American Public Gardens Association
2019 Conference
Washington D.C. June 17-21, 2019

Washington, Whiskey, and Wildflowers
Event Type: 
Date / Time: 
Monday, June 17, 2019 - 8:00am to 4:30pm
George Washington's Mount Vernon, River Farm, American Horticultural Society
Guest Cost: 
Pre-Registration Required: 

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, once an active eighteenth-century plantation, is now one of the nation’s most visited historic sites. Begin your visit at the reconstructions of Washington’s gristmill and distillery. In 1799, the distillery produced nearly 11,000 gallons, making it one of the largest whiskey distilleries in America. After enjoying your own taste of the small batch spirits produced on-site today, watch the water wheel turn and mighty gears rotate at the gristmill. Once capable of producing 5,000 to 8,000 pounds of flour and cornmeal, today this milling system is functioning and faithfully interpreted for guests. Return to the mansion for small group tours of the gardens and a tractor-drawn wagon ride to see some of the behind-the-scenes treasures, including beautiful views, historic trees, and a visit to our livestock facility.

The afternoon will continue just down the road at River Farm, once the residence of Martha Washington’s niece Fanny Bassett, and her husband Tobias Lear, now the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society (AHS). Visitors will see an original “ha-ha” wall and one of the largest Osage oranges in the country. Highlights of the contemporary landscape include sweeping lawns, a perennial border, a children’s garden, and the four-acre André Bluemel Meadow, showcasing many of the region’s native grasses and wildflowers. AHS leadership will welcome you with a botanical refreshment made with ingredients from our gardens. Tour the property at your leisure, with guides on hand to answer questions and provide insight into the internal workings of the historic property, and maybe a tale of the ghost of Tobias Lear!

Lunch will be provided.

Departure: Tours depart outside the Blue Room Prefunction on the East side of the conference hotel. Please arrive no earlier than 15 minutes prior to departure time.

Additionally, the Association will not be able to accommodate participants driving their own vehicles to/from offsite locations. All attendees must board the bus at the hotel and return with the group at the scheduled times.