One of the property’s earliest plantings is a circle of English boxwood outside the north entrance of the historic house. Dating to the time of the first owners, Martha and Thomas Peter, it is said in family lore to have come from a Mount Vernon cutting.
In the 19th century, the Boxwood Circle was clipped much lower than it is today, at only 12”-18” high. The plants were severely damaged shortly before the Civil War, when the property was rented to a family by Britannia Peter Kennon – whether the damage was from vandalism, severe weather, or neglect. In the 1900s, the shrubs were permitted to grow taller. Thinned and damaged by extreme snow and ice conditions during the winter of 2009-2010, the foliage has since recovered some of its lost thickness, regaining the leafy “clouds” of a healthy hedge.
Until the 1850s, the property of Tudor Place extended on the north to R Street. Visitors entering the property by horse or carriage down the path from R Street would dismount by the circle. There the enslaved coachman, Will Johnson, would take the reins of their mounts and tie them to a locust tree that grew in the circle’s northwest side. Its stump can still be seen there today.