during my road trip to d.c. last week, i had the great privilege of visiting the united states botanic gardens. the gardens consist of a large conservatory with many unique greenhouses – tropical plants, economic and food plants, desert plants, and an entire greenhouse dedicated to medicinal plants. there is also a nice outdoor garden that contains native plants of the atlantic region.
my favorite part was the outdoor gardens. on a cold, windy day, i was the only one out among the plants. it may seem like winter would be a boring season to spend time in garden, but quite the contrary! i spent lots of time reading all the plant tags and examining all the plants – checking out tree bark and branching patterns, running my hands through the grasses, admiring all the hollies, and appreciating all the little details. there was also a ton of wildlife in the gardens! my hands down favorite thing was seeing the witch hazel blooming – so darn beautiful, and a medicinal tree to boot.
inside, i geeked out even more. the medicinal plants room was incredible – i was smiling so much my cheeks hurt. datura and kava kava were standouts. i also spent a lot of time in the orchid greenhouse, contemplating nature’s beautiful creative powers. another highlight was an ancient plants room that had so many cool ferns! i wanted to roll around in them.
i spent 4 hours at the botanic gardens, but i easily could have spent an entire day. next time i visit d.c., i will be sure to visit the arboretum. yay plant tourism!