The North Garden was originally three acres leading up to R street. From its early mix of ornamental and semi-agrarian uses in the 1800s, the North Garden has evolved to a fully ornamental state. Its symmetrical design complements and, with the layout of formal garden spaces, even mimics the historic house. In the early 19th century, the owners deliberately placed attractive features like the rose garden near the house, with more utilitarian features like vegetable beds, berry bushes, and the orchard (now the Holding Garden), farther from the house.
Today, the main areas of the North Garden include the Box Knot, Round Garden, Holding Garden, Bowling Green, and East Lawn. Each garden area includes a unique layout and historically based plantings from six generations of the Peter Family.
In the first two generations of ownership (1805-1911), crops and animals were raised on the property and supplementary supplies were brought from Peter Family farms in Maryland to feed their household. Built on farmland in Georgetown heights, the estate overlooked the busy port of Georgetown and the river. A full city block originally, surrounded by other farms, it was bounded by R ("Road"), Q ("Stoddart"), 31st ("Congress"), and 32nd ("Valley") streets. Tudor Place and neighboring properties were dotted with outbuildings. The Smokehouse can be seen on the west side of the historic house. This structure dates to 1794 and is one of the oldest outbuildings in Georgetown.
Visitors to Tudor Place in the early 1800s would have arrived along the center drive from R Street. Entering by horse or carriage, the enslaved coachman, Will Johnson, would have tied the reins of their mounts to a locust tree on the northwest side of the Boxwood Circle in front of the house. The tree is no longer alive but the stump, now inside the Ellipse, is still visible.
The tall metal planters on either side of the house’s main entry came from Washington’s old Treasury Building, where they served as hat racks, and were purchased by Martha Peter purchased in the mid-19th century. The Peters removed the bases and they were put to use in other parts of the garden as planters.