A Year in the Gardens

December 23, 2020

The Cathedral Gardens Provide us with Scenes of Peace and Hope

As we enter into a new year, we want to share a few photos from the past twelve months. They remind us that despite all of the hardships of 2020 the world does contain beauty.


Gray skies and bare tree branches stand in contrast to the green boxwood below Shadow House, and Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) appear on the Cathedral Close.


Hellebores begin to bloom in the Bishop’s Garden, and yellow flowers appear on Witch-hazel near the wall surrounding the Bishop’s Lawn.


The granite statue of the Prodigal Son sits below an old weeping cherry tree, and tulips begin to bloom in the Bishop’s Garden.


Bleeding hearts bloom in the Bishop’s Garden, and a pink dogwood tree in full flower along Beauvoir Road.


In the Bishop’s Garden, yellow peonies bloom in the Upper Perennial Border, and roses show their colors in the flower beds at Garden’s center.


Magnolia trees bloom and the Cathedral provides a backdrop to the Bishop’s Garden.


The Bishop’s Garden gazebo, known as Shadow House, opens to the Bishop’s Lawn. Wild Berry Coneflower (Echinacea) fills the Pollinator Garden near the National Cathedral School athletic center.


A vibrant Dahlia blossom in the Bishop’s Garden Sundial Bed, and the bronze font near the Bishop’s Lawn Postern Gate.


The Bishop’s Garden’s Upper Perennial Border is in full bloom, and the pomegranate tree near the Garden’s Yellin Gate is filled with fruit.


Shadow House surrounded by fall colors, and a late-blooming rose in the Bishop’s Garden.


The Pool of St. Catherine and the Lower Perennial Border still have aster in bloom late into the autumn.


Cherry blossoms bloom in the Bishop’s Lawn, and the wrought iron cross atop the Samuel Yellin Gate.

This past year was difficult in so many ways

The pandemic challenged almost every aspect of our lives, but the Cathedral’s gardens and grounds did provide a respite from the difficulties we have all faced this year. The trees and flowers grew and bloomed, and the dedicated horticulture staff (with just a brief work stoppage in early spring) continued their work of tending to the Cathedral’s landscape.

Throughout 2020 the gardens, grounds, and the Olmsted Woods remained opened to the public and were enjoyed by many visitors. We could not give in-person tours this year, but we expanded our outreach online with a virtual tour and a podcast audio tour. We look forward to a time (hopefully in the not-to-distant future) when we can gather again in-person.


All Hallows Guild was founded in 1916 to provide for the care and beautification of the grounds of Washington National Cathedral. The Guild works closely with the horticultural staff to preserve this historic landscape and raises funds for renovation and renewal of the gardens.


  • (202) 537-2937
  • ahg@allhallowsguild.org
  • 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW
    Washington, DC 20016


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