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SUB-SERIES — Folder: 9 Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001

Dumbarton Oaks Garden, Cherry Hill and Catalogue House

Scope and Contents

Five black and white photographs and five color photographs of the Cherry Hill informal garden area in the Dumbarton Oaks Garden, Washington, D.C. This garden area is an example of one of the few plantings where Beatrix Farrand, landscape gardener, played with variations on a single type of bloom. On this remote hillside in the far northeastern corner of the property, she experimented with juxtaposing several varieties of cherry tree in one lush concentration. To add depth to the design, beds of bearded irises dotted the hillside below the trees. However, the irises proved too time-consuming for the garden staff to keep healthy. This complication, combined with rot and insect damage, led to the elimination of the iris beds before 1940. As replacements, Farrand placed vinca, ferns, and violets.

A narrow, winding path passes east to west below the cherries, stretching from the Catalogue House to the Kitchen Gardens. The pathway overlooks the fence that separates the Dumbarton Oaks garden from Dumbarton Oaks Park.

The Catalogue House is an octagonal stone building with three open walls and a slate-shingled roof. The roof is topped with two lead squirrels. Located on the hillside immediately north of the Ellipse, the Catalogue House and adjacent to Cherry Hill was built in 1935, and from 1940 to the present has housed educational displays about the garden.

Robert and Mildred Bliss dedicated the building to their close friends, Vernon and Charlotte Kellogg. The Blisses and Kelloggs worked together on relief efforts during the First World War. Vernon Kellogg, a professor of entomology at Stanford University, served as director of the Commission for Relief in Belgium in 1915-1916.


  • 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