To accommodate the forty-foot drop in elevation from the Urn Terrace to the Ellipse, Farrand designed a sequence of steps to interrupt the hill's steep slope. The path was laid in grass with stone risers, but at some point before 1957, it was paved in bricks with a pattern of diamonds and ellipses that Mildred Bliss had seen at Barrington Court in Somerset, England.
Box Walk is lined with the English boxwood, Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’, plucked annually to preserve the
rumpled mass that Farrand preferred. Where the Box Walk leads into the Ellipse, two stone pineapples, purchased in 1958, flank the path.
More Exhibit Items
The brick and limestone ribbon walks simulate the quality of flowing cloth.
This small greenhouse is one of the oldest structures still standing on the grounds of Dumbarton Oaks.
The wide, shady branches of an enormous beech tree stretch over this quiet enclosed space.
This grassy terrace, shaded by a tall oak tree, provides panoramic view of the entire estate.
This small room features custom stonework, wrought-iron furniture, and a fountain ornamented with various constellations.
The swimming pool and beautifully decorated loggia attest to Dumbarton Oaks’ history as a private residence.
Blooming forsythia turns this corner of the gardens bright yellow at the beginning of spring.
When the trees blossom in springtime, this hillside becomes one of the gardens’ most magical spaces.
Hidden near the edge of the gardens, Lilac Circle offers a secluded spot for rest and contemplation.
Elaborate stonework and low flowerbeds play off trellises of wisteria in this stately courtyard.
The Urn Terrace serves as an ivied transition between the Beech Terrace, Box Walk, and Rose Garden.
A riotous variety of roses fills this sunny space between the Urn and Fountain Terraces.
A traditional flower garden in a blend of English Cottage and Arts and Crafts style.
This narrow brick walk wends through a dreamlike woodland spotted with daffodils and hyacinths.
A shallow pool sits at the bottom of a small brick amphitheater, bordered by a stand of bamboo.
The story of a terrier given to a Neapolitan girl by a French admiral inspired this column.