Montgomery Art Association

Plein Air Painting: Peony Gardens at Seneca Creek State Park

  • 16 Mar 2020
  • 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 11950 Clopper Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878


We have arranged for MAA members to paint at the Schwartz peony gardens at Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Between 1915 and 1924 a prosperous real estate broker and flower fancier, Mr. Edwin P. Schwartz, collected heirloom peonies from dealers in Holland, France, England and Germany as well as the United States. Mr Schwartz’s mansion home, which once overlooked the garden, is now Gaithersburg City Hall. By the 1920s the family had become prominent peony root stock dealers, publishing a catalog offering hundreds of different varieties for order by mail. In the 1940s the family moved their commercial garden operations to five acres in what is now Seneca Creek State Park. Thousands of individual peony plants in scores of varieties still bloom in the park every May and June.​

Time: You may arrive/depart as you wish between 8 am and sunset. We have no formal program planned. The objective is simply to have dedicated time and space to make art at an inspiring spot.

Cost: There is no cost to participate in our event but you will need to pay $3 per car to enter the park.

What to bring: Please bring everything you need for the day, including art supplies and equipment, sun protection, insect repellent and food and water. Bees love flowers--please take precautions against stings.

Directions: The park is at 11950 Clopper Rd in Gaithersburg. To get to the peony field, enter at that Clopper Road entrance. After you pass the entrance gate, go straight ahead to the intersection. Turn left toward the maintenance yard. The peony field and garden will be on your right. Parking is available in the area. 

Registration: Registration is requested so that we can communicate any changes if they happen.

Rain date: In the event of rain, we're guessing most artists wouldn't want to attend. It's up to you, though. We won't have an official cancellation per se.

Info about the park: Visit the official website.

Contact: MAA's John MacArthur will be on site and will serve as our coordinator if you need anything. Email John with questions at

© 2019 Montgomery Art Association Inc., PO Box 2154, Kensington, MD 20891

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