February 26, 2013

Dumbarton on the Cusp of Spring

I love the cusp of spring: nearly everything is still dormant, but there is the slightest sheen of new growth on the trees, buds caught in the suns long golden rays, and the tiny carpet flowers (crocus, snowdrops, and those tiny, open faced yellow flowers that remind me of hellebores, but are the size of buttercups) are barely visible, until you stumble upon them.

It's not the typical time to go to a garden, admittedly. But its actually one of the best times to go to a garden like Dumbarton Oaks -- where the architecture of the garden is as important as its flora. Now we see the garden in its bold and glorious structure, without the distraction of too many blooms.

And you can visit Dumbarton Oaks for free over till March 15th!

For more on Dumbarton: Fall // Spring // Instagram // Vine videos 1, 2, 3

There was a new installation on one of the higher levels of the terrace, which I didn't see until I was at the bottom of the hill. Floating above this terrace were brilliant flashes of colorful light. I hiked back up to see what it all was, and, oddly, there were huge "clouds" of chicken wire, with crystals dangling from them, suspended over a little pool. I have never been so disappointed by an installation before: what seemed light and airy and joyful was dark and cloudy and not terribly pretty. Though, I did take a picture of the reflection in the pool. And the kids were adorable thrilled by the millions of "crystals" in the rocks surrounding the pool:


  1. Your reflection pic looks enchanting. Too bad the real thing isn't as pretty!
    Hmmm you may have just convinced me. Maybe I will get my pining-for-spring self to Dumbarton! There are definitely no little buds around here...

  2. Anonymous12:47 PM

    Mags, whatever you do....keep writing. I LOVE your posts and they are always so apropos! I'm utterly jealous of your iPhone's capability to take amazing photos, although I'm rather sure the real artistry is in your eye. Lovely post....can't wait to visit! :)

  3. I love the pictures!