Visiting the Hillwood Estate and Gardens
Hillwood is the former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress and founder of General Foods. In addition to the impressive estate and museum, the property consists of 25 acres of gardens, greenhouses and peaceful woodlands located in the northwest section of Washington, DC. Post purchased the property in 1955 and hired landscape architects Umberto Innocenti and Richard Webel to expand its existing gardens, which today include 13 acres of formal gardens.
Special Garden Features at Hillwood
- Japanese-style garden, designed by landscape architect Shogo Myaida, features traditional Japanese plant materials, a cascading waterfall and beautiful Asian statuary.
- Rose garden, designed by Perry Wheeler, each bed containing a single variety of summer-blooming floribunda rose.
- French Parterre, divided into four quadrants with a central pool lined with Italian glass tiles.
- Greenhouses containing an orchard collection of more than 2,000 specimens and hundreds of different varieties.
Tips for Visiting Hillwood Estate and Gardens
- Save time at the front entrance and purchase reservation tickets in advance online or by calling the Visitor Information Office at 202.686.5807.
- Don’t skip the greenhouses, which were overflowing with blooming orchids when we visited in February.
- Allow plenty of time. Even in the winter, we enjoyed walking the grounds and the Japanese Garden, and the self-guided tour of the mansion took about 90 minutes.
- The docents are exceptionally friendly, approachable and knowledgeable, so don’t feel shy about asking questions.
- Check out the motor court, where we discovered the bright yellow blooms of a huge Witchhazel and Pyracantha dripping in orange berries. Gorgeous!
- If the weather is pleasant when you visit, bring lunch and plan to picnic on the lawn. Picnic maps and even complimentary picnic blankets are available in the Visitor Center.
4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20008