Come Learn with Smithsonian Gardens

Our 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.

Community of Gardens logo

NEW! Community of Gardens Mobile App

Smithsonian Gardens is excited to announce the mobile app companion to the Community of Gardens digital archive, now available for Apple devices (Android coming soon). 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 stories from around the country, and share your story today!

Download the app

Butterfly

Watch, Listen, and Learn

Audio and visual material that highlights some of the magnificient gardens, plants, and collections of Smithsonian Gardens!

Cultivating America's Gardens

Cultivating America's Gardens
May 4, 2017 – August 2018

Using books and objects from Libraries and Gardens collections of the Smithsonian, Cultivating America’s Gardens highlights early horticulture publications; 19th century popular and new “exotic plants”; prominent landscape designers; changing plant palettes; selling seeds; gardens of the World’s fairs; Victory gardens; the romance of the American lawn; do-it yourself gardens; and gardens of today.

Orchids of Latin America logo

Orchids of Latin America

Want to stroll through a tropical rainforest on a cold winter's day? Drink in a fragrant orchid? Explore the rich crossroads where orchid botany, horticulture, and Latin American cultures meet and take our Virtual Tour

Educational Materials and Activities

Garbage to Gardens

Garbage to Gardens

‘Garbage to Gardens’ is a set of lessons designed to introduce students to the concept of the “recycled garden.”

Flowers

Cultivating Habitat

The main focus of these lessons is for students to find connections between the natural world, biodiversity, and art.

Smithsonian Castle

History in Bloom

Visitors gain a wider appreciation of how gardens preserve the culture of Victorian America, as well as the Smithsonian’s long history of collecting plants and educating visitors about natural history.

Orchid

Orchids Around Us

Use the lessons in this package to learn about specific types of orchids, their appearance, habitats, uses, and cultural significance and history.

Beacon Hill Garden

Archives Alive!: Learning from Landscapes Past, Cultivating Garden Memories for the Future

Uses the collection of historic and contemporary garden photographs from the Archives of American Gardens to explore the meaning of landscapes and gardens right outside their doorways.

Rose queen spider-flower

Trees of the Smithsonian

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