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

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.

Explore Community of Gardens


Watch, Listen, and Learn

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

Orchid: A moment

orchids: A MOMENT
January 14 to May 14, 2017

The Smithsonian Gardens and United States Botanic Garden 2017 Orchid Exhibition, showcases over 100 orchids in a limited-time display amidst the Hirshhorn’s unique architecture.

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.”


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.


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.