Sometimes it’s not easy to come up with ideas on what to do and where to go during the Covid-19 pandemic. Indoor activities are off the table. If you live in the Washington D.C. area, you are likely to run out of options because most museums are closed. So what’s left to do? Well, fortunately, there are a few places in the metro area that are open and allow you to social-distance at the same time. Most importantly, it’s free! 😉
When my friend David came to visit me from Seattle a few months ago, we made a weekend plan and came up with a few options such as going to Harpers Ferry in West Virginia or Brookside Gardens. We chose the latter because it was closer and of course because I’m a plant dad!
Brookside Gardens is located in Wheaton, Maryland, just a few miles north of Silver Spring. The park opens daily from 6:30 am to 8 pm, though it may have changed due to daylight saving. Also please note that while service animals are welcomed, pets are not allowed.
We got there around 9 am. Parking was relatively easy and there was no line to get in. Normally there were several restrooms throughout the park including inside the conservatories. However, due to the pandemic, the only open restroom was located inside the visitor center which had limited capacity at the moment.
A little bit of background, Brookside Gardens is one of Montgomery County’s parks which includes Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden, Trial Garden, Rain Garden, Woodland Walk, Perennial Garden, Yew Garden, the Maple Terrace, and Fragrance Garden within its 50-acre area.
David and I decided to walk on the walking trail, which appears to be what most people do. While it’s an outdoor space, most people were still wearing a mask and keeping the distance.
One of the first gardens we walked through was the Gude Garden, surrounded by rolling green hills and a large pond.
Right across the garden, you’ll see a wooden Japanese Tea House as well as the Reflection Terrace.
The scenery was absolutely beautiful and definitely Instagram-worthy.
After taking a lot of pictures, we continued walking east toward the Maple Terrace. I noticed that they still had tropical plants on display as the temperature was still a little warm at that time.
The next one was my favorite — the Rose Garden. During summertime, the garden displays over 100 varieties of roses of all types and colors.
I was very fascinated to see the incredible exhibition because I’ve never had any luck with rose plants at home.
We then passed by a few more gardens until we got to the conservatories, unfortunately, they were closed due to the pandemic, so we decided to walk back to the visitor center.
Looking back, we missed quite a few gardens, which gives us the reason to go back. Even more so, the display will have changed for the fall and beginning of winter, so that’s something we look forward to.
During this difficult time, we need to stay vigilant and be a responsible citizen by wearing a mask and social distance. As many places in the area are currently closed, we are left with a few options, and visiting Brookside Gardens is one of them.
I enjoyed it very much and I highly recommend it if you live in the DMV area.