The landscape at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum includes over 2.5 acres of trees, shrubs, and perennials with an emphasis on plants native to eastern forests of the Piedmont region. Set in multiple tiers of terraces, the gardens around the museum help provide an ecological bridge that links the Potomac River to urban Washington, D.C. They demonstrate how native plants can be used in an urban public garden to provide beauty as well as habitat for birds and insects.
The most recent plantings include a “Flight Garden” to attract birds and pollinators and to inform visitors how birds, insects, and seed dispersal has inspired humans to find ways to fly. The “Flight Garden” can be found next to the north entrance of the museum.
Currently the west side of Air and Space Museum is undergoing renovation and gardens on that side of the building are inaccessible. In the near future construction will begin on the east end of the building in order to complete the Smithsonian Institution’s revitalization of the interior and exterior of the iconic building on the National Mall.