Enid A Haupt Garden in Washington DC

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The Enid A. Haupt Garden, named after the woman who funded the creation and maintenance of the park, is located right behind the Smithsonian Castle. The castle, in case you’re not familiar with it, is that big reddish building on the National Mall. It stands out compared to all the white buildings surrounding it. You really can’t miss it.

I got lucky in finding this place as I was exploring the museums along the Mall for the day, and noticed a pretty little garden off to the left side just before reaching the Castle. I walked through it and then behind the Arts and Industries building, and voila, there was another garden! I had discovered this super pretty spot-the nicest park I’ve yet seen in DC in early spring!

Smithsonian Castle and the Enid A Haupt Garden

The Arts and Industries Building in Washington DC
This is the Arts and Industries Building, which stands on the east side of the Smithsonian Castle.
Smithsonian Castle in the Enid A. Haupt Garden
A view of the back of the Smithsonian Castle, with the Parterre section of the garden in the foreground.

Sections of the Garden

The garden itself opened in 1987, and is actually composed of 3 sections: The Moongate Garden on the west side, the Parterre in the center, and the Fountain Garden on the East. The Moongate garden has its influences from the “Temple of Heaven” from 15th century Beijing, China. The Parterre has its origin in organized French gardens from the 15th century Renaissance. Finally, the Fountain Garden was inspired by Moorish art of the 14th century Alhambra in Spain.

Pretty windows on one of the galleries.

Right in the garden itself are entrances to two art galleries: The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on the west end(which also connects to the Freer Gallery), and the Smithsonian Museum of African Art on the east.

Spring Magnolia Trees

When I walked in I found myself surrounded by beautiful, perfume smelling magnolia trees in bloom! This was such a nice and welcome surprise, considering I came to DC a bit too early and would be missing the peak Cherry Blossom bloom 🙁

When should you go to see the magnolia trees in bloom? Well, like the Cherry Blossom trees, it’s hard to predict an exact date. But they do tend to come out in early spring, just before the cherry blossom bloom. This is what the trees looked like when I was there around March 25th, 2018:

Magnolia trees in Washington DC
The Magnolia trees bloom in early spring. I was lucky to see them at their peak in late March when I was here!
Magnolia Trees Washington DC

It was so nice to sit for a while after a long day of walking around on one of these benches. I started a drawing as I had brought my art supplies with me, but after a bit the sun started going down and it was getting chilly, so I took a photo to finish the rest back at home.

Enid A. Haupt Garden Magnolias watercolor painting
My watercolor sketch of the magnolia trees in the garden.

Mary Livingston Ripley Garden

I had to make a small note here, as I found out the first garden that I walked into is the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden. It’s also a quaint little garden that during the summer or late spring would be even nicer to visit with all of the flowers in bloom.

Mary Livingston Ripley Garden Washington DC
Mary Livingston Ripley Garden, as seen in March 2018

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Did you arrive too early to see the Cherry Blossoms in bloom in Washington DC? Well you may be in luck to see another beautiful flowering tree in bloom: The Magnolia Trees! A quiet garden park right behind the Smithsonian Castle called the Enid A Haupt Garden is surrounded by them! It's definitely worth checking out at any time to see the different flowers in bloom there. #WashingtonDC #MagnoliaTrees #Magnolias #ParksinDC #WashingtonDCGardens #SmithsonianCastle

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14 thoughts on “Enid A Haupt Garden in Washington DC”

  1. My favorite garden in DC! Can’t believe how many people don’t know about this.. yet it’s still crowded Ha! What a great talent you have at painting <3

  2. So beautiful! I went to Washington DC like 4 years ago and I sadly did not come to this lovely garden. I was there for Memorial day weekend so I don’t think I would have seen the pretty bloom. But, at least I know about it now!

  3. The Magnolias are so beautiful! I tried to see them in San Francisco last year and I was either too early or too late. There weren’t many blooms and the ones that were there were on their way out. I love your water colour sketch of the trees.

  4. This is so beautiful! I lived in Maryland for many years and in DC for a hot second, and the beauty of the trees around this time is something that I definitely miss. Looking at your photos made me feel at home 🙂 These gardens are so pretty too – there are definitely a lot of great little spots around DC. Also, your painting is lovely!

  5. Wow, it looks so beautiful! I had no idea the National Mall was hiding such a treasure. I have to see it the next time I’m there. Thanks for sharing!


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