What's blooming: For a photo gallery of the flowers and trees that are blooming at any time at Monticello, visit monticello.org/site/house-and-gardens/in-bloom

Don't miss: The re-creation of the Monticello vegetable garden began in 1979 with two years of archaeological excavations. Archaeologists uncovered the remnants of the stone wall, exposed the foundation of the garden pavilion and searched for the garden walkways. The re-creation is especially accurate in detailing the structure of the garden.

Get there: 161 miles from Baltimore at 931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, Va.

Info: $15 to $55, depending on the tour. Go to monticello.org.

River Farm

River Farm is a historic 25-acre site on the banks of the Potomac River in Alexandria, Va. Once part of George Washington's original five farms, River Farm has been the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society since 1973.

What's blooming: The Perennial Border — actually a series of smaller gardens — offers an ever-changing succession of color and interest throughout the year. At one end of the Perennial Border stands a set of historic White House gates, first installed in 1819 as part of the reconstruction project to repair damage from the War of 1812.

Don't miss: For decades, the meadow at River Farm was a vast expanse of lawn. Between 2004 and 2008, however, this 4-acre site was transformed into a meadow filled with more than 100,000 plants. Kurt Bluemel, former chairman of the American Horticultural Society's board of directors, created this natural legacy in memory of his son, Andre Bluemel.

Get there: 50 miles from Baltimore at 7931 East Boulevard Drive, Alexandria, Va.

Info: Free. Call 800-777-7931 or visit ahs.org/river_farm

Brookside Gardens

Brookside Gardens is Montgomery County's award-winning 50-acre public display garden in Wheaton Regional Park. Included are 32 acres of cultivated gardens and two conservatories. A horticultural reference library is located in the visitors center.

What's blooming: the Azalea Garden — over 300 varieties of azaleas represented by 2,000 plants. Also rhododendrons, hollies, Japanese andromeda, sweet-box, skimmia and shade-tolerant perennials

Don't miss: Hundreds of African, Asian, Costa Rican and North American butterflies, which will be flying freely inside the conservatory this summer. Also the Reflection Terrace, a memorial to the 10 people killed in October 2002, by the Washington snipers.

Get there: 32 miles from Baltimore at 1800 Glenallan Ave. in Wheaton

Info: Free. Call 301-962-1400 or visit montgomeryparks.org/brookside.

susan.reimer@baltsun.com



If you go



Cheval's Second Act



Cheval Force Opp is offering guided garden tours, including transportation and admission, through Behnke Nursery in Beltsville. Tours start at $80 per person. For more information, go to chevals2ndact.com or call 703-395-1501.

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