a blooming pattern. Get zone 7 perennial suggestions...

Proven Winners’ Supertunia Mini Vista® Pink Star Petunia

Proven Winners’ Supertunia Mini Vista® Pink Star Petunia

Our Supertunia petunias are stunning annuals that make excellent container and landscape flowering plants. They're super easy to care for, are heat tolerant and drought resistant. Listen to Garden Answer Laura explain why you need these lovelies!

Reston Diggs Local Business Spotlight on Reston Farm Garden Market

Reston Diggs Local Business Spotlight on Reston Farm Garden Market

Rob Chavez from Reston Diggs interviews Bonita Weinstein to get the dirt on the evolution of this family-owned and operated Reston, Virginia business. Around this garden center, we're growing joy every day.

Salmon Paninis Need This Secret Ingredient

Salmon Paninis Need This Secret Ingredient

Try our tangy Sweet Pepper Relish and Apple Cider Mustard to your sandwich creations and you'll never go back to mayo and plain ol' mustard.

Fall cocktails filled with fall flavors are more fun!

Fall cocktails filled with fall flavors are more fun!

Grab jars of Reston Farm Garden Market's own Bonita's Apple Butter and Big White's Apple Cider for the makings of two delicious signature cocktails: Harvest Mule & Appley Married.

The secret ingredient behind Berry Delicious Razzle Sauce is….

The secret ingredient behind Berry Delicious Razzle Sauce is….

Use our Red Raspberry Preserves to create a yummy drizzle for your grilled fish, shrimp, pork and more. Visit Reston Farms Garden Market for yummy foods, gorgeous plants and plenty of smiles.

Hey friend, we're on a mission to help you grow a more joyful garden. When you sign up for our weekly Good News emails, you'll get helpful how-tos and plenty of inspiration. And a tasty recipe or two.

As an added bonus, sign up for our texting Friend’s Club for a 10% off your next purchase and timely announcements on new arrivals, events and sales.

scan the QR code or text FRIEND to 833-414-1822

QR code to join Friend's Club

We are the legendary Reston Farm Garden Market, originally established in 1976. Located in Reston, Virginia, we’re passionate about serving our local Northern Virginia community by providing premium annuals, perennials, natives, herbs, veggie plants, and shrubs; organic gardening supplies; locally-sourced farm-fresh goods, and family fun. We hope to see you soon!

© 2023 Seasonal Celebrations LLC. All rights reserved. Brand & website design by Red Chalk Studios.