Located in the heart of Washington D.C., the United States Botanic Garden is a living plant museum that has been providing visitors with a unique and educational experience for over 200 years. It's a beautiful place to take in the sights and sounds of nature in The District.
Situated in Washington, DC, the United States Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America. (The Philadelphia Botanical Garden, founded in 1728, is the oldest.) Established in 1820, the garden features approximately 44,000 plants from around the world.
As part of its mission to educate and inspire, the Botanic Garden also offers educational programs for adults, families, and children. These programs range from hands-on workshops to tours of the gardens, as well as lectures and special events.
Visitors can explore three different areas: The Conservatory, Bartholdi Park, and the National Garden.
The Conservatory is the showpiece of the US Botanic Garden and houses a diverse plant collection from rainforests, deserts, aquatic habitats, and more. Inside you'll find an impressive array of orchids, ferns, bromeliads, palms, and cacti. In addition to the array of living plants, visitors can also view a stunning collection of botanical artwork and artifacts from around the world.
Bartholdi Park is home to several outdoor gardens featuring sustainable landscaping practices designed to conserve water, reduce erosion, and protect native species. These include an edible garden, a butterfly garden, and an understory garden filled with native wildflowers.
The National Garden is a collection of gated outdoor gardens that reflect the diversity of American landscapes. From formal to naturalistic, these gardens are a testament to the magnificent ways in which plants can provide wildlife habitats and enhance outdoor spaces. Not only that, but they'll also tell a story, grow delicious food, and improve our lives.
Features of the National Garden include the Regional Garden, designed to display plants native to specific to the Mid-Atlantic, the Rose Garden, the Pollinator Garden, the First Ladies Water Garden, the Lawn Terrace, and the Amphitheater.
United States Botanic Garden Facts
- There are several specimens that date from the 1842 U.S. Exploring Expedition.
- A non-profit organization, The Friends of the U.S. Botanic Garden, was founded in 1991 to fund and build the National Garden using non-federal funds.
- The Amphitheater was created with salvaged marble steps from the East Front of the U.S. Capitol.
- Some of the food that is grown in the garden is picked and used in cooking demonstrations and classes.
- The Pollinator Garden at the United States Botanic Garden is specially designed to provide food and a safe habitat for pollinators such as butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other insects. In addition to providing nectar-rich flowers for them to feed on, the garden also provides nesting sites, sheltering plants, and protection from pesticides.
- The garden has its own YouTube channel which features educational videos about its various plants and gardens, cooking demonstrations, and virtual tours. Other social media channels for the garden include Instagram and Facebook.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the United States Botanic Garden is free and open to the public.
While both institutions are devoted to the education and preservation of plants, the National Arboretum conducts multi-disciplinary research, conservation of genetic resources, and interpretative gardens and exhibits.
The Botanic Garden, on the other hand, is primarily focused on exhibiting plants from around the world, with an emphasis on education.
The U.S. Botanic Garden is open year-round (except for Christmas Day), so visitors can enjoy its beauty any time of the year. It is a great place to explore nature, learn about plants, and appreciate the beauty of the world around us.
- The Conservatory is open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
- The outdoor gardens are open from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
- Bartholdi Fountain and Gardens is open from dawn until dusk.
The Botanic Garden is located at 100 Maryland Ave SW. It is located near the United States Capitol and is one-half mile from the Library of Congress: James Madison Memorial Building.
Bartholdi Fountain and Gardens are located at 245 First Street SW - just across the street from the Botanic Garden.
The US Botanic Garden is a great place to explore nature, learn about plants and their importance in our lives, and breathe in the beauty of Washington DC's diverse horticultural heritage. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a lifetime fan, the United States Botanic Garden.
Have you been to the United States Botanic Garden? What did you enjoy most?