One of the best things in Rockville are the parks. One of the best things near Rockville are the parks–and one of the best is Brookside, a county-owned horticultural garden just a few miles south of town near Glenmont. It features a variety of garden types, including Japanese, walled, rose, and naturalistic and while it’s fun to visit throughout the year, spring brings out a long display of flowers. Right now, the daffodils and cherry trees are at peak but will soon be followed by tulips and azaleas. If you visit on the weekends, I recommend arriving before 11 am (gates open at sunrise). Don’t forget that enjoying nature isn’t a luxury, it’s essential for mental fitness.
If you enjoy gardens, there’s no better place around here than Brookside Gardens, a fifty-acre horticultural showplace maintained by Montgomery Parks (aka Maryland-National Capitol Park and Planning Commission). It’s a wonderful place to enjoy all year but especially in the spring when blooming azaleas pack the woods are packed and tulips fill the beds (although with today’s brisk winds, who knows what will survive).
Brookside is free and open from sunrise to sunset, but on beautiful days you’ll want to arrive well before noon to find a parking spot. It’s only 10-15 minutes away from Rockville but it can be a bit hard to find the first time since it’s tucked inside a residential neighborhood . To get there, go straight down Viers Mill Road towards DC, turn left on Randolph Road (at the Korean Korner) and after you cross Georgia Avenue (where the Kensington Volunteer Fire Station is located), look for Glenallan Avenue and turn right into the neighborhood and follow it around to the entrance to the Gardens. A great place to get away, take kids, or enjoy with guests, and if you’re really into gardens, they offer classes and a library in the visitor center.