Article Copied from the American Rhododendron Society Blog

Print date: 2/23/2018

Visit Garrett Park, MD

3 November 2014 @ 21:44 | Posted by Bob W

Garrett Park, Maryland, located 12 miles north of Washington, D.C., is a small town (0.3 square miles of land, with a population of 992) famous for its Victoria houses, trees, and shrubs. The entire town is designated an arboretum, boasting more than 700 species of shrubs and trees, including a host of azaleas and rhododendrons.

Named for Robert W. Garrett, president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Garrett Park was laid out in 1887 along the lines of an English village. Much of the town is located in the Garrett Park Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1898 the town enacted legislation to preserve its sylvan setting by protecting its trees and shrubs. In 1977 Garrett Park officially declared the whole town to be an arboretum. Since then the Arboretum Committee has planted hundreds of trees and shrubs, including many rare and usual varieties, to maintain a canopy of shade and to provide color and botanical interest throughout all seasons of the year.

Phil Normandy, an arborist and member of the ARS Mason-Dixon Chapter, works part-time as Garrett Park's tree expert and cares for the 400 trees in the town's public space. Referring to the majestic sugar maples that were planted shortly after the town was founded, Mr. Normandy says, "Trees get better with age and some of these are essentially antiques."

Garrett Park MD home
Photo by Al Teich

Garrett Park is well worth a visit, especially in spring when the town's streets are a wonderland of color. Most home owners are avid gardeners and their landscapes are beautifully designed and well-maintained. If you love rhododendrons and azaleas this town certainly has many fine specimens. Put Garrett Park on your list of places to visit!