Special Events, The Mall

Orchid Mystique at US Botanic Garden

Photo courtesy of Rukasu1
courtesy of Rukasu1

If seeing cherry blossom buds makes you impatient for late March, the US Botanic Garden has you (and your date…or camera…) covered with their annual display of orchids - Orchid Mystique: Nature’s Triumph.

I visited last weekend on an extremely affordable date (admission is always free), and decided that the Botanic Garden must have some of the best curators in the city.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Japan’s cherry blossom gift to DC this year, the orchid show has a distinctly Japanese flair. Archways span the garden court’s fountains, which take on new character with steam and floating flowers. Orchids snake through the building and hang in all colors from bridges overhead. The East Gallery houses a Japanese rock garden with near-perfect bonzai. On a less crowded weekday visit, the quiet space would complement midday meditation.

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Essential DC, Tourism

Tourism: United States Botanic Gardens

flowers at US Botanical Gardens

So the doldrums have hit. It’s cold. You’ve got on your scarf, your hat, your gloves, and soon we’ll upgrade and add in some ear muffs and your heaviest coat. It’s the perfect time to plan your winter escape to the United States Botanic Gardens. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (including holidays and weekends!) the conservatory is a large glassed-in garden-topia. You can get there a number of ways, but my lovely roommate and I took the metro to Federal Center and walked a quick few blocks to the West side front lawn of the Capitol.

The conservatory is split into different plant-type sections, for example, one for orchids and one for the desert, etc. (Wow, am I a botinast or what?) And then there’s a big huge rainforest in the middle stretching two or three stories high. It’s humid and somewhere around 78 degrees, kind of like a mild DC summer day. It’ll bring nostalgic flashbacks of those wonderful, warm days of yore. Short on cash? The US Botanic Gardens admission is free, like all the best things in DC.

So aside from the rainforest, and the desert, there is plenty more to see at the Botanic Gardens…

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