Smithsonian Gardens

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Legal: http://s.si.edu/legal Established in 1972 to manage the museum grounds, Smithsonian Gardens extends the Smithsonian’s museum experience in a public garden setting, inspiring visitors with exceptional displays and educating them about horticulture, plants, the natural and built environments, and artistic design.
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Operating as usual

Winter is dreary,Let’s think of something cheery!Valentine’s funMight bring us some sun,So send these cards to those you...
02/08/2021

Winter is dreary,
Let’s think of something cheery!
Valentine’s fun
Might bring us some sun,
So send these cards to those you hold dear-y!

We made these elementary school-style Valentine’s from images of plants in our Living Collection. Send them to your friends and loved ones, or print them out and leave them on their doorstep with a sweet treat for Valentine’s Day!

https://gardens.si.edu/valentines-day/

💬: Kayleigh Walters, Living Collection Cataloger
📷: Hannele Lahti, Living Collection Photographer

The delicate dried flowers of Hydrangea paniculata ‘Chantilly Lace’ perfectly accent Monumentus washingtonia in the back...
02/06/2021

The delicate dried flowers of Hydrangea paniculata ‘Chantilly Lace’ perfectly accent Monumentus washingtonia in the background (but it goes by the common name Washington Monument😋).

‘Chantilly Lace’ is a more compact, upright cultivar than other types of Hydrangea paniculata. This particular cultivar is a seedling of the more common variety ‘Tardiva’ and was introduced to the trade by Michael Dirr and Kay Bowman.

📷: Eric Calhoun, Supervisory Horticulturist

We are excited to announce the return of our Let's Talk Garden series.  To register: https://gardens.si.edu/events/lets-...
02/05/2021

We are excited to announce the return of our Let's Talk Garden series. To register: https://gardens.si.edu/events/lets-talk-gardens/

This month's programs are:

February 11: Plant Inspired Photography- Developing Your Creative Eye with Smithsonian Gardens' Living Collections Photographer, Hannele Lahti

February 18: Getting the Most Out of Your Late-Season Display with Chanticleer's Horticulturist, Dan Benarcik

February 25: Out of this World Design: The New Garden at Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum with Landscape Designer, Patrick Cullina

"When the snow is still blowing against the window-pane in January and February...what pleasure it is to plan for summer...
02/04/2021

"When the snow is still blowing against the window-pane in January and February...what pleasure it is to plan for summer that is to be!"

The owner of this garden, Celia Thaxter (1835-1894), was one of the most popular nature writers of the Victorian era. She was inspired by the rocks, birds, and waves of her remote home on the Isles of Shoals, Maine, but most of all by her own garden, where she spent many hours a day.

Her best-known book, An Island Garden, is a diary of her gardening routines over the course of one year. She also wrote nature-inspired stories and poems for a nationwide audience as well as essays for Audubon Magazine.

Visits to Thaxter’s garden inspired many authors including Sarah Orne Jewett, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, as well as artists Ellen Robbins and William Morris Hunt. The artist of this work, Childe Hassam, painted many landscapes in and around her garden and the surrounding isle.

Poppies, seen here, were one of Celia Thaxter's favorite flowers to plant. She covered the southwest bank below her garden with them, planting a little more each week to prolong the blooming season. Her gardening secret? Love. Love for one’s flowers, in Thaxter’s words, brings about “the purest joy that earth can give her children."

🖼️: Detail, Poppies, Isles of Shoals. Maine, 1891. Childe Hassam. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington. @nga

💬: Celia Thaxter, An Island Garden. 1894.

Good Morning! Our Enid A. Haupt Garden is open for winter strolls.📷: Sarah Dickert, Horticulturist
02/03/2021

Good Morning! Our Enid A. Haupt Garden is open for winter strolls.

📷: Sarah Dickert, Horticulturist

Did you know today is World Wetlands Day? Consisting of both water and land, wetlands are the most diverse of all aquati...
02/02/2021

Did you know today is World Wetlands Day? Consisting of both water and land, wetlands are the most diverse of all aquatic ecosystems. The Chesapeake Bay watershed is the largest estuary in North America, covering more than 64,000 square miles. This ecosystem consists of many balancing acts. For example, blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) feed on snails called marsh periwinkles (Littorina irrorata), which helps keeps the periwinkle population in check since marsh periwinkles feed on the marsh grasses used as habitat by the crabs. So when the crabs are overfished, it causes a downward spiral to the entire ecosystem. As the population of snails increase, they overfeed on the marsh grasses, further reducing the primary habitat for crabs, which results in even lower crab population numbers.

To learn more about the aquatic biome and other biomes, visit our website https://gardens.si.edu/exhibitions/habitat/biomes-life-in-the-balance/

📷: Alexandra Thompson, Horticulturist

Our gardens are enjoying a snow day! ❄️❄️The Enid A. Haupt Garden remains closed today. Please stay tuned for the reopen...
02/01/2021

Our gardens are enjoying a snow day! ❄️❄️

The Enid A. Haupt Garden remains closed today. Please stay tuned for the reopening status.

From our houseplant series, tip 3: humidity 🌡️🌱Most houseplants tend to need high humidity levels (40-80%). But when we ...
01/31/2021

From our houseplant series, tip 3: humidity 🌡️🌱

Most houseplants tend to need high humidity levels (40-80%). But when we turn on the heat in the winter, the air in the home gets a lot drier (15-30%). You can elevate the humidity around indoor plants by setting up a portable humidifier near your plants or placing groups of plants on top of trays filled with pebbles and water.
*Always check on the specific requirements of your plant.*
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📷: Virginia Thaxton & Alexandra Thompson, Horticulturist

We love the beauty of our gardens in the snow, but due to the inclement weather the Enid A. Haupt Garden will be closed ...
01/31/2021

We love the beauty of our gardens in the snow, but due to the inclement weather the Enid A. Haupt Garden will be closed today. Please stay tuned for reopening information.

The earliest blooms are always a treat in garden.  Among our first flowers each year are an assortment of Hellebores.Pic...
01/30/2021

The earliest blooms are always a treat in garden. Among our first flowers each year are an assortment of Hellebores.

Pictured:
(1) Helleborus ‘HGC Josef Lemper’
(2) Helleborus ‘HGC Pink Frost’
(3) Helleborus x nigercors ‘Northern Beauty’
(4) Helleborus foetidus

📷: James Gagliardi, Supervisory Horticulturist

Today’s #ConiferTuesday pick is Chamaeyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’. The Weeping Alaskan Cedar has a loose, open habit t...
01/26/2021

Today’s #ConiferTuesday pick is Chamaeyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’. The Weeping Alaskan Cedar has a loose, open habit that has upward sweeping branches and pendulous branchlets. This graceful and elegant tree adds the perfect Victorian flare outside the @smithsonian Castle.

📷: Rick Shilling, Horticulturist

I don’t know about you, but I have dreams about Phragmipedium Ecuagenera Dream. This orchid hybrid is an example of mode...
01/25/2021

I don’t know about you, but I have dreams about Phragmipedium Ecuagenera Dream. This orchid hybrid is an example of modern hybridizations using a recently described Phragmipedium species, Phragmipedium kovachii, which was discovered in the jungles of Peru in 2000.

📷: Justin Kondrat, Horticulturist

From our houseplant series, tip 2:  water and fertilizer. 💧💦🌱With lower light levels in the winter plants enter a restin...
01/24/2021

From our houseplant series, tip 2: water and fertilizer. 💧💦🌱

With lower light levels in the winter plants enter a resting period and are less actively growing thus their water and fertilizer requirements should be reduced. Before watering make sure to check the soil moisture 1-2 inches below the surface and only water when dry. Some plants such as succulents may not require any water during the winter.
*Always check on the specific requirements of your plant*.
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To learn more: https://gardens.si.edu/learn/blog/houseplants-are-like-potato-chips/
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📷: Virginia Thaxton and Alexandra Thompson, Horticulturist

Happy Saturday!Our gardens are open from dawn till dusk. Share you garden visit with us! 📷:Melinda Whicher, Supervisory ...
01/23/2021

Happy Saturday!

Our gardens are open from dawn till dusk. Share you garden visit with us!

📷:Melinda Whicher, Supervisory Horticulturist

Did your grandparents keep a garden? Record your memories on the Smithsonian’s #CommunityofGardens site! Community of Ga...
01/22/2021

Did your grandparents keep a garden? Record your memories on the Smithsonian’s #CommunityofGardens site! Community of Gardens records the history of gardens and gardeners past and present across the U.S.

This is Beatrice’s garden at her home outside New Orleans circa 1950-1960. A bush of bridal wreath is blooming on the left side of the photo. Beatrice also grew roses, azaleas, phlox, Easter lilies, hydrangeas, plumbago, Florida jasmine, camellias, irises, and a Japanese magnolia.

Submit your garden memories here: https://gardens.si.edu/collections/community-of-gardens/

📷: Beatrice’s garden near New Orleans, LA. Photo provided by her family. Community of Gardens collection.

Did you know the sunflower (Helianthus) has been named the 2021 Flower of the Year? This bright cheerful flower is often...
01/21/2021

Did you know the sunflower (Helianthus) has been named the 2021 Flower of the Year? This bright cheerful flower is often associated with joy, peace, and optimism. Be sure to incorporate some sunflowers in your garden this summer!

📷: Christine Price-Abelow, Horticulturist

Today’s #ConiferTuesday pick is growing on the north side of the @smithsonian Castle, Cryptomeria japonica ‘Dinger’. ‘Di...
01/19/2021

Today’s #ConiferTuesday pick is growing on the north side of the @smithsonian Castle, Cryptomeria japonica ‘Dinger’. ‘Dinger’ is a relatively unknown and rare shrub in the trade featuring short, dark needles on long, finger-like branches. This promising plant could easily be utilized in today’s smaller residential landscapes. We think this shrub is a real humdinger in our collection of conifers!

📷: Rick Shilling, Horticulturist

From our houseplant series, tip 1:  light and temperature.  🔆🌡️Winter days are shorter, which means the sun’s rays come ...
01/17/2021

From our houseplant series, tip 1: light and temperature. 🔆🌡️

Winter days are shorter, which means the sun’s rays come into your home at a lower angle. Your plants might need to be moved around to different rooms or closer to windows to find the right amount of light for them. When moving them, think about keeping them away from cold drafts (windows, doors) or heat sources (heat vents, fireplaces) since houseplants don’t like temperature fluctuations. If your plants are still not getting enough light, you can add supplemental artificial lighting.
*Always check on the specific requirements of your plant.*
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🌱: Philodendron hederaceum 'Brasil'
📷: Virginia Thaxton and Alexandra Thompson, Horticulturist

Angraecum Crestwood ‘Tomorrow Star’ is filling our noses  with a lovely floral scent and enticing our  eyes as its unfol...
01/15/2021

Angraecum Crestwood ‘Tomorrow Star’ is filling our noses with a lovely floral scent and enticing our eyes as its unfolds within our warm growing ranges. This year this specimen adorns a total of 15 flowers.

📷: Justin Kondrat, Horticulturist

Good morning from the Enid A. Haupt Garden! Hope everyone is staying warm on this frosty morning. 🥶 📷: Sarah Dickert, Ho...
01/14/2021

Good morning from the Enid A. Haupt Garden! Hope everyone is staying warm on this frosty morning. 🥶

📷: Sarah Dickert, Horticulturist

Cycnoches warscewiczii is a unique species that bears separate female and male flowers that smell of ripe bananas. We we...
01/13/2021

Cycnoches warscewiczii is a unique species that bears separate female and male flowers that smell of ripe bananas. We were lucky enough to capture both flowers during a recent photography session. Can you spot the differences?

Image 1: Female/Male side by side
Image 2: Female Flower
Image 3: Male Flower
Image 4: Whole Plants

📷: Hannele Lahti, Living Collection Photographer

Today’s #ConiferTuesday pick is growing around the @freersackler Museum, Cedrus deodara ‘Shalimar’. ‘Shalimar’ is the mo...
01/12/2021

Today’s #ConiferTuesday pick is growing around the @freersackler Museum, Cedrus deodara ‘Shalimar’. ‘Shalimar’ is the most winter hardy cultivar of the deodar cedars. The silver blue contrast is beautiful as the new foliage emerges in spring. It becomes graceful as it matures, the branches droop and become more pendulous. Cones are unique as they sit on top of the branches.

📷: Rick Shilling, Horticulturist

The Mary Livingston Ripley Garden is glowing this morning! 📷:  Hannele Lahti, Living Collection Photographer
01/11/2021

The Mary Livingston Ripley Garden is glowing this morning!

📷: Hannele Lahti, Living Collection Photographer

Are you one of those people who devote a whole corner of your home to plants? Does it make you smile to have them all ar...
01/10/2021

Are you one of those people who devote a whole corner of your home to plants? Does it make you smile to have them all around you, in every room of the house perhaps? Then today is a day for you to celebrate because it is National Houseplant Appreciation Day!

This day was established to remind us of the joys and benefits of caring for indoor plants. It is conveniently set in winter to help us appreciate the beauty of green plants in our spaces when our outdoor gardens are mostly dormant and right after our holiday decorations have been packed away. Follow us during the next three Sundays in January as we share information regarding proper winter care of houseplants.

📷: Virginia Thaxton, Horticulturist

Fluffy pom poms of dried Hydrangea flowers cheer on the changing of the seasons! Even the Viburnum in the background is ...
01/06/2021

Fluffy pom poms of dried Hydrangea flowers cheer on the changing of the seasons! Even the Viburnum in the background is looking especially festive this time of year.

📷: Sarah Dickert, Horticulturist

Good morning from our #orchid greenhouse! ☀️🌸 📷: Justin Kondrat, Horticulturist
01/05/2021

Good morning from our #orchid greenhouse! ☀️🌸

📷: Justin Kondrat, Horticulturist

SURPRISE SURPRISE! 🤩Stanhopea platyceras has flabbergasted our orchid collection staff with its sweet  intoxicating frag...
01/04/2021

SURPRISE SURPRISE! 🤩

Stanhopea platyceras has flabbergasted our orchid collection staff with its sweet intoxicating fragrance and over-all flower size. This is the first time that this accession has bloomed since the plant entered the collection in 2014. All that power comes with a cost…the flower only lasts 3 days. But not to fear, another flower spike is on its way!

📷: Justin Kondrat, Horticulturist

These little sparrows are visiting the Urban Bird Garden, soaking up some sunshine, and taking their New Year's bath. ☀️...
01/03/2021

These little sparrows are visiting the Urban Bird Garden, soaking up some sunshine, and taking their New Year's bath. ☀️🐦

📷: Hannele Lahti, Living Collection Photographer

What’s not to love about this orchid hybrid, x Guaritonia?! This cross was first created in 1979 and has been a fan-favo...
01/02/2021

What’s not to love about this orchid hybrid, x Guaritonia?! This cross was first created in 1979 and has been a fan-favorite for decades. This plant is an example of an intergenic hybrid where two different genera are combined to produce a new genus, noted with an "x" at the start of the name.

📷: Justin Kondrat, Horticulturist

“Garden bones” refer to those design elements (paths, trees, structures, etc.) that define the structure of a garden and...
12/30/2020

“Garden bones” refer to those design elements (paths, trees, structures, etc.) that define the structure of a garden and are often best seen in the winter under a blanket of snow.

The bones of “Bonaire,” located in Orange, New Jersey, are clearly seen here – with its long axial view and symmetrical layout bordered by clipped box hedges typical of a formal garden. This design style was favored by Ellen Biddle Shipman (1869-1950) who designed “Bonaire” for Robert A. Franks (treasurer of industrialist Andrew Carnegie) in the 1930s.

Image credit: Bonaire garden in Orange, Virginia. Photographer unknown. Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Garden Club of America Collection. https://www.si.edu/object/archives/components/sova-aag-gca-ref20808

Smithsonian Gardens has an extensive conifer collection across our gardens. The conifer trees throughout the gardens mak...
12/29/2020

Smithsonian Gardens has an extensive conifer collection across our gardens. The conifer trees throughout the gardens makes up 18% of our living tree collection (or around 318 trees out of 1803), in addition to our unique conifer shrubs. One of the people who has helped cultivate our conifer collection is horticulturist Rick Shilling. He is the lead horticulturist at the @freersackler, but his conifer work can be seen all over Smithsonian Gardens. From the Hirshhorn, to the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden, the Folger Rose Garden, the Smithsonian Castle, and the Enid A. Haupt Garden. Please follow along this winter on Tuesdays as Rick introduces us to his top conifer picks.

How often do orchids rebloom?The answer has some range! With over 28,000 species known to science and over 110,000 regis...
12/28/2020

How often do orchids rebloom?

The answer has some range! With over 28,000 species known to science and over 110,000 registered hybrids, an orchid’s bloom cycle ranges from once every 2 years to non-stop. For us Xylobium variegatum is a non-stop bloomer. As a flower inflorescence fades another one is right behind, giving us 365 days of floral symphony!

📷: Justin Kondrat, Horticulturist

Even though it's winter, birds still need a source of water. Adding a simple small heater to bird baths can keep the wat...
12/27/2020

Even though it's winter, birds still need a source of water. Adding a simple small heater to bird baths can keep the water from freezing over. This will help keep birds coming to your garden all winter long.

📷: Hannele Lahti, Living Collections Photographer

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