Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Visit to Hillwood

Almost two weeks ago, before the cupcakes, my mom and I visited Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens near Rock Creek Park in DC.

Hillwood is the former home and garden of Marjorie Merriweather Post, daughter of the man who founded the Post Cereal Company. After her father died, she became a multimillionaire and had all the money in the world to build and design a pretty place to 1) live and 2) house her collection of art and objects. She was a very avid collector!

There are two parts to Hillwood - the mansion and the gardens. No photography is allowed inside the mansion so all my pictures are of the gardens.

Each garden room has a distinct character and yet fit into the estate as a whole. The French Parterre is the formal garden - designed to transport the visitor to a small formal garden of the 18th century. The garden is divided into four quadrant using gravel footpaths, channels moving water, and a central pool.

Because Post had everything, for her birthday, her friends involved her gardener and landscape architect and built the Friendship Walk as a present! The walkway is lined with low plantings.

In the Rose Garden is a nice place to sit, relax, and...well, smell the roses!

The Japanese-Style Garden is my favorite! It's small, but well-designed with sculptures, lanterns, cascading water, and a bridge. I enjoyed walking here and taking in the ambiance.

I like it so much that I can't choose between the above two photos so I am posting both.

The Dacha, tucked into the wooded area, is an interpretation of a small peasant house. The architecture features many elements typical of authentic Russian peasant dwellings, such as log construction and the carvings around the windows and door. Inside the Dacha is Hillwood's changing exhibitions. The Russian Porcelain exhibit was on display when we went.

The tour of the gardens took under and hour and was probably less than a half-mile walk. Very tiny!

Then we went inside the mansion and were forced to check in our cameras at the entrance. They even took our coats, too. The mansion was more like a museum. It houses Post's extensive decorative arts and objects collection, lots of porcelains, paintings, intricate furniture, and more. Yawn. I liked the gardens part better.

Hillwood isn't a must-see in DC, but my mom wanted to go so I accompanied her. I learned something new and we spent some time together. Definitely better than a day in the office. :)

2 comments:

  1. Your blog is always so informative! I like the idea of a 'friendship walk'.

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  2. Woah, when did this blog turn into a haunted house tour? Those pics look scary oh. If that place really looked like that in real life, I'd be heading in the other direction, fast, like fast fast, like big lion chasing me fast, like ass on fire and bucket of wawa was a mile away fast...

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