Major Garden Events in 2016



– Feb 27 and March 12: 3-Part Bee Program at Green Spring Gardens.
“Plight of Urban Bees,” “Beginning Beekeeping” and “Solitary Bee Box Workshop.” Info and registration here.  

– Winter Workshops at the National Arboretum register here.


– February 2 – Annual Orchid Show and Auction by the National Capital Orchid Society at Behnke Nurseries.

– February 6: Washington Gardener Seed Exchange at Green Spring Gardens. 12:30 – 4. Washington Gardener Magazine is co-hosting the 11th annual Seed Exchange at Green Spring Gardens with lectures, face-to-face seed swap and more. Info and registration here.

– January – March: Popular Winter Lecture Series at Green Spring Gardens. Great topics and speakers. Only $10. Register here.MC10

– February 20 from 9 am to 4. Eco-Savvy Symposium on Wise-Water Gardening.Very popular! Speakers include Greg Tepper, Delaware Botanic Gardens’ Horticulture Director; Lily Whitesell, watershed specialist, NVSWCD; Lauren Wheeler, principal of Natural Resources Design; and Todd Brethauer, science educator. Enroll here.

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– February 27: 9th Annual Rooting DC Forum! It’s a FREE, all-day gardening forum providing education about urban food production and consumption. Dozens of workshops, cooking and food preservation demonstrations, and panels discussing youth gardening, nutrition, sustainable growing techniques, and more.


– February 27 to April 17: Orchids in Focus, in the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory (joint project with the Smithsonian).

– February 18 to October 23: “Flora in the National Parks” opens in the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory (joint project with the National Park Service). Art exhibit celebrating 100th anniversary of the National Park skating

Through March 13 – Ice-Skating at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden. Watch the cool video about it here.


Orchid Month LP Hero

– March is Orchid Month at Hillwood Museum and Gardens. (Here’s the video.) Tours of the Orchid-Filled Greenhouse led by Jason Gedeik every Tuesday in March.

– Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons starting March 1:  Tea and Tour of National Cathedral and Grounds.

– March 5, Winter Tree Tour of Capitol Grounds.

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March 12 – Tour of U.S. Botanic Garden Production Facilities.


– March 19, 25 and 26: Eggstravaganza at Tudor Place.

– March 20 – April 17 Cherry Blossom Festival.  Or for 17+ Viewing Alternatives in the D.C. Area, recommended by Washington Gardener Magazine.

– March 20 – April 16 Self-guided Tour: Beyond the Tidal Basin: Introducing Other Great Flowering Cherries at the National ArboretumDrive, bike, or walk over several miles of Arboretum roads to see them all.  Pick up a brochure in the Visitor Information Center. Free, no registration required.

– March 19-20 Easter Lily and Palm Cross Sale at Franciscan Monastery. 8-6 on the 19th; 8-3 on the 20th.

– March 19-20 Orchid Show and Sale at Brookside Gardens.

– March 28 – April 1 NatureFest Spring Break at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

Cherry Blossoms Tours by bus, Segway, foot, boat, bike, photo safari, etc.


– April 2 through September, every Saturday at 11 a.m. and noon – Garden Tours at the Franciscan Monastery.  Details here.


– April 22 – October 28: Guided Garden Tour at Tudor Place.


– April 2: 30th Annual Lahr Native Plant Symposium: Good Design at the National Arboretum. Join the nation’s top practitioners of landscape design, ecology, and resource management to learn how you can apply their approaches, insights, and techniques. Fee: $95 ($76 FONA). Registration required. Click here for complete symposium details and registration information.


– April 2: Garden Party at Community Forklift. A fun-filled day when the Forklift offers up a ton of landscaping and garden supplies, and host gardening demonstrations, local experts and vendors, local bands, and a farm-to-fork food truck.  9-4.

– April 2: Native Plant Sale at the National Arboretum. 8:30 a.m. to 2 pm.

– April 2: Children’s Cherry Blossom Celebration at Green Spring Gardens. 1:30-3:30 pm. Celebrate spring and the Japanese gift of the cherry trees. Test your skill with chopsticks, try Japanese black ink painting, decorate paper fans, fold origami and more. Enjoy free activities or have even more fun by purchasing a craft ticket that gives you access to a variety of Japanese-inspired crafts. Advance registration for a craft ticket is recommended. Intended for ages 5 to adult. $10/person for a craft ticket.

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– April 6 through November 2: Learn Art in the Garden at Tudor Place.

– April 3, 9, 16 and 17, 1-3 pm. Ikebana Demonstrations at the National Arboretum’s Bonsai Museum. Free. No registration necessary.

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–  April 8: Green Matters Symposium at Brookside Gardens.


– Tuesdays through Saturdays through June 26: Guided tours of Hillwood Gardens at 10:30 and 12:30. Learn about the history, design, and the plants and flowers of the 13 acres of formal gardens. First-come, first-served upon opening each day. Approximately one hour long. Reservations are available for Hillwood members and groups of 10 or more. Included in suggested donation. Details here.

– April 2, 14, 15, 19, 21 and 22 from 2:30 to 3:15: Gardener’s Focus Tours of Hillwood Gardens feature the spring seasonal plantings (25,000 flowering bulbs!) and the creative design process used with them. Guide will be Jason Gedeik, head of design operations or Jessica Bonilla, head gardener. Tickets are distributed at the Visitor Center upon opening each day. A limited number of tickets may be pre-reserved by Hillwood members.Included in suggested donation.


– April 8-9:  Spring Garden Market at River Farm in Alexandria, VA.

–  April 9: Beyond the Tidal Basin Tram Tour, 10 am – noon. Open-air tram tour of the hundreds of flowering cherry trees that grace the National Arboretum’s grounds. Horticulturist David Kidwell-Slak will share the stories of the most remarkable specimens, trees of historical significance, and the results of the Arboretum’s research program. Stops include short walks into the research fields for close-up inspection of selected areas. Fee: $22 ($18 FONA) Registration required.

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– April 16: Cherry Blossom Tea and Garden Tour at Tudor Place.

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– April 17: Earth Day Plant Sale Kick-off and Picnic at Tudor Place.


– April 24: Earth Day Festival at Brookside Gardens.


– April 16-17 Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival.IMG_9057
– April 16-17 White House Gardens and Grounds Self-Guided Tour. White House announcement here,and our article about what it’s like (super-easy) here.

– April 16 – Talk by Perennial Diva Stephanie Cohen at National Arboretum titled “Perennial Foliage: Stripes and insert2Splashes, Dots and Dashes.” She presents the best and brightest perennials, including natives and grasses, to brighten your space with rich color and eye-catching patterns. Details and registration here.

April 16 – Ikebana Flower Design Workshop with Lanna Mai at Green Spring Gardens. Information and registration here.

April 16 – Edible Gardening at Green Spring Gardens with Longwood Gardens instructor Nancy Bell: Vegetable Gardening 101 in the morning and Edible Landscape Design in the afternoon.

– April 21: Garden Tour and Tea at Green Spring Gardens. After the tour enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea served in the 1784 historic house. $32/person. Reservations required – call 703-941-7987.


– April 23-24 Herb and Plant Sale at the Franciscan Monastery.

kerry annApril 23 – Coffee and Book Talk at Green Spring Gardens: “Right-size Flower Garden: Simplify your Outdoor Spaces with Smart Design Solutions and Plant Choices”by perennial garden expert Kerry Ann Mendez. She’ll share her successful recipe for having a garden we can manage and love again. Book signing to follow. More info here.

– April 23 Earth Day Volunteer Event at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.


– April 23, Old Town, Alexandria, VA Garden Tour, part of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week.

– April 26 Falls Church, VA Garden Tour, part of  Virginia’s Historic Garden Week.

– April 22: Earth Day Open House at the U.S. Botanic Garden.

– April 23 Earth Day Volunteer Event at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

–  April 29-30 Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) Garden Fair and Plant Sale.

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– April 29 Arbor Day Fest at the Arboretum – great line-up of speakers!

– April 30: Green House Open House at the Franciscan Monastery. 10 – 11:30.

urban gardening

– April 30: Urban Gardening Expo at the Silver Spring Civic Center. 10-2. Details here.

– April 30: Blossoms and Battles Photo Safari at Mount Vernon.


– May 1: Grow It Eat It Spring Open House at the Agricultural History Farm Park in Derwood, Md.  Register here.

– May 6-7: National Cathedral Flower Mart. Festival foods, children’s rides, artisanal & boutique gifts and, of course, herbs & flowers. Drawing locals and tourists alike since 1939, this festival of flowers and fun will celebrate All Hallows’ Guild’s centennial of service to the 59 acres of gardens and grounds around Washington National Cathedral. 10-6 on Friday and 10-5 on Saturday. Watch the video!


Images from the 2014 Takoma House and Garden Tour

–  May 1, Takoma Park House and Garden Tour.


Smithsonian Garden Fest

– May 6: Smithsonian Garden Fest.

– May 6: Visitor Appreciation Week and National Public Gardens Day at  Green Spring Gardens. Free gardening discussions, demonstrations or plant giveaways at 11 am and afternoon refreshments.

– May 6: National Public Garden Day – it’s free at Tudor Place.

tudor place mother's day

– May 8: Mother’s Day Floral Tea at Tudor Place.

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– May through October: Weekly Tours of the Smithsonian Gardens. Special tours for the Enid Haupt Garden, Ripley Garden, Heritage Garden, Victory Garden and the Native American Garden. Schedule and details here.

– April 27 – September 25: Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly & Caterpillar Exhibit. 10 am – 4 pm daily.

– May 14: Spring Plant Sale at Green Spring Gardens. 9 am – 3 pm. More than 40 local garden vendors.

– May 7-8: Capitol Hill House and Garden Tour.

– May 13-15: World Bonsai Day Festival at the National Arboretum, with the Potomac Bonsai Association. See full schedule here.


– May 7 Georgetown Garden Tour.


– May 13-15: World Bonsai Day Festival at the National Arboretum, with the Potomac Bonsai Association. See full schedule here.
– May 14 Spring Garden Day BIG Plant Sale at Green Spring Gardens.


– May 14 FREE Potomac Rose Society Symposium on Disease-Resistant Roses. Peter Kukielski, author of Roses without Chemicals and former curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the NY Botanical Garden, will help attendees re-think the rose garden.1-5 pm. More details here.


– May 15, 11 – 3: Bike Ride! Explore D.C.’s landmark greenspaces by bike, including Rock Creek Park, the National Mall, and Anacostia Park, and ending at the National Arboretum, where you will enjoy the World Bonsai Day Festival, the ‘Grass Roots’ turfgrass exhibit, light refreshments, and embark on a scavenger hunt to find “Petal”, the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s very own garden gnome. Click here to register, or write to:


– May 22: Shepherd Park Garden Tour.

– May 21 BIoBlitz Volunteer Day at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

– May 22: Columbia Heights Garden Tour.

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– May 21 – October 2: Exhibit Flourish: Inside and Out at the U.S. Botanic Garden. The indoor and outdoor exhibit, developed with the Chicago Botanic Garden, showcases the proven human-health benefits of interacting with nature. Full details here.



– Every Friday through September 2: Jazz in the Garden, at the  National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden. FREE.  Details here.

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– June 3, Farm to Table Reception, Tour and Dinner at Mount Vernon.  6:30-10 pm.



Scenes from the 2013 Garden Party.

– June 4: 6th Annual Garden Party at Behnke Nurseries. 10-2. Click here for full schedule.

– June 4 and 18: Free Tour of Brookside Gardens. 10-11 a.m.

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– June 5 Horticulture Society of Maryland Annual Tour.

brookland tour

– June 5: Brookland Garden Tour.

bside concert

– June 7 FREE Crawdaddies Concert at Brookside Gardens. Visitors Center Lawn, 6:30 – 8 pm.


– June 10+11: Summer Escape at Mount Vernon, 6-9 pm.

– June 10: Tour of the National Garden at U.S. Botanic Garden. Details here.

swap– June 11: Plant Swap at National Arboretum, with Washington Gardener Magazine. Details here.

– June 11: Festival Celebrating “Flourish, Inside and Out” at the U.S. Botanic Garden. 10 am – 4 pm. Details here.

bike tour

– June 12: School Garden Bike Tour, 11-3. Register here.  Details about this year’s tour here.

– June 14 FREE Damon Foreman Concert at Brookside Gardens. Blues and funk. 6:30-8 on the Visitors Center Lawn.

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– June 16: American Roots Music Concert at U.S. Botanic Garden with Dave Chappell. Details.

– June 21 FREE Ocho de Bastos Concert at Brookside Gardens. Latin rock. 6:30-8 pm on the Visitors Center Lawn.

– June 21 Native Bees in Your Garden talk at Brookside Gardens by Join Sam Droege, who collects and photographs the thousands of native bee species that thrive locally and around the nation. He’ll show you how to welcome them to your property. 10-11:30 am.
Register in Active Montgomery for course # 14880

– June 24: Pollinator Party at the U.S. Botanic Garden. Noon. Details.


– June 24: Concert of Songs and Dances of the Pua of Hawai’i, 11:30 a.m.  Details.

– June 26: Daylily Show and Sale by the National Capital Daylily Club at Brookside Gardens. Noon-5 pm.

gs event-001– June 28: FREE Concert in the Garden at Green Springs Gardens with The Fender Benders. Bring a picnic dinner or enjoy a prepared dinner from the Good Grubbin’ food truck. Complimentary cake and lemonade will be provided by FROGS. Rain or shine. 6-8 pm.

– June 28: FREE U-Liners Concert at Brookside Gardens. Americana and roots rock. 6:30-8 pm on the Visitors Center Lawn.


Regional Garden (part of the U.S. Botanic Garden’s National Garden) in July

– Wednesdays at 2 pm: Afternoon in the Garden Tour of the U.S. Botanic Garden. Learn more.

– Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at noon: Lunchtime tour of the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory. Learn more.

– Mondays: Tours of the National Garden at the U.S. Botanic Garden. Details.

– Tuesdays: Afternoon in the Garden Tour at the U.S. Botanic Garden. Details.

– Thursdays: Noon-time Stroll through the U.S. Botanic Garden’s National Garden. Details.

– Fridays through September 2: Jazz in the Garden at the National Gallery’s Sculpture Garden.


– July 7:  American Roots Concert Series with Jarekus Singleton. Details.

– July 7: Garden After Dark: Wings and Wine at Brookside Gardens. 7:00-9:00pm. Exclusive evening access to our “Wings of Fancy” exhibit! Local wines, music and butterflies! Plus, potting up a butterfly container garden to take home. Meet in the Brookside Gardens Conservatory. Register in Active Montgomery for Course #14886.


– July 9: Meet the Artists at the U.S. Botanic Garden.  Details.

– July 16 –  Lotus and Lily Festival at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

– September 10 Fall Garden Day at Green Spring Gardens.

– September 24 – National Public Lands Day Volunteer Event at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.


– White House Open Garden & Grounds, date to be announced on the White House website and via the DC Gardens special White House Alert (sign up in the sidebar).

Gardening Symposium at Green Spring Gardens, date tba.

Holiday Open House at Green Spring Gardens, date tba.

Links to Events and Tours by Garden

In Washington, D.C.:

Bishop’s Garden and Grounds at the National Cathedral.
Franciscan Monastery Gardens.
Hillwood Museum and Gardens.
Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.
National Arboretum.
Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art.
Smithsonian Gardens.
Tudor Place.
U.S. Botanic Garden.

In Maryland:

Brookside Gardens.

In Virginia:

Green Spring Gardens special events, events for adult and kids.
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens.
River Farm.
Mt. Vernon Events and Garden and Landscape Tours.

Have additional events or tours to suggest?  Email them to DC Gardens.

Cherry Blossom Tidal Basin photo by Harvey Leifert.