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Digital Dirt    March 8, 2002

Dumbarton Oaks

Heart of a Beech
Heart of a Beech
Down to the Pergola
Down to the Pergola
Heart Stopper of a Shed
Heart Stopper of a Shed

When NPR's offices were on M Street (we're talking a decade or so ago), whenever the going got rough, I used to hightail it over to a landscaped paradise called Dumbarton Oaks. Blocks from Wisconsin Ave., the city pressed in from all directions. But once through its gates, I readily succumbed to this exquisite patrician dream.

The landscape was designed by Beatrix Farrand, whose sense of scale, choice of hardscapes, and taste in ornamentation (we're not talking baubles, either: think sweeping stairs, elegant pergolas, sunken pools and classical fountains) will never cease to take my breath away.

And so, on my recent visit to NPR, before the going even got going, I lost myself in the smell of boxwood and honeysuckle and remembered why I became a gardener. If you're ever in need of inspiration, or a place just to be, grab an hour any weekday around 2 p.m. and step into my dream.

For a closer look at Dumbarton Oaks:

Dumbarton Oaks Web site

Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy Web site


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