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Next month, the large, 25-acre estate tucked away in the leafy, hilly Van Ness area of Upper Northwest will safely re-open for live, in-person mansion and garden tours, as well as its regular rotating series of classes, such as the popular “Horticulture How-To: Orchid 101” sessions with Drew Asbury.
In the meantime, however, the gorgeously appointed property, preserved in the style and manner of its late owner Marjorie Merriweather Post, has an impressive lineup of virtual activities on tap, including one expressly for lovers.
Ami Wilber, Hillwood’s floral and event décor designer, will lead “Floral Design How-To: Passionate Purples,” offering a step-by-step guide in creating an original arrangement that swaps out the Valentine’s Day tradition of red roses for a romantic purple bouquet of lisianthus, stock, and more.
A materials list will be shared in advance for participants who would like to create their own bouquet during the online session, Friday, Feb. 12, at 1:30 p.m. ($12 or free for members.)
Every Friday at noon, Hillwood offers hour-long Virtual Mansion Tours in which trained volunteer docents lead participants through a review over Zoom of photos, collection highlights, and archival images, plus the opportunity to ask questions in real time.
An additional Virtual Mansion Tour starting at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 9, offers a special focus on “Marjorie Post’s Life and Collection at Hillwood through the Prism of Black History.” (All virtual tours are $7 per household for non-members.)
Another offering that nods to February’s designation as Black History Month is the Livestream Lecture “Expanding the American Story: Preservation as a Path for Equitable Interpretation.” Part of the “Great Homes and Gardens” series, Brent Leggs of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund will lead this lecture, set for Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m., focused on Black heritage sites and projects, from the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument in Alabama to the Madam C.J. Walker’s Villa Lewaro in New York, that have played a “crucial role in redefining our collective history and, ultimately, reconstructing a national identity that reflects the country’s true diversity.”
The “Great Homes and Gardens” series is touted as one allowing participants to “tune in from home to escape the cold Washington winter and immerse yourself in the stories of great American places and luscious garden estates.”
The lecture series, presented Thursdays at 6:30 p.m., also includes “Filoli: From Family Home to Cultural Center” with Kara Newport of Filoli, the rich cultural center in California’s Bay Area including a large mansion and 16 acres of formal gardens on Feb. 18.
Tickets are $10 for each lecture for non-members. Annual memberships start at $60 per adult or $85 per household. Call 202-686-5807 or visit www.hillwoodmuseum.org.
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