While balcony container gardeners enjoy their small-space urban gardens, sometimes a few container plants on an apartment balcony above a busy street just isn’t peaceful enough. Balcony gardeners might not be able to have a peaceful, large garden, but there are public gardens and arboretums near every major city. Don’t just fawn over pictures of luxurious gardens, get out there and enjoy a day at a public garden! You may even bring some gardening inspiration home to your own balcony container garden.
If you live in or are visiting the Washington, DC, area, why not visit the United States Botanic Garden?
- The United States Botanic Gardens was established by Congress in 1820 and is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America.
- The Conservatory, National Garden and Bartholdi Park are permanent exhibits, but check the United States Botanic Garden’s website to learn about seasonal exhibits.
- The almost 29,000-square-foot Conservatory was built in 1933. It underwent a four-year renovation and reopened in 2001. Now the environment of the Conservatory is completely automated by computers that control temperatures, humidity, shade and more, to keep the plants thriving.
- When in Bartholdi Park, enjoy the 30-foot-tall Bartholdi Fountain (officially called “Fountain of Light and Water”), created by Frederic August Bartholdi, the man who designed the Statue of Liberty.
- Visit the First Ladies Water Garden, which honors the First Ladies of the United States. The water garden’s design is based on a Martha Washington quilt pattern.
- The United States Botanic Garden has about 26,000 plants, including several plant specimens that are from the original founding collection from 1842.
- The United States Botanic Garden gets about 750,000 visitors each year.
- Take a free 45-minute tour of the Conservatory or use your cell phone (you will use your phone minutes) to tour the garden at your own pace. A cell phone tour is also available for the National Garden. Call (202) 730-9303 to access the phone tour.
United States Botanic Garden Quick Info
100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20001
Admission is free
Open daily 10am-5pm, including all holidays