Come Visit Us

Smithsonian Gardens invites you to come and explore our outdoor gardens, designed to complement the museums they border and enhance your overall museum experience of learning, appreciation, and enjoyment. Please visit our blog.

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Community of Gardens

Community of Gardens

Community of Gardens is a digital, participatory archive hosted by Smithsonian Gardens and created by public input. By contributing images, videos, and stories to this website, your participation will help others to better understand the meaning and value of gardens to American life – today and in the future. Community of Gardens is the Smithsonian’s digital home for sharing and preserving the stories of gardens and the gardeners who make them grow.

Explore Community of Gardens

SITES Exhibition

Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard

In the 1950s, America was a nation emerging from the shadow of World War II, searching for ways to enjoy its newfound peace and prosperity. The baby boom, a growing middle class, the do-it-yourself movement, and a dramatic rise in home ownership remade much of the U.S. and, surprisingly, contributed to the development of the suburban backyard.

Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard is a collaboration between Smithsonian Gardens’ Archives of American Gardens and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

Learn more about this exhibit

Internship Opportunities

Internship Opportunities

A wide variety of positions are available for interns ranging from grounds management, landscape architecture, greenhouse nursery production, horticulture education, and collections management.

Enid A. Haupt Garden

Garden Tours

Many visitors are surprised to learn that the Smithsonian Institution includes a number of outdoor museums. All have been designed to complement the museums they border and to enhance the overall museum experience of learning, appreciation, and enjoyment. From mid-April through September there are weekly garden tours available (weather permitting).

Explore our Gardens

Our Gardens

Mary Livingston Ripley GardenAn integral part of the Smithsonian Institution (SI), the Smithsonian Gardens creates and manages the Smithsonian’s outdoor gardens, interiorscapes, and horticulture-related collections and exhibits. Established in 1972 to manage the museum grounds, Smithsonian Gardens extends the museums’ exhibits and learning environment in a public garden setting while shaping visitors’ overall experience of the Smithsonian.

Learn More About Our Gardens

Come Learn!

Hands with BugsOur mission at Smithsonian Gardens is to enrich the Smithsonian experience by extending the museum experience into an outdoor living classroom. We hope that the gardens tours and events in our gardens as well as our activity packages will help youth to exercise both their mind and body in the gardens around the Smithsonian and ultimately in their own community.

Explore Our Educational Materials

American Alliance of Museums
Smithsonian Gardens is an American Alliance of Museums Accredited Museum. Learn More about the accreditation process.

Publications

Book Cover

Smithsonian Gardens is pleased to announce the publication of its first gardening book Encyclopedia of Garden Plants for Every Location featuring more than 3,000 plant recommendations to handle a variety of garden conditions and achieve amazing effects.

Garden Internships

The Smithsonian Gardens provides an exceptionally well-rounded array of experiences in its intern program thanks to the wide diversity of services it offers to the Smithsonian.

Mobile Field Guide

LeafSnap Logo

Leafsnap is the first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution. This free mobile app uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves.