Sunday, December 9, 2012

Horticulture for the Holidays: Spotlight on the U.S. Botanic Garden

The U.S. Botanic Garden's conservatory is
a tropical escape from D.C.'s winter weather
For many families, the holiday season is the time to reconnect with loved ones. Some families will traverse the miles to gather at the home of a loved one. Others may take a family vacation and experience someplace new together.

 However you celebrate the holidays, I encourage you to visit a public garden in the area. Many public gardens have holiday activities and displays from tours and workshops to Christmas lights and trains. 

Last Christmas, I traveled to our nation's capital - Washington D.C. - to take in the sights and to re-visit the United States Botanic Garden.  The garden is tucked away near the Capitol building on the National Mall.  The U.S. Botanic Garden's website states that their mission is "to demonstrate the aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic and ecological importance of plants to the well-being of humankind."

 The conservatory is spectacular at any time of year, with exhibits like the garden court, that features plants that are used in products from food to cosmetics.  Although I prefer to visit the garden during warmer months, it's still worthwhile to peruse exhibits like the rose garden at any time of year.
This plant based model of the capitol is part of
the USBG holiday exhibit "Seasons Greenings"

The U.S. Botanic Garden celebrates the holidays with a "Seasons Greenings" exhibit that features a model of the capital, trains, fairy dwellings, and a display of a large collection of poinsettias.  In addition to festive displays, USBG will host live holiday music and workshops.

The holiday exhibit runs from November 22 to January 1st and the garden will be open for extended hours until 8:00 p.m.  As is true for the rest of the year, a holiday visit to the U.S. Botanic Garden is free to the public.

If "Season Greenings" 2012 is anything like last year, plan to wait in line for the model trains.  Although the conservatory was slightly crowded, there wasn't any wait to get into the garden or conservatory itself.

Whether you're able to visit the United States Botanic Garden or a public garden a little closer to home, consider making a garden trip part of your holiday traditions.  You'll be glad you did!

If you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions, please leave a comment or shoot me an email.

To see more photos of my trips to the United States Botanic Garden, check out my photobucket story.

To get more of Amanda, check out The Thrifty Gardener and Plante on Plants.

Have you ever visited the United States Botanic Garden?  What was your experience there?

Where is your favorite public garden holiday display?  Where else would you like to visit?

Me, enjoying our visit to the U.S. Botanic Garden's conservatory over the holidays in 2011

Located on the mall at Washington D.C., the United States Botanic Garden is lovely to visit any time of year.

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