Collections & Research

Smithsonian Gardens cares for living plant, artifact and archival collections and makes them available for exhibition and research.

Buttrick Mansion Sculptural Ornaments

Archives of American Gardens

The Archives of American Gardens (AAG) offers landscape designers, historians, researchers, and garden enthusiasts access to a collection of over 100,000 photographic images and records documenting historic and contemporary American gardens.


Orchid Collection

Smithsonian Gardens strives to cultivate an extremely diverse array of orchids from all over the world. With close to 8,000 plants in the collection, new acquisitions are selected carefully each year based on their display quality, educational value, beauty, rarity and how they complement the present collection.

Garden Furnishings

Garden Furnishings and Horticultural Artifacts

Hundreds of pieces are exhibited in the Smithsonian gardens and interior plant displays in the Smithsonian museums surrounding the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Tree pruning

Tree Collection

The Smithsonian Gardens’ tree collection is the base for activities that can be done in your neighborhood, community park, local public garden, or arboretum.

Spotlights on Research

Portion of Garden History Timeline

Garden History Timeline

Investigate the history of the American garden and its transformation from the mid 1500s to the present. This timeline covers the development of public gardens, private estates, national preservations, botanical institutes, and the American wilderness. For additional information explore the collection of the Smithsonian Gardens' Archives of American Gardens.

Poetker Collection

Bouquet Holders From the Frances Jones Poetker Collection

The Frances Jones Poetker Collection includes over 250 bouquet holders as well as a handful of boutonnières and brooches.