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SUB-SERIES — Folder: 8 Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001

Dumbarton Oaks Garden, Lilac Circle

Scope and Contents

One black and white photograph of the Lilac Circle. The garden area was designed by Beatrix Farrand, landscape gardener in the 1930s. The garden area sits at the furthest northeast corner of the gardens, between the Kitchen Gardens and the Trompe L’Oeil. It was redesigned and replanted several times over the years.

The first plan called for lilacs to be planted in the circular bed, but the plants quickly failed due to the overwhelming shade in that corner of the garden. When the plants continued to struggle, Alden Hopkins, landscape architect, drew up a new design in 1958 that substituted the plants with camellias. The camillias grew well enough until severe winter weather in 1976 killed almost all of them. The camillias were then replaced with lilacs again.

Lilac Circle over time was also known as Camellia Circle, Camellia Garden, Orange Walk, and Perspective Walk.


  • 1921-1979

Language of Materials

Materials chiefly in English with a few items in Greek, Latin, French, Italian, or Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

An appointment is required to consult the collection. Please submit appointment requests here: For research queries, contact the staff of Rare Book Collection (


8 linear feet (23 boxes of textual material with approximately 2631 items; 2411 drawings; and 1235 photographs)

Repository Details

Part of the Dumbarton Oaks Repository

Dumbarton Oaks holds archival collections in its Rare Book Collection, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, and the Dumbarton Oaks Archives. The collections include: the papers of noteworthy scholars in the three fields that Dumbarton Oaks supports (Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and Garden and Landscape); image collections depicting objects or sites of topical interest to scholars in the three fields; Beatrix Farrand’s personal archive of letters and original drawings that document the development of the Dumbarton Oaks Garden; and institutional records and architectural plans and drawings documenting the history of Dumbarton Oaks. For more information about hours and to make an appointment to consult any of the collections listed here, please fill out the request form:

1703 32nd Street, NW
Washington DC 20007 USA