Sunday, November 07, 2010

People, Plots, and Plants of DC - Part 3: Temple Gardens and Kalorama Community Gardens

Profiling Community Gardens Across the City

Temple Gardens and Kalorama Community Gardens

Guest Blog by Susi Baranano

Temple Gardens can be found behind the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on 15th and S Street, in Ward 2. The Temple Gardens was established in 1990 and gets its name from the Masonic Temple because it is on ¼ acre of their land. There are 70 plots available to DC residents who do not have a garden space at their residence. DC Department of Recreation laid down the original plots in the spring of 1990 and DC Urban Forestry Administration provided the woodchips for the walkways.

Poppy Path, Lavender Lane, East and West Boulevard are the names the gardeners have given to the woodchip walkways dividing the plots. Chard and chili peppers stand tall in one plot, green and red peppers in another, spearmint and rosemary in another. Squash grows on the ground. Tomatoes are still on the vine. Morning glories wrap the fence. A boot filled with plants sits in the corner of another.

Kalorama Community Gardens is located on the corner of Kalorama Park, a 3-acre park located where 19th,Street, Kalorama Road and Columbia Road intersect in Ward 1. Kalorama, which means “beautiful view” in Greek, was once an estate. Like nearly all estates in DC, it was subdivided into smaller lots, of which the Park is one of them. Kalorama Park was once federal land, but in 1971 it was transferred to DC.
Alongside the Kalorama Gardens are hedges that date back to the original Kalorama estate. Robins and sparrows hide and perch in the hedges, and eat insects among the 19 plots. A water line to the garden is the source for the garden. Each spring area residents can enter a lottery for a plot that will be theirs for up to 5 years as long as they live in the area.

The Park sits on a little hill, surrounded by tall apartment buildings that look down on it. This little park has it all: Benches lining the walkways, the Kalorama Community Center with yellow slides and red swings for children to play, a dog park, oval grass plot and padlocked garden plot.

Searching for people, plants and plots!!! Contribute to this new guest blog series about DC’s community gardens, contact me at

Read Part 1 of the People, Plots, and Plants of DC series on the Whitehaven Community Garden and Melvin Hazen Community Garden at:

Read Part 2 of the People, Plots, and Plants of DC series on the Newark Street Community Gardens  and the Frances Community Garden at:


  1. karen bruno6:28 PM

    I'm enjoying reading about the many different community gardens in the District!

  2. We also same types of gardens in our fields. And our family remains busy for this type of work. I will definitely contribute for this blog.


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