Captivating Entries

Garden Spot


Capitol Hill has been compared to a village, a finely integrated community, a place to call home. Perhaps one of the most alluring parts as many Hill homes are their entries. Some have grand, long walkways like the homes on East Capitol St. and Massachusetts Avenue. Some are secret enclaves, little pockets, all are enchanting.

12th St NE. #1
The alliums that were planted here are a demonstration of restraint. In the large bed in the front of the home the only plants are allium’s–magnificent, purple pom-poms. This front entry could have gone tragically wrong if the gardener had overplanted. What makes this show such as spectacular introduction is that the alliums are the stars, so simple, and very welcoming.

12th St NE. #2
This home has a wonderful side yard, with flagstone patio and sitting wall, and a fabulous hedge of boxwoods. When walking by this home you are instantly drawn into the spacious garden, the entry is a formal iron staircase that is softened by the trappings on the way to the front door. Roses and laurels, an interesting perennial garden, a Japanese maple and those towering hornbeams all blend into an inviting tapestry ushering you into the garden to stroll for a while.

5th St SE.
Cement pineapple statuary set off by arum lilies make this side entry home a show-stopping gem on Capitol Hill. The rest of the garden is magnificent. But the placement of the arum plants in the shadows of the pineapple shows the type of skilled gardening that only a true artist/gardener could accomplish.

A St SE. #1
Classic and restrained, he strength of this entry is from the weight of the elements. The light sconce, the ironwork, the muted paint color and door that pops. The oversized planter filled to overflowing with geraniums. The planted privet hedge on the lower side of the front adds a bit of a breakaway from the formal. Nicely done.

A St SE. #2
This home’s entry is a reminder of how spectacularly opulent Victorian can be. Peonies fight for dominance. Violets are being pushed over the walk by the fullness of the roses, the faded bulb stems add contrast and remind one of how fleeting spring can be. Lilies are pushing up, up, up to be the stars in the June garden. And the towering camellia looks over this display with a glow, reminiscent of blooms gone by and dreaming of seasons to come. Well played.

Whether headed out on the Hill to visit a friend or just going to the Market on Saturday, take a few extra blocks out of your normal route and do some discovering of the beautiful entryways of our Capitol Hill homes. Whether the entry is Gothic or Victorian, federal or New Orleans Revival, an old cleaners or a storefront, the varieties in styles are what make the Hill special.