Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Embassy Gardens and Dumbarton Oaks

With the ridge of Clifton Hill between them, the British Embassy and Dumbarton Oaks have a shared legacy and stories, the memory of which has nearly been lost over the years. The original 19th-century estates of both sites were once part of the same Royal land grant, the Rock of Dumbarton. Before each gained renown, […]

Lindsay’s Plantings, Parties & Good Press

The design of the plantings that Elizabeth Lindsay did for the British Embassy gardens followed the tradition of Gertrude Jekyll. From extant, available photographs, plants were used as strong design elements, providing form, texture, and depth to the landscape with a predominate palette of greens. Lady Lindsay made the rose garden, in the largest terrace […]

Lindsay’s Groundwork for the Gardens

With the return of the diplomatic corps and the beginning of the fall social season of 1930 in Washington, the press was filled with reports of the new British Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue. The Ambassador’s Residence had already been put to work: the first large party to be held there was that August for 600 […]

Before their Washington Gardens: Americans in Paris

Even before her marriage to the diplomat Ronald Lindsay, Elizabeth Hoyt occupied the same worldly and cultivated social spheres as her close friends and future neighbors in Washington, Robert and Mildred Bliss of Dumbarton Oaks. Along with Hoyt’s aunt Elizabeth Cameron and the historian Henry Adams, they were bound by friendships formed in Paris and […]

The Education and Career of an Embassy Gardener

Introduction The wife of the first Ambassador to live in the new Massachusetts Avenue British Embassy happened to be a trained landscape architect and an American, Lady Lindsay (1885–1954). The extent of her influence on the Ambassador’s Residence has been little known and unexamined, particularly her relationship with the grand estate practically bordering the Embassy, […]