November 12 – Gifts from the Garden

Cooler weather has reduced the frenzy of garden chores, so let’s have fun. It is time to get crafty with Supervisory Horticulturist Melinda Whicher! Learn how to upcycle things around your house or from your local thrift store to create beautiful (and shareable) garden tchotchkes.

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November 19 – Holiday Centerpieces 

Join us and watch as Smithsonian Horticulturists create a harvest themed centerpiece floral arrangement for all your holiday gatherings. We will start off with some tips and tricks of floral arrangement, share a short demonstration of us creating an arrangement and then share some of the basic techniques to help you gain confidence in your floral design skills. A video recording and suggested list will be uploaded after the program so you can follow along at your own pace to create your own arrangement. 

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December 3 – Holiday Wreaths & Evergreen Decorations 

Get in the holiday spirit with Smithsonian Gardens’ Horticulturists and join us as we demonstrate how to decorate a festive evergreen wreath. The presentation will include design tips and tricks, recommended supplies, and a step-by-step tutorial for decorating a fresh-cut, evergreen wreath. The presentation will also include some additional suggestions for assembling and decorating with fresh-cut greens around your home. . A video recording and suggested list will be uploaded after the program so you can follow along at your own pace to create your own wreath. 

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December 10 – Poinsettias and Holiday Trees

Each year Smithsonian Gardens grows hundreds of poinsettias and decorates majestic evergreen trees to display in the Smithsonian museums and Castle. Watch as Smithsonian Gardens’ extensive poinsettia crop makes its magical transition from small, green slips grown in our greenhouse facility to cheery, colorful holiday plants on display in the interiors of our museums. Then be dazzled by our Interiors Team, learn some of their decorating tricks, and watch as they transform a tree into a festive creation. Jill Gonzalez and Melanie Pyle will entertain us with their skills and give you pointers and ideas to try at home.

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Past Webinars 

June 18 – Making Homes for Native Bees 

Bee in Pollinator Garden outside of the National Museum of Natural History
Bee in the Pollinator Garden outside of the National Museum of Natural History

Who are our native bees and how do they interact and compare with the non-native honeybee. Learn about the diversity of native bees and the types of habitats they seek in our gardens, backyards and green spaces, even window boxes! Smithsonian Gardens’ Entomologist, Holly Walker, will talk about native bees and demonstrate how to create homes for these incredible little beauties who do so much to help the world around them. 

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June 25 – Top 20 Native Shrubs for Sun and Shade 

Shrubs in front of Air and Space Museum
Garden at the National Air and Space Museum

Smithsonian Gardens’ Horticulturist Alex Dencker will share suggestions on native shrubs that make excellent substitutes for common, non-native landscape plants and help you garden with local ecology in mind.

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June 2 – Simple Summer Herbs 

This summer enhance your recipes with a few sprigs or leaves from an herb you’ve grown yourself. Herbs are easy to grow whether in a garden or in pots on a balcony, by experienced or first-time gardeners. Discover how to grow 10 herbs to flavor your summer from Smithsonian Gardens’ Horticulturist Erin Clark.

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July 9 – Monarch Waystations for Any Size Garden

Monach Butterfly
Butterfly in the Pollinator Garden at the National Museum of Natural History

Bad news: Everyone loves monarch butterflies, but their habitats are declining so they are at risk. Good news: You can help by creating a monarch “pit stop” in your garden! Helping monarchs is easier than you think, whether you have a large backyard garden or just a sunny balcony. Find out how to create a Monarch Waystation from Smithsonian Gardens’ Horticulturist Sarah Dickert.

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July 16 – Make an Exuberant Container

Join Smithsonian Gardens’ Horticulturists Melanie Pyle and Jill Gonzalez for an online demonstration on how to make creative, beautiful, long-lasting flowering containers. Learn how to use color, texture, and height to create a season-long container for your porch, patio, or balcony.

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July 23 – Designing a Garden – Foliage First

Homes in the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden
Homes in the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden

Are you inspired by gardens with perennial interest, but don’t know what makes them sparkle? Well, you’re in luck! Join Smithsonian Gardens’ Horticulturist Janet Draper for a webinar disclosing easy design principles and learn how to put foliage first!

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July 30 – Creating Compost 

Composting is the natural process of recycling organic material into a humus-rich soil amendment known as compost. Food waste, grass clippings, garden debris and even shredded paper can be easily decomposed into high quality compost. Stop throwing away organic waste as trash. Smithsonian Gardens’ Horticulturist Sarah Tietbohl will show how compost can enrich our environment, not damage it.

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August 6 – Garden Photography Tips

Learn how to beautifully capture your backyard oasis or neighborhood park no matter what kind of camera you own. Join Smithsonian Gardens’ Living Collections Photographer Hannele Lahti as she shares tips on lighting, positioning and developing your own creative point of view. Open to shutterbugs of all levels and ages.

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August 13 – Early Garden Photography: Glass Lantern Slides

Garden photography hasn’t always been as easy as point-and-shoot on your cell phone. Learn about hand-tinted glass lantern slides and how they were used a century ago to document gardens and tell their stories from Joyce Connolly of the Archives of American Gardens.

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August 20 – Selecting and Planting Fall Bulbs

Let Smithsonian Gardens’ Horticulturist Christine Abelow show you how to be the envy of your neighbors next spring with an amazing flowering bulb display. Learn tips and tricks about planting fall bulbs such as daffodils, tulips and hyacinths.

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August 27 – Planting Fall Vegetables

The weather in the mid-Atlantic provides a long growing season; fresh vegetables can be plucked from the garden or containers almost year-round. Smithsonian Gardens’ Education and Collections Manager Cindy Brown will discuss planting schedules, cultivar selection, maintenance tips, and suggestions on how to make your vegetable garden productive and beautiful.

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September 3 – Understanding Plant Stress Signals: Abiotic Factors

HouseplantsLearn about the responses of plants to stresses in their environment including over or underwatering, nutrient deficiencies or toxicities, and extreme temperatures or light conditions. Smithsonian Gardens’ Horticulturists Virginia Thaxton and Debra Austin will go over basic visual signals that plants show when they are under stress and discuss physiological causes and potential solutions.

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September 24 – Small Space: Big Impact   

Are you inspired by the big showcase gardens, but don’t think you have space at home to make a showy impact? Well, you’re in luck! Join Lead Horticulturist, Sylvia Schmeichel for a talk on how to bring Big Impact into your Small Space (yard, patio or even windowsill!)

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October 1 – Top Twenty Perennials for Healthy Habitats

Smithsonian Gardens’ Horticulturist Alex Dencker will share suggestions on perennials that make excellent additions to gardens AND help support the habitat ecosystem.

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October 8 – Beautiful Winter Gardens 

There so much to enjoy in the landscape in every season.  Join Smithsonian Gardens’ Supervisory Horticulturist James Gagliardi to learn how to design and recognize the beauty in a winter garden.  He will share how to enhance your yard with seasonal color, texture, and structure by incorporating berries, grasses, seed heads, bark, evergreens and even some flowers.
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October 15 – Bringing in Your Tropical Plants for the Winter 

It is possible to keep your tropical treasures for more than a summer. Let Matt Fleming, Smithsonian Gardens’ tropical plant specialist, show you simple ways to keep them alive during the winter.

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October 22 – Prune with a Purpose: A Gardener’s Guide to Thinking Like an Arborist 

Don’t just cut branches, prune with a purpose! Learn from Smithsonian Gardens arborist  Jake Hendee how to add another dimension to your tree and shrub pruning skill set.

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October 29 – Choosing Plants with Design In Mind

Have you ever wondered how Smithsonian Gardens’ horticulturists choose the plants used in their gardens?  Janet Draper, Horticulturist in the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden, will highlight her favorite plants for creating a garden with year-round interest. Nothing is off limits for this self-professed plant-aholic but Janet will share what plants she relies on when creating her exuberant displays.

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November 5 – Winning the War against Weeds 

Time to get strategic! Where do you turn for eradication methods and how do you determine what level of plant diversity is okay? Learn about organic methods of soil preparation like lasagna layering. Learn how to be strategic with watering and where to get information on preemergent and post emergent application. Come away with some good Integrated Pest Management practices and identifications for the pests we call weeds.

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November 12 – Gifts from the Garden

Cooler weather has reduced the frenzy of garden chores, so let’s have fun. It is time to get crafty with Supervisory Horticulturist Melinda Whicher! Learn how to upcycle things around your house or from your local thrift store to create beautiful (and shareable) garden tchotchkes.

View video from the webinar