Tues-Sat, 10am-5pm from February through December closed Mondays, most federal holidays and the month of January
$12; $10 age 65+; $7 students; $5 age 6-18
Added to JGarden:
Hillwood Museum and Gardens web site
This former home of philanthropist Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress of the Post cereal fortune, is now a museum. It features one of the most comprehensive assemblages of imperial Russian fine and decorative arts outside Russia, and an extensive collection of eighteenth-century French works of art. The twenty-five acre estate is in the heart of Washington, D.C. and includes twelve acres of estate and thirteen acres of woodlands with important azalea (3,000 specimens) and orchid (1,600 specimens) collections.
According to the Hillwood Museum's web site, Myaida's garden at Hillwood is one of the last remaining examples of gardens influenced by the reintroduction of the Japanese culture to America during the 1950s. Shogo J. Myaida was a garden designer who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in the 1920s during the first wave of Japanese cultural influence in North America. Myaida was known for a style of garden design that married the best of American pragmatism and Japanese aesthetics.
Myaida's goal was not to design a mimetic copy of a garden in Japan, but rather to create a 'Japanese-influenced' garden that fulfilled the requirements set by the owner. Despite his lack of obsession with authenticity, the layout of the Hillwood garden nonetheless interprets a traditional hill and pond garden with a miniaturization of a mountain landscape including a stream cascading from an evergreen forest and then pouring into a series of ponds connected by streams and waterfalls before it ends in a lake at the bottom. More than 500 stones have been placed construct a mountainous landscape. Paths cross through the garden and wood or stone bridges are interspersed to allow movement across the water elements. Other elements include pagodas, stone lanterns and statuary placed as the object to important views in the garden. Vegetation includes: cryptomeria, flowering cherries, azaleas and rhododendrons, Japanese maples, and pines. Native plants are mixed with the Japanese plants and help to create a transition with the woods at the garden's edge. The pond hosts lotus and waterlilies and Japanese iris lining the edges.
The Japanese garden underwent a $2 million renovation by ZEN Associates of Massachusetts. The project was intended to restore the garden to its condition in the 1960's. The original Myaida Shogo deisgn had developed a leaky pond and overgrown shrubs and trees had obscurred the original intent. In order to repair the garden, the 500 boulders were numbered and removed in order to replace the pond liner and pumps.
The pond water
Reflects the fragrance
Of perfect Andromeda flowers.
Let me put them in my sleeve.
Ike mizu ni
Kage sae miete
Ashibi no hana o
Sode ni kokire na
Otomo no Yakamochi Manyôshuû, vol. 20, no. 4512 trans. by M.V. Otake