Hillwood 2006

For Mother's Day we went to the Hillwood Museum, Marjorie Merriweather Post's estate in Washington, DC where on a clear day one can see the Washington Monument from the backyard...today we had to settle for its vague outline among the clouds. She collected decorative art objects while she was married to E.F. Hutton (it's very helpful to be the Post cereal heiress) and then went to the Soviet Union with her third husband, the American ambassador, as Stalin was consolidating power and bought up Russian religious icons, Faberge eggs and a phenomenal collection of Russian porcelain including the tea service Catherine the Great gave to Count Orlov. It was quite crowded, particularly since it was raining most of the afternoon so nearly everyone was indoors instead of in the garden. My parents ended up deciding not to take umbrellas through the extensive back gardens and took my children home with them while I went with my in-laws through the Japanese garden and the Friendship Garden, where the azaleas were fading but the rhododendrons were just coming into their own.

These photos are mostly the gardens, since no photos are allowed inside the house. This is the statue in front of the mansion.

From this part of the backyard on a clear day, you can see the Washington Monument, but as you can see, it was not a clear day.

The dacha in the garden.

One of the many fountains, this one in the upper formal garden with bushes trimmed in decorative shapes.

I love the zodiac going around this lamppost. And here are photos of the gardens and greenhouse: