We spent some time the end of August at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton Maryland. This is a Montgomery County park with conservatories, beautiful walks and gardens, and a very vibrant learning center. It has accessible asphalt paths so my rollator moved smoothly from one garden to the next.
32 acres of the 54-acre property are cultivated gardens. 29 full time staff, 50 part timers, and more than 1000 volunteers keep the gardens in glory. More than 400,000 visit the gardens annually.
The Gardens date from about 1969 — a relatively new garden really. Its purpose has always been to show residents what will grow in the area without difficulty. Today, it continues in the mode of “sustainability” with thoughtful beauty “built in” even though they have glass conservatories to show us tropical plants also.
This fall, they will be having tours, horticultural programs, cooking programs, gardening how-to programs, and their deservedly famous holiday lights tours from Thanksgiving to January 5, 2014. Go to their web site for more information and to Brookside’s pdf for a listing of all the programs.
If you go, you will want to plan on several hours to visit because of the size of the gardens. It has a “heart smart” trail along the paved paths that is more than 1 mile in length. Include the visitor center, the conservatories with the butterfly exhibit, and several of the outdoor gardens such as the Rose Garden, the Childrens Garden, the Trial Garden, the Formal Garden, the Perennial Garden, and the Rain Garden, and you have a full agenda.
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