VISITING THE U.S. BOTANIC GARDEN CONSERVATORY- WASHINGTON, DC

OK folks, I know it’s the dead of winter and it’s not really time to think about gardening and all, but I’m on a roll here, so please bear with me.

Remember how I told you in a previous post that I got a greenhouse for Christmas? Well, now that I am the proud owner of my very own greenhouse, I thought it would be nice to visit the Botanical Gardens while we were in Washington, DC for Christmas. It is the greenhouse to beat all greenhouses!  I thought it would give me some inspiration for developing my own greenhouse.

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So, off we went for a little family outing.  Wild horses wouldn’t drag my 16-year-old Austin to see it, but my 10-month-old granddaughter loved every minute of it, and so did I!  I think you’ll like it too.

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The Conservatory is located just down the street from the U.S Capitol Building.

The U.S Capitol, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

We visited a couple days after Christmas, so the gardens were all decked out for the Holidays.  I know we have all had our fill of Christmas by now, but I just had to give you one last glimpse of holiday and I promise to move on.  After all, it will be Valentine’s Day before we know it!

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Anyway, the gardens were all dressed up with poinsettias……

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.comExploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

topiary-teddy-bears and trains……

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.comExploring the U.S. Botanic Garden at Christmas, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

There were Christmas trees……

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden at Christmas, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and more Christmas trees, and garlands galore.

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden at Christmas, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.comExploring the U.S. Botanic Garden at Christmas, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

But the real reason I wanted to visit was to see the displays of our nation’s monuments in miniature.   During the holiday season, the U.S. Botanic Garden presents incredible replicas of Washington, DC’s most famous buildings, all in miniature, and all covered in organic materials.  They start with a replica of their own building.

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Using foam board covered in plant material, they created this magnificent replica of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

They placed the Capitol Building at one end of a replica of the National Mall.

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The Lincoln Memorial, complete with a statue of Abraham Lincoln…

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

was situated as it is in real life…

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

at one end of the Reflecting Pool.

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

And, a replica of the Washington Monument was placed at the other end of the Reflecting Pool.

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, The Lincoln Memorial,by www.AfterOrangeCounty.comExploring the U.S. Botanic Garden,The Lincoln Memorial, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

There was a fine replica of the Supreme Court Building…

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and a replica of the Library of Congress.

Library of Congress, Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I made my son, Taylor, pose for a photo in front of that building because, believe it or not, he spent his junior year of high school going to school in the Library of Congress.  He was a Congressional Page.

The U.S Library of Congress, Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The Page School was located on the very top floor of the building…

Library of Congress, www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

with classrooms that overlooked the Capitol.  They attended school very early in the morning and served Congress afterward, often until very late at night.

Congressional Page Program, www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCongressional Page Program, www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCongressional Page Program, www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCongressional Page Program, www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

As a U.S Congressional Page, Taylor lived in a dormitory on Capitol Hill…

Congressional Page Program, www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and then served our Representatives on the floor of the House.

Congressional Page, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

It was an amazing experience for him, and one that every junior in high school should look into.  One of these days I’ll write a post in more detail about the Page Program, but right now, I’ll get back to the Botanic Garden.  There was also had a replica of the National Museum of the American Indians on display.  It is made of cork and fungi.

American Indian Museum,Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

That museum is located right next the the Botanic Garden so afterward we walked over to see it.

National Museum of the American Indian, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.comNational Museum of the American Indian, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

It is a kind of undulating building, surrounded by a lovely fountain.

National Museum of the American Indian, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.comNational Museum of the American Indian, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

In the Botanic Garden, we also saw cacao trees (photo on the right) and papaya trees bearing ripe fruit in winter…

Papaya Trees,Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCacao Tree,Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and coffee trees…

Coffee Tree,Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and citrus trees…

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.comExploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

a Tea Tree…

Tee Tree, Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and a Vanilla Plant.

Vanilla Plant, Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

There were these amazing carnivorous plants called Nepenthes Alata…

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.comExploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

which are native to the Philippines.  They are carnivores, consuming small bugs, flies and spiders.

Nepenthes Plant, Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

There was a tropical rain forest…

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden at Christmas, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.comExploring the U.S. Botanic Garden at Christmas, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and orchids of every description.

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.comExploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.comExploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.comExploring the U.S. Botanic Garden, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The Hawaiian section had a waterfall and tropical ferns…….

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden at Christmas, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.comExploring the U.S. Botanic Garden at Christmas, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and the desert display was full of unusual cacti.

Exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden at Christmas, by www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So, as I look back on my day at the Botanic Garden, I’m not sure if I’m feeling motivated to get started on my own greenhouse garden or if I’m feeling overwhelmed.  The Botanic Garden is a hard act to follow!  I’ll keep you posted!

All opinions expressed in this post are my own.   All photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.

Comments

logo

LET'S SOCIALIZE!

SUBSCRIBE

and be the first to see the latest & greatest from After Orange County

We hate spam and promise to keep your email address safe.