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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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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