To create gardens suitable for a Gothic-style Cathedral, plants of historical interest, plants of the Bible and Christian legends, along with plants native to the mid-Atlantic region, were used.

Use the links below for more info about major plants and garden beds on the Cathedral Close:

  1. Blue Atlas Cedars – Two towering blue atlas cedars stand on the South side of the Cathedral on either side of the entrance to the Norman Court.
  2. Lower Perennial Border – At the southern edge of the Bishop’s Garden, facing Pilgrim Road, this is also known as the “Blue Border”.
  3. Bishop’s Lawn and Borders – Below the Episcopal Church House and adjacent to the Bishop’s Garden the lawn is bordered by flowering plants and shrubs.
  4. LeCompte Garden – South of the Bishop’s Garden Postern Gate, this garden was installed in 2015 in memory of Rowan LeCompte, whose stained-glass artistry fills the Cathedral.
  5. Pilgrim Road Bed – Below Shadow House (along Pilgrim Road outside of the Bishop’s Garden wall) this bed was replanted in 2017.
  6. Hortulus – Within the Bishop’s Garden a Carolingian Font sits in the center of this “little garden”. It is planted with kitchen herbs and surrounded by boxwood.
  7. Rose Garden – In the center of the Bishop’s Garden the Rose Garden surrounds a rectangle of turf. It is a part of the original 1926 Olmsted plan for the Bishop’s Garden.
  8. Sundial Bed – An old English sundial sits atop a 13th century Gothic capital. A changing display of annuals, bulbs, and herbs are planted in this section of the Bishop’s Garden.
  9. Upper Perennial Border – the northern border of the Bishop’s Garden is planted with perennials in warm hues.
  10. Finial Garden – This inviting corner of the Bishop’s Garden was transformed into a garden room centered on a finial from one of the Cathedral’s pinnacles that was damaged in the 2011 earthquake.
  11. Robert C. Morton Border – This planting of trees and native shrubs along Pilgrim Road is near the entrance to the All Hallows Amphitheater.
  12. Glastonbury Thorn – The tree stands near the entrance to St. Albans School and was grown from cuttings from trees outside of Glastonbury Abbey in England.
  13. Phyllis Nitze Garden – Located east of the Pilgrim Steps, this perennial and shrub garden is dedicated to a former All Hallows Guild president.
  14. Kenney Garden – East of the Nitze Garden, this dry woodland planting memorializes Elinor Kenney.
  15. Walker Fern Garden – Along the north side of the Cathedral College, a lovely stone walkway is bordered by ferns and shade-loving plants.
  16. West Front Oak Grove – A grove of trees with lawn, plantings, walkways, and benches completes the Bishop T. Walker Court at the entrance to the Cathedral.
  17. Pollinator Garden – Located along Beauvoir Road near the entrance to the NCS Athletic Center, this garden filled with pollinator-friendly plants was planned and designed by All Hallows Guild Summer 2018 interns.


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
  • (202) 537-2321
  • 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW
    Washington, DC 20016


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