What’s In Bloom in June

June 20, 2020

Summer has officially arrived. Despite the pandemic, our gardens have remained open to the public – with a small exception for some much-needed maintenance. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit, here’s a sample of what is blooming now.

The Bishop’s Garden Shadow House – with the lower perennial border in the foreground

The Bishop’s Garden

The Lower Perennial Border

This planting bed (also known as the “blue border”) is lush with hues of purple, blue, white and pink. Globe thistle and larkspur are blooming now, along with nearby hydrangea.

Consolida ajacis, Giant larkspur: Blue, pink and white flowering plants bloom from June to August. This low-maintenance plant likes full sun, and its blooms grow from 2 to 4 feet high.

Echinops ritro, Globe thistle: A member of the Aster family. Tall spiky flowers appear on this perennial in early summer and last for up to 8 weeks. Globe thistle is low maintenance and the flower head attracts bees.

The name hydrangea comes from the Greek words “hydor” meaning water and “angos” meaning vessel. Hydrangeas are notorious for needing plenty of water.

Hydrangea blooming near the lower perennial border
Lacecap hydrangea blooming in the Bishop’s Lawn

The Hortulus

The Carolingian Font at the center of the Hortulus

The Hortulus (little garden) is situated within the Bishop’s Garden. At its center is an ancient font surrounded by boxwood and rosemary. In the Hortulus, betony is now in bloom.

Betonica officinalis, Betony or Bishop’s wort: This perennial grassland herb was historically grown in the gardens of apothecaries and monasteries for medicinal purposes. It flowers from June to October

Rose Bed

The Rose Bed – June 2020

The Bishop’s Garden Rose Bed is in full bloom with roses of many varieties.

Roses in bloom in the Bishop’s Garden – June 2020

The Sundial Bed

The Sundial Bed in the Bishop’s Garden is now showing the last blooms of allium. The pomegranate tree in the center of the bed is showing its bright orange blooms.

Pollinator Garden

Things are buzzing in the Pollinator Garden (pun intended) just in time for National Pollinator Week (June 22 – 28). The Pollinator Garden was planned by our Summer 2018 Interns. It is located along Beauvoir Road near the entrance to the National Cathedral School Athletic Center and includes pollinator-friendly plants and a colony of stingless Mason bees. Now blooming is a beautiful orange bed of butterfly weed and dark pink coneflower.

Asclepias tuberosa, Butterfly weed: A summer blooming perennial with large clusters of bright orange flowers that attract butterflies. This plant is suited to sunny sites with well drained or dry soil – making it very drought tolerant.

Echinacea purpurea, Purple coneflower: This purplish pink flowering perennial is easily grown in average to dry soil and likes full sun to partial shade. It blooms throughout the summer and is native to prairies and open woods of the central and southeastern United States. The spiny center of the flower attracts bees and butterflies.

Olmsted Woods

Oakleaf Hydrangea at the entrance to the All Hallows Amphitheater

Our Woods Volunteers are back at work on Wednesday mornings. You can read about their progress and see what’s blooming in the Woods by going to our previous blog post HERE.

If you would like to show your support for the Cathedral Gardens, please consider becoming a member of All Hallows Guild. Annual memberships are just $40, and the funds will support our mission of preserving the gardens as a haven of peace in the midst of the Capital City. 


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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