Watch, Listen, and Learn

Video and Audio from Smithsionian Gardens

If you can't visit the Smithsonian Gardens on the National Mall or want to plan your upcoming visit, be sure to watch the videos and listen to the podcasts that highlight some of the magnificient gardens, plants, and collections of Smithsonian Gardens! Learn about the upcoming events at Smithsonian Gardens and join a Garden Tour during your visit!

SI-Q: What plant smells good enough to eat?

Staff from Smithsonian Gardens show us plants that smell good enough to eat!

Tour Smithsonian Gardens with Secretary Clough

Spring is here, and what better way to enjoy it than by taking in the natural beauty of our beautiful gardens? Under the leadership of Barbara Faust, Smithsonian Gardens is not only accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, but has also been designated a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for ongoing education and conservation efforts. The Smithsonian’s gardens are the first property in the District of Columbia and only the 62nd in the world to be certified in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program.

Take a stroll with Secretary Clough as he celebrates the programs and exhibitions of Smithsonian Gardens.

Too Much, Too Little: How does the amount of water affect plants and their environment?

In this Smithsonian Education Water Matters online conference, Cindy Brown explains the importance of water to plants and suggests ways that a gardener can help the health of a community by choosing the right plants.

Heirloom Gardens Audio Tour

Feverfew Flowers

Heirloom plants originate from seeds that have been pollinated by natural means such as wind, insects, and birds. Americans have preserved these seeds and have passed them down from generation to generation. Many heirloom plants have been preserved here at the Smithsonian Heirloom Garden as a way to celebrate America's colorful and diverse garden heritage.

Listen to this audio tour that explains the historic uses of some of the Heirloom Garden's herbs and flowers. For additional information, learn about what's blooming at the Smithsonian Heirloom Garden.

Come Inside the Smithsonian Gardens with Barbara Faust

Meet Barbara Faust, Director of Smithsonian Gardens and learn more about the beautiful gardens at the Smithsonian Institution! 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.

Poinsettias at the Smithsonian

Monty Holmes, a horticulturalist at Smithsonian Gardens, gives an inside look at the history, culture and science of poinsettias, thousands of which have a happy home for the holidays all throughout the Smithsonian.

Aristolochia Grandiflora (Pelican Flower) with Janet Draper

Horticulturist Janet Draper's goal is to expose visitors to the widest variety of plants possible...to "expand the plant palette." In the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden's early years, Smithsonian gardeners transplanted Euonymus from the Ripley family home in Litchfield, Connecticut, to form the east wall's espaliers. Today, Smithsonian Gardens' greenhouse staff produce the garden's unique hanging baskets and seasonal plants for the flower beds.

The Ripley Garden is a quiet oasis for thousands of National Mall visitors each year. Its unusual curvilinear design - the work of noted Washington, DC, architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen - along with a profusion of flowers in raised beds creates a distinctive sense of intimacy and informality.

Gardening Tips at the Smithsonian Butterfly Habitat Garden

A significant objective in the Butterfly Habitat Garden is to emphasize natural plant/butterfly partnerships. Plant labels throughout the garden provide a plant's botanical name, common name, and region of origin and indicate the specific life cycle it supports. This garden also highlights a variety of plant species that can be used to attract butterflies to any garden.

With tours available on a regular basis, a visitor may witness phases 9 the actual butterfly life cycle and gain insight into the miraculous metamorphosis of the butterfly species. It is an experience that will enable the visitor to learn to recognize and thus appreciate the butterfly in all its growth stages. Bring a camera and a quick eye. It will prove a most inspiring and rewarding experience!

Roses at the Smithsonian

The Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Garden, made possible by a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Lee M. Folger and the Folger Fund, was designed and installed by Smithsonian Gardens and dedicated in the fall of 1998. It is a visual centerpiece in front of the Arts and Industries Building to the east of the Smithsonian Castle. This garden provides an engaging space for visitors on their journey around the Smithsonian museums. Visitors stop to smell the various fragrant roses, read the plant name tags to gather ideas for their own gardens, and enjoy the spectacular view.

American Elm Tree

Smithsonian Gardens is using the Internet to show how we actively manage our tree collection. One of our large American elm trees at the National Museum of Natural History was being affected by disease and decay issues that were leading to its rapid decline.  Using a cutting edge technology, tree RADAR testing, the tests helped to determine the extent of the problems and to evaluate the safety of the tree. 

Orchids: You Be the Judge

The American Orchid Society has established a judging system to determine which orchids display the finest qualities of their species. Judges train for years to achieve the title of an official accredited orchid judge. Join Tom Mirenda, Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Specialist, as he explains the orchid judging process.