Smelling the roses at the 27th annual Tudor Place Garden Party

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Guests on the lawn of Tudor Place to celebrate its 27th annual Garden Party.

As a heavy canopy of heat settles over Washington, Georgetowners gave spring one last hurrah on May 22nd at the 27th annual Tudor Place Garden Party. The evening was perfect-mild but warm-with just enough late afternoon sun to wear a wide-brimmed hat or straw boater. Hats are always a spectator sport at this event-a rare occurrence in Washington-and this year we saw everything from the traditional to the modern to the whimsical.

A jazz band welcomed guests to the Tudor Place South Lawn, an expanse of greenery extending far beyond the house, completed in 1816, making Tudor Place one of the first National Historic Landmarks.


Jazz Band welcomes guests at Tudor Place.

Built by a granddaughter of Martha Washington and a stunning example of neoclassical, colonial architecture, Tudor Place is a special gem in the Georgetown neighborhood, and its party always brings out the neighborhood’s chic set.

When I wasn’t hat gazing, I was soaking up the beauty of the Tudor Place Gardens, awash in the glow of a May sunset. The Box Knot Garden with its rose trellises, peonies and English boxwood is one of many visual feasts in Tudor Place’s five and a half acres.


Tudor Place Garden with flowers of every shape and hue.
There are thousands of roses at Tudor Place, which have been admired by visitors for over a century.
Floral arrangements at Tudor Place Garden Party; Peonies in full bloom!

This year’s garden party honored Tudor Place trustee Bruce Whelihan, and was chaired by Beth Clifton and Whitney Rosenthal.


L. to r.: Susan Burke; Braxton Moncure and TJ Holland.


L. to r.: Teri Galvez and Michael Cleary; Autumn Allen.


L. to r.: Susan Pillsbury and granddaughter, Kiran; Lee Murphy.


L. to r.: Sassy Jacobs; Amy Gross.
Sarah Diligenti (right).

The next day, we found ourselves in another Georgetown garden, this time for our friend Jane Stanton Hitchcock.

Jane, or more specifically her new novel “Bluff,” was the star attraction at the PEN/Faulkner Founding Friends Luncheon at the home of Cathy Brentzel, once home to Senator Ted Kennedy.


Cathy Brentzel hosted the PEN/Faulkner Luncheon at her Georgetown home.


As only Jane can do, she wore black platform Miu Miu sneakers with her little black dress.


Jane Stanton Hitchcock in her little black dress and Miu Miu sneakers.
Marilyn Stern and Andrew Athy.

Guests enjoyed an al fresco buffet lunch in Cathy’s lush back yard with its ivy-covered walls, sparkling fountains, and fabulous florals.


The fabulous florals and sparkling fountains at the PEN/Faulkner Luncheon.

Jane’s novel is a true labor of love for her, because it’s set in the world of her abiding passion-poker. Her other great love, husband and fellow writer Jim Hoagland, was there among her friends lucky enough to call Jane a pal.

Be sure to pack “Bluff” in your beach bag for your next trip.

The luncheon was chaired by Willee Lewis and Katherine Field Stephen.


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