News & Politics

7 Insta-Worthy Parks That Look Amazing in Bloom

The editor of Washington Gardner magazine shares a few of her favorites.

Our Favorite Parks

About Our Favorite Parks

This article is a part of Washingtonian’s feature: Our Favorite Parks. Our editors and staff pulled together the best regional parks where you can take a walk, have a picnic, play with the kids, and enjoy the great outdoors.

Bon Air Park

Stop and smell the roses—thousands of them in 136 varieties—at this Arlington park.

Don’t miss: A demonstration shade garden with such plants as black cohosh that do well in home gardens. 850 N. Lexington St., Arlington; 703-228-6525.

Brookside Gardens

Although the 50,000 daffodils have probably faded by now, Kathy Jentz says, something is always in bloom.

Don’t miss: The tropical flower collection and a summer-long butterfly exhibit, both in the conservatories. 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton; 301-962-1400.

Green Spring Gardens

“It’s one of the few public gardens that allow dogs on a leash,” Jentz says. “There’s an incredible Alpine-style rock garden— that’s rare in this area.”

Don’t miss: A big plant sale on May 18. 4603 Green Spring Rd., Alexandria; 703-642-5173.


Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens

Kenilworth is noted for water lotuses.

Don’t miss: “July,” Jentz says, “when tons of stuff is in bloom. But year-round, if you’re into birds or turtles, you can get great photos.” 1550 Anacostia Ave., NE; 202-692-6080.

McCrillis Gardens

“It’s one of the least publicly visited parks, in the middle of a residential area,” Jentz says. “It’s great for a quiet walk. It has flowering trees and azaleas.”

Don’t miss: It’s a popular spot for family portraits. 6910 Greentree Rd., Bethesda; 301-962-1455.

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

“They have a shady walk with native plants. On a hot day, it’s a nice place to go,” says Jentz.

Don’t miss: The soothing Korean Bell Garden. 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct., Vienna; 703-255-3631.

Seneca Creek State Park

Almost hidden within the 6,300-acre park is Schwartz Peony Garden, with thousands of heirloom plants.

Don’t miss: Mid- to late May, when the peonies are in full glory. 11950 Clopper Rd., Gaithersburg; 301-924-2127.

This article appears in the May 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

Editor in chief

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986 as an editorial intern, and worked her way to the top of the masthead when she was named editor-in-chief in 2022. She oversees the magazine’s editorial staff, and guides the magazine’s stories and direction. She lives in DC.