I never even knew this place existed until last year. How surprised was I to find out that we had our own US Bontanic Garden.
The US Bontanic Garden is neat. It isn't as extensive in space as the National Arboretum, but it does have its own spectacular collection of flora. They even have an orchid room (yeah for orchids!!) It is a very nice respite from the city. I really like walking the catwalk up above the Jungle room inside the conservatory. You kind of get a birds eye view of the plant canopy.
The US Bontanic Garden consists of two places, the conservatory and Bartholdi Park. The conservatory has a neat shape to it and it sparks an image of the game Clue when I look at it. Bartholdi Park is a nice place to sit and relax. It has a fountain in the middle, but they turn that off in the autumn/winter months.
They always have some neat exhibits and activities happening. Its never the same place twice! If you like plants and gardens, you can't miss the US Bontanic Garden. Check out their website too, they have an virtual tour for all you VTers!!
HOURS: Conservatory opens daily from 10 am to 5 pm and Bartholdi Park is open daily from dawn to dusk.
The Botanic Gardens here in DC is quite small compared to many throughout the country, but nonetheless quite beautiful and relaxing. You enter into a fantastic greenhouse with many beautiufl plants and flowers in each of their environments.
I suffer from some serious allergies, and while I love the beautiful plants and flowers, something in this particular garden made me sneeze uncontrollably...so, needless to say, I made a mad dash out of there only after spending about 1/2 hour inside.
Either way, I did enjoy the little I had the opportunity to see!
The US Botanical Garden Greenhouses are located at the far end of the National Mall by the Capitol Building. You must go through a metal detector and bag search before you can enter, but admission is free. Once inside you will be treated to one of the most beautiful, lush gardens I have ever visted, a most welcome escape for me from the mid-February cold. Flowers, foliage and falling water tranport you to another, more perfect place in just seconds.
Each greenhouse here has a different theme. There is a tropical rainforest, a desert, medicinal plants, an oasis, and my favorite, the orchids. The scent alone in that room is enough to make you glad to be alive.
There are benches on which to sit and admire throughout, as well as a gift shop, but that was still under construction when I was there.
This is truly a magical place. It is my second favorite botanical garden that I have been too. It is almost totally indoors which is what I didn't like about it, although I have to admit, it was a gret get away from the blistering heat. The garden is divided into several different sections, Garden Court, West Gallery, Rare and Endangered, Plant Exploration, Orchids, Medicinal Plants, World Desserts, Oasis, Garden Primeval, Plant Adaptation, East Gallery, Children's Garden, Jungle, Canopy Walk, and Southern Exposure. This is something the whole family will enjoy, especially flower lovers. My favorite part of the garden was the orchid section. They smelled so beautiful. This is free like most of the things to see in the mall area.
Built in 1820, these refreshing gardens are just a short walk from the Capitol building. Admission is free, and you can get in daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Even if you don't have a lot of time to spend, take 20 min to relax from sightseeing and walk through this conservatory with 4,000 plants.
Another wonderful place that gets overlooked and it is FREE!
ADMISSION, HOURS, AND ENTRANCE LOCATIONS
Admission to all public areas of the U.S. Botanic Garden is FREE.
Conservatory Hours: open 10 a.m - 5 p.m. daily, including all weekends & holidays.
National Garden Hours: open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily.
Bartholdi Park Hours: open dawn to dusk, daily, including all weekends & holidays.
Directions/Location: The Conservatory's main entrance is located at 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20001 (use this address for Internet mapping searches). The National Garden is adjacent to the Conservatory, with entrances from Independence Avenue, from Maryland Avenue (at 3rd Street), and from the Conservatory Terrace. Bartholdi Park is located across Independence Avenue from the Conservatory, with access from any of the three bordering streets - Independence Avenue, Washington Avenue, or First Street.
Map of the U.S. Botanic Garden.
CELL PHONE TOURS
Bring your cell phone and learn more as you walk through the Garden. Just call 202-730-9303 to get started
TheU.S. Botanic Garden is at the top of the "Mall" just below the Capitol. Springtime gardens all around...always a dynamic display.
Nothing like taking a break in a sunny warm place filled with beautiful plants and flowers...especially if it is early spring and the air is crisp outside.
The US Botanic Garden is on the grounds of the US Capitol, and like the Capitol Building, Senate and House Office Buildings, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, and a few other buildings, is maintained by the the Architect of the Capitol. This garden is considered the oldest continually operated botanic gardens in the US.
This garden was created after Charles Wilkes set out on the United States Exploring Expedition of 1838 and returned in in 1842 with a huge collection of plants previously unknown in the United States. In 1850 the US Botanic Garden was built at the present Capitol reflecting pool to house the specimens from this journey. This building was moved just a few hundred feet to its present location just southwest of the Capitol in 1933.
The Botanic Gardens has three primary locations: the Conservatory on the mall, Bartholdi Park which is just behind the conservancy, and the Production Facility in Anacostia. The Conservatory & Bartholdi Park are adjacent and open to the public. Bartholdi Park is a triangular park that features a fountain made by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. The National Garden just opened in 2006, and it features the Rose Garden, the Butterfly Garden, the Lawn Terrace, the First Ladies' Water Garden, the Regional Garden, and an outdoor amphitheater. On the east side of the Botanic Garden are some environmental displays for educating the public about environmental construction and gardening.
Recently renovated, the Botanic Garden is a "living plant museum." There are several different environments represented, including jungle, desert, and endangered. This is truly a spectacular place to spend time, and the controlled environment can be a respite from unpleasant outside weather. If you visited in the past and remember a somewhat dingy and dated atmosphere with opaque windows and dim light, you are in for a very pleasant surprise. The renovations have breathed new life into this vibrant attraction.
There are also benches throughout the Botanic Gardens; if you are looking for a place to rest your weary tourist feet, it's hard to beat this!
See my travelogue, "A Botanical Tour" for a sampling.
is one of the Nation's most important botanical gardens. It is located on the grounds of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., near Garfield Circle, at the east end of the National Mall. The facility is supervised by the Congress through the Architect of the Capitol who is the groundskeeper of the Capitol. Open daily even on federal holidays (except June 3) until 5 pm. It is the oldest and most continually-operating botanical gardens in the U.S. In 1838 Charles Wilkes set out on the United States Exploring Expedition commissioned by Congress to circumnavigate the globe and explore the Pacific Ocean. During this trip (the "Wilkes Expedition"), Wilkes collected live and dried specimens of plants and was one of the first to use wardian cases to maintain live plants on long voyages. Wilkes returned in 1842 with a massive collection of plants previously unknown in the United States. These dried specimens comprised the core of what is now the National Herbarium, a herbarium curated by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. The live specimens and seeds came to be housed in the Old Patent Office greenhouse, and were cared for there until 1850. At that time, a botanic garden was built to house the collection in front of the Capitol, where the Capitol reflecting pool is now located. The Building was moved to its present location in 1933 just to the southwest of the Capitol, bordered by Maryland Avenue on the north, First Street on the east, Independence Avenue on the south, and Third Street on the west. The Oasis and administrative offices are the only places in the complex with air conditioning. Each room is closely monitored by a computer-operated sensors to maintain the environment best suited to the plants in that room. Humidity, sunlight and temperature are regulated by means of a misting system, retractable shades and levered windows. All plants are watered daily by hand. The gardens are fragrant, beautiful, and not to be missed when visiting Washington, D.C. Rating: 5+ stars out of 5.
On the National Mall, practically in the shadow of the US Capitol, is a gorgeous indoor garden with a variety of plants and habitats. These range from the tropical rain forest, to the desert, to the oasis, to a children's garden, and much more. Tucked away in the southeast corner of the Mall, it's another place that many tourists overlook.
The US Botanic Garden or National Botanical Conservatory is a spectacular display of plants from all over the world. There is a rainforest with stairs to the top of the canopy where one can observe not only those plants that grow at the canopy (top) but also look down for an incredible view of the forest floor. For those of us who will probably never make it to a real rainforest, this is a nice substitute. There are also theme gardens such as Medicinal Plants, the Desert, Rare and Endangered Species, Orchids and the Meditation Garden. The air throughout is laced with deliciously fresh sweet smells of herbs and flowers. There is even a room dedicated to specificly explaining and showing the process of photosynthesis (how plants make their own food). I was very pleased with the US Botanic Garden as my family and I love nature and education for which it supplied a vast amount of both.
U.S. Botanical Garden is not very big, but it's well managed like other things in D.C. Inside it's divided into many small zones, including a dry desert, a humid jungle, a medicinal garden, and much more. Among them I found the Orchid Garden most amazing. I'll post all my flower shots in the travelogue.
The Botanical Garden is right next to the Capitol building. I visited it while waiting for my Capitol tour. For the safety of the plants, the Garden's security is very tight.
This is not one of the more recognized things to do in D.C. but is definitely worth at least a few minutes to go in and browse around, especially since it is free!
Depending on the season you're visiting, there may be many plants and flowers to see outside, and then again maybe not.
But there will definitely be many things to look at and photograph inside the cast-iron and glass nursery.
Among all of the fun free museums and places to visit in D.C., The US Botanical Garden is my favorite!
The Botanic Garden is run by the United States Congress. It is located in D.C. on the U.S. Capitol Grounds campus near Garfield Circle. The building itself, which includes a large Lord & Burnham greenhouse, is divided into separate rooms, each one simulating a different habitat.
One entire beautiful room is just for different types of beautiful orchids!
Hours: 10 AM - 5 PM everyday, including weekends and holidays.