Gardens & Events to Visit in February

Brian Daly | February 2024 | Blog Post


A collage of Gardens in Northern Virgnia

Setting Your Landscaping Goals

As February approaches and dreams of sunny, spring days occupy our thoughts, it’s the perfect moment to engage in outdoor activities and discover the charm of our nearby gardens. Exploring nature not only improves one’s physical state, but mental as well, including lowering stress levels. With spring cleaning and resetting your landscape for the warm seasons, let Brian Daly Designs take some stress off your shoulders and hire us to design your dream landscape oasis. To get inspired, here’s a list of beautiful places to visit in our region and a guided vision board for your spring landscape!

Before visiting, take some time to figure out your home focused goals. Are you looking for something with easy maintenance? Something that could be easily adapted for every season? Or perhaps you’re searching for the perfect, bright landscape. To aid this process, I browse magazines to see stylized, picture perfect inspiration and begin to develop my vision from here. If I could pick three magazines for this process, I’d go with the magazines that I recommend for all of my clients, which also happen to be in our lending library: GardenGate, Horticulture, and fine Gardening. Especially for those who lack a “green thumb” or are new to landscape and yard design, this may be difficult to navigate, and that’s okay! That is why we are here to help.

Front Yard Inspiration

For stunning front yard landscaping ideas, be sure to visit the Washington National Cathedral gardens. This combination of angelic architecture along with carefully picked plants to perfectly compliment the building’s design is the definition of front yard landscaping. When you visit, keep an eye out for their seven unique features, including an amphitheater. Observe the various shapes in the landscape, enhancing the already eye-catching garden.

Another estate that’s made for front yard landscaping inspiration is Hillwood Estate. While the National Cathedral is divine, this estate is more similar to a house, whereas the National Cathedral could be more difficult to imagine for an adaptation. An ideal time to visit is during their behind-the-scenes tour of the greenhouse on February 16, 21, 23, and 28, making this trip not only a source for inspiration, but also educational. Through this tour, you will be able to see how professional gardens prepare plants for spring and summer.

Discovering Color Palettes For Your Yard

If shades of green are the center of your color palette, Oatlands Garden is the idyllic place to see how far the color green can go. Found here is a perfect example of how different, naturally occurring shades of green can add so much depth to a landscape, while still having a cohesive feel. To see this in person, travel to the plantation garden section of this property; here is a balance of dimension, height, and various plant types creating a harmonious, natural looking, and blissful garden. Additionally, I recommend visiting Oatlands for ideas on backyard design. Their archways, reflection ponds, and classic bush designs are the epitome of a timeless garden scene.

Meadowlark Garden has curated a blend of ornamental architecture to supplement a colorful, vibrant arrangement of plants and flowers all throughout the property. Search here for backyard landscaping inspiration, especially including picturesque seating areas that are perfect for hosting within your garden. Meadowlark is also a showcase of seasonal landscaping, transforming the walk through experience with every visit.

The U.S. National Arboretum offers a mix of color pops and shades of green, perfect for a garden looking for a little bit of everything. If you’re looking for shades of pink complementing the natural green nature, this spot is right for you. When you visit, stop by the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum!

Similarly, Dumbarton Oaks’ signature color palette is that of pastels and lilacs. If this aesthetic is what you’re searching for, look no further! Between the statues, green gardens, and touches of purples, this place is the definition of serene. Take in the views with a harp concert in the garden performed by Bridget Kibbey on February 25 and 26.

Beauty From Simple Gardens

Looking for a more simple approach to your landscaping this year? Green Springs Garden presents a seemingly simplistic approach to their variety, having flowers and plants that tend to be more common but never fail in their charm. A great time to visit is on February 17 during their adults only class on Spring Vegetable and Herb Gardening session.

Potomac Overlook Regional Park allows you to experience the raw beauty of nature. If your house faces the woods, this could be a great place to look for inspiration on how to embrace your surroundings. Visit on February 17th for a short winter trail walk and take in the sights of seasonal birds with naturalist Matt Felperin.

Bringing Garden Inspiration To Life

My favorite part of this process is the peaceful wandering through a plant nursery. When my head is full of ideas that I have gathered from visiting these gardens, I find it affirming to visit the nursery and see that my dream is a possibility. While the gardens are a large part of my inspiration process, simply walking through the aisles helps me visualize where I want to take my ideas and begin to think of the process of implementation. I find it refreshing to see the contrast between a styled garden and plants in the raw, ready to purchase and make my own. To round out the inspiration and planning process, take a visit to Merrifield Garden Center. They are also hosting a virtual masterclass on February 27 on pruning methods for roses; Pam Powers from the Arlington Rose Foundation gives you tips and tricks for preparing your roses for spring gardening.

This list may seem overwhelming, but once you know what you’re looking for, everything is simple. Schedule a consultation today with Brian Daly Designs to get the conversation started. If you have any questions regarding must see local gardens, timeline for planning spring landscapes, or anything else, please reach out to me at and I’d love to help. Uncover the joy of nature this February and make every green space your own oasis.

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