Wanderlusting: US Botanic Gardens

“Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.” ~ Walt Whitman

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Blooming Surprises

Our first day in DC was a chilly one. After hours of walking around The National Mall, we decided an indoor activity was necessary. I hadn’t realized that much of the US Botanic Garden was enclosed and was ecstatic when one of the Capital Police told us. Both Sarah and I love blooms, and while I pretty much kill anything green, I happily enjoy getting lost in gardens and enjoying flowers cultivated by those who do have a green thumb.

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History

Our founding Fathers had a dream to create a garden that would both preserve and educate people on horticulture. It was designed not just for the purpose of admiring flowers, but that it would benefit the American people, teaching them about the fragile ecosystem and how beneficial plants can be to our well-being.

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It was a testament to how revolutionary the American forefathers were, and how conservation was incredibly important even back in the early days of the United States.

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Opened in 1820 it is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America. Over 200 years later, the vision of preserving our ecology, and teaching people about the vital role and over all importance plants play in our every day lives is still very much prevalent, if not more so. It was recognized and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and is considered as not just a garden, but a living museum, housing some of the rarest plants in the world some being 165 years old.

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US Botanic Gardens

The gardens are located on The National Mall, next to the Capital and is operated by the US Congress. Unlike many of the Botanic Gardens I have visited, admission is free and it is pen year round, even on federal holidays.

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It is a three part facility; The Conservatory, which is a large controlled green-house, Bartholdi Park which is next to the Conservatory and an outdoor garden, changing seasonally, and the Production Facility, that sounds like something out of a spy drama, but it is actually where they cultivate and maintain many of the plants and is located off premises. Which only adds to the allure in my opinion.

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We spent all of our time at the Conservatory which is temperature regulated and rather (welcoming so on that chilly day) humid. It has eight rooms, housing a wide variety of plants from medicinal, to roses, to my favorite, orchids.

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Conservatory

The moment we happily stepped into the warm, humid, greenhouse it felt like we had been transported to a jungle. With varying flowers broken up into sections, it was a floral haven I could have spent hours in. In fact we did spent quite a few hours there.

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We walked the winding pathways that took us on a horticultural journey through succulents, perennials, annuals, herbs, medicinal plants, and even more exotic blooms.

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Each room catered to a different type of plant species, all leading back to the main room which was aptly named “The Tropics.” Comprised of two stories, we climbed the scaffolding like stairs, and gazed down upon the floral jungle reminiscent of an Amazonian jungle, yet with none of the reptiles thankfully.

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Orchids Galore

One of my two favorite flowers (the other being peonies) is orchids. The gardens had an abundance of them in all varying shades. I was in heaven. They have over 5,000 types of Orchids with hundreds of different species blooming at any one time.

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While they had their own separate room, many were scattered throughout the Conservatory, and were prominently displayed in “The Tropics” hanging form the scaffolding and winding up the pillars.

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Horticulture Happiness

DC was well worth it, just to experience these gardens, which are probably some of my favorite I have visited. Not only was it incredibly nice, that it was free, but I loved that the majority of it was indoors, making it accessible year round and aways having some flowery cheer always at the ready.

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If I lived in DC, it would be a place I would always be at, and I know the next time I go, I will be paying it a visit.

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Have you been to the US Botanic Gardens? What is your favorite Botanic Garden you have been too?

20 thoughts on “Wanderlusting: US Botanic Gardens

Add yours

  1. I’m a huge fan of visiting gardens – especially botanical! I love all the information you included – it’s nice that’s it’s free admission so everyone can visit. And I have so say, FABULOUS posing! Okay I never use that word and don’t really emphasise words in capitals. But you look gorgeous, and I absolutely love that you went to the garden in heels. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is something so peaceful about visiting a garden especially a botanical one! Awe thank you so much sweets! I am glad you enjoyed it. Right? I was so surprised. It made it even more special! Awe thank you hun, you are so sweet! Thank you! Hehe disclaimer: I did have flats in my bag, but I did walk quite a few miles in those heels. They are surprisingly comfy:) ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had no idea this even existed, let alone that one could visit for FREE. Thank you for this wonderful tip! Your photos are gorgeous, and like Laura Jane said I’ve got to give you 50 bonus points for doing this in those wicked heels. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t either! I feel like it is a hidden gem in DC! You are so welcome sweets! And awe thank you so much hun! I appreciate that a lot coming from you! Hehe thank you! I did have flats in my bag, though I only pulled them out at the end! I hope you are having an amazing weekend! ;p ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. THIS IS LITERALLY A DREAM. How freaking beautiful (also, I LOVE orchids; I’m planning on getting an orchid tattoo eventually). I must confess, though . . . my main thought while reading this was GIRL HOW ON EARTH WERE YOU ROCKING THOSE HEELS? You look gorgeous, but you’re braver than I am – I cannot rock stilettos for the life of me!xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Girl it seriously was a dream! I felt like I was in a jungle! Yay twins! Oh my gosh my friend has an orchid tattoo on her shoulder that I am obsessed with! It is gorgeous!
      Bwahahahaha They are really comfortable (I have pretty much run in them) and I did have flats I switched out of near the end of the day, because no matter how comfortable girl can only wear them so much! Thanks so much for the sweet words and stopping by beauty! ❀

      Like

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