StoryMaps are maps which tell stories!  Through images, videos, and maps, we use StoryMaps to tell immersive stories of Smithsonian Gardens. So far, we have created beautiful tours through our flowering trees, guides, and are excited to keep creating more! Check back here to see when we add more.

How the Smithsonian Gardens Tree Collection Benefits our Environment 

Have you ever wondered why trees are so beneficial to people and the environment?  If so, take some time to explore some highlights from the Smithsonian Gardens Tree Collection and learn a bit about the numerous, and sometimes invisible, benefits that trees provide with this StoryMap. 

The Pollinators Guide to Orchids 

“What are orchids? Where do they grow? For this story we found an expert on the ins and outs of orchids – an orchid pollinator themselves! They will tell you all the orchid basics: what pollinates orchids, what exactly an orchid is, where they grow, and just a little bit of what Smithsonian Gardens is doing to help!”

Acorns on Oak Tree

An Ode to Oaks 

How old are oaks, and where do they grow? Take a leafy walk through the history and diversity of oaks around the world and at Smithsonian Gardens with this StoryMap!

Mary Livingston Ripley Garden in the fall

Fall Foliage Walking Tour of Smithsonian Gardens

Our gardens are full of deciduous trees which turn vibrant colors in the fall. We’ve put together a walking tour of some of the highlights of our autumnal tree collection, so you can enjoy fall peeping from home, or in our gardens.

Natural Museum of American History
The Habitat exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution Gardens, May, 2019, Washington, DC.

Tour the Tree Collection 

We are thrilled to welcome you back, and would like to offer you a tour through the tree collection of our gardens. From shade tree to shade tree, we’ll stop at interesting points along the way.

Collage introduces Plant Explorer. Clockwise from top left: Picea abies 'Acrocona' cone, Magnolia grandiflora flower, Diospyros virginiana fruit, Ginkgo leaf

Be A Plant Explorer

See how to use Plant Explorer, a catalog of all our trees and orchids, to discover and learn more about our Living Plant Collection.

Flowering cherry at the National Air and Space Museum.
Flowering cherry tree at the National Air and Space Museum.

Cherry Blossoms of Smithsonian Gardens 

Take a springtime walk through the Washington, DC cherry blossoms, and learn about several different types of ornamental cherry trees in our collection.

mysterious lady with hat arch i

Explore Garden Lectures from the Archives of American Gardens Collection

Explore author Alice Gardner Burnell Lockwood’s recreated 1935 lectures Northern Gardens and Southern Gardens. The content of this lecture was sourced from Lockwood’s research as editor and contributor of The Garden Club of America’s seminal 2-volume publication, Gardens of Colony and State in 1931 and 1934 which carefully documented extant gardens and landscapes in the United States.

Pink saucer magnolias blooming with sun rising behind

Magnolia Madness

Explore Smithsonian Gardens’ collection of magnolias spread over 40 acres across the Smithsonian campus by following along with this virtual tour as you walk through our gardens or enjoy them at home online. This tour is just a starting point into the immense diversity of magnolias that cover the globe.