Events & USBG Programs
Orchid Spectrum (February 23rd through April 8) Come immerse yourself in our annual orchid show, presented in collaboration with Smithsonian Gardens. Found on every continent except Antarctica, orchids showcase a wide spectrum of diversity in color, shape, size, habitat, scent, and many other aspects. Visit the USBG Conservatory to explore thousands of amazing orchid blooms arranged in captivating displays, and appreciate many unique, rarely seen orchids from the USBG's and Smithsonian Gardens' extensive plant collections.
Wallflowers (late January through October 2018) This exhibit features large-scale art by local artists who specialize in public murals that beautify our cities. Their murals depict plants using bold colors and monumental scale. The exhibit fosters creative conversations about botanical art and new ways to communicate the important roles plants play in our lives.
Art Workshop: Plants and the Fibonacci Sequence
Saturday, February 10 & Sunday, February 11
Mary Ellen Carsley, Professional Artist/Illustrator and Visual Arts Coordinator at Severn School
Plants grow in a variety of predictable and measureable patterns. Understanding these patterns can develop the artistic eye and drawing skill. This course is designed for the advanced beginner and intermediate student interested in developing their skill to recognize mathematical and geometric patterns in two and three dimensions. This course will cover advanced drawing and compositional skills with a variety of botanical subjects, fundamental geometric constructions, aesthetic mathematical functions, and architectural motifs. Please note: This is a two-day workshop. Doors will open at 8:45 a.m. each morning. A materials list can be found here. Please bring a lunch.
Tour: Nature in Motion - Friday, February 16
Alexandra Torres, USBG Education Specialist, and Claire Alrich, Staff, National Fund for the U.S. Botanic Garden
Taking time to enjoy nature and plants has been shown to reduce stress, increase productivity, and improve overall wellness. Come in and enjoy the warmth of the Garden through a guided plant tour of the USBG Conservatory. Throughout the tour, Alexandra and Claire will intermittently stop for guided stretching and calming exercises. Please note: Doors open at 5:45 p.m.
Workshop: An Introduction to Fermentation - Friday, February 23
Fired up about fermentation? Just want to learn a little more? Then join Sarah and learn to make a sourdough starter, how to maintain it, and how to create a variety of recipes at home. She will cover fermentation basics that will extend into the world of vegetable pickling. Participants will use these techniques to create their own sauerkraut as well. Please note: Light nibbles will be provided. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.
Lecture: Orchids: Evolution, Physiology, and Biogeography of the Floral Rainbow - Saturday, February 24
Todd Brethauer, USBG Science Education Volunteer
Learn about the evolution, biogeography, physiology, and ecology of orchids in conjunction with Orchid Spectrum. Orchids form one of the largest plant families dating back to the age of dinosaurs. They are remarkable for the beauty and diversity of their blooms, the range of environments they occupy, and their unique relationships with their pollinating animals. Learn about how modern research methods are being used to better understand and conserve these plants.
Click here to see the other fantastic things going on at the US Botanic Garden!
For questions, please contact the National Fund at 202-225-1281.
12/10: Season's Greenings Holiday Celebration (Exclusive for members of the National Fund)
Autumn is a magnificent time to appreciate the architecture and colorful foliage of the historic trees that grace the U.S. Capitol grounds. Stroll around the Capitol, admiring and learning about grand old tree specimens from around the country and the world, including many official state trees and memorial plantings. Melanie will focus on autumn fruits and leaves, and teach how to identify diverse species of oak, maple, beech, buckeye, and many other trees. She will share history of the Capitol Grounds and the city of Washington. Binoculars optional, but recommended. Participants are encouraged to bring their own brown bag lunch to enjoy with Melanie after the tour. Please note: This tour is held outdoors. We suggest bringing sunscreen, protective clothing, and water. The tour is canceled if it rains. Hearing aid compatible assistive listening devices are available during the tour.
Go behind-the-scenes on this guided highlights tour of the U.S. Botanic Garden Production Facility. Featuring almost two acres of greenhouses, this facility is the largest support facility for a public garden in the U.S. Explore unique and unusual plants from the USBG collection, with specific attention to the holiday poinsettia collection, and witness gardeners and horticulturists in action. Please note: This is a working greenhouse facility. Some rooms may not be available for viewing due to horticultural need. Please wear comfortable shoes, bring water, and dress in layers, as greenhouse bays may become quite warm.
11/3: Escape the Garden
Back by popular demand! You are being summoned to the U.S. Botanic Garden to solve a plant forensics case! As part of a team, you will be challenged to investigate the Conservatory after dark, using exploratory stations to discover clues and information that might be key to the case. Even while enjoying the food and drink, your mission must not be shared with the others in the building as the suspect might be among us. Please note: This event is the same challenge as presented in March. It is intended for those 21 years of age and older. Small bites and beverages will be provided. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m.
10/28: Bat Bonanza
Come as a bat, come as a plant pollinated by a bat, or simply join us and learn about bats. There will be bat-related activities throughout the Conservatory--come and learn why bats matter!
Join Justin for a glimpse into the horticultural wonders of the USBG's orchid collection. Tour the greenhouse, learn potting techniques, get advice, and hear explanations of collections management. Don't miss out on this wonderful behind-the-scenes opportunity! Please note: This is a working greenhouse facility. Some rooms may not be available for viewing due to horticulture need. Please wear comfortable shoes, bring water, and dress in layers, as greenhouse bays may become quite warm.
The USBG's rich collection of autumn flowers and plants as well as pumpkins, gourds, pods, berries, and insects will be the subject matter for this watercolor workshop on vellum. Since antiquity, the beautiful grain and luminesce quality of vellum has been a preferred support for artists. Students will learn the art of 23k gold leaf to be used as a border or embellishment to their design. The focus of this workshop will be careful observation and a sensitive interpretation of your subject. Explore watercolor glazing and textural techniques while working on vellum. Please note: This is a two-day workshop. Doors will open at 8:45 a.m. each morning. A materials list can be found here. A materials fee of $70 is included in the cost of the workshop. The fee covers the cost of the gold leaf, preparatory materials, and a 6 x 8 inch botanical finish sheet of vellum, to be provided by the instructor. Please bring a lunch.
10/20: Orchids in the Office
Growing orchids in an office comes with its own unique challenges. Office environments do not always provide the best growth conditions for orchids. This class touches upon the types of conditions orchids need to grow and bloom, how to integrate these into an office setting, and what orchid genus will fare best in an office environment.
Go behind-the-scenes on this guided horticultural highlights tour of the U.S. Botanic Garden Production Facility. Featuring almost two acres of greenhouses, this facility is the largest support facility for a public garden in the U.S. Explore unique and unusual plants from the USBG collection and witness gardeners and horticulturists in action. Please note: This is a working greenhouse facility. Some rooms may not be available for viewing due to horticultural need. Please wear comfortable shoes, bring water, and dress in layers, as greenhouse bays may become quite warm.
10/15: Scout day
Join us for Scout Day! Participate in hands-on activities in our two outdoor gardens--the National Garden and Bartholdi Park. Designed for boy and girl scouts, this program is fun for everyone--scout's honor! Please note: This program is being held outside. Please dress accordingly. In the event of rain the program will only occur indoors. If you participated in other USBG scout events this year, please note these are new activities.
9/29: Mandolin music & more
Join Radim for an evening of mandolin, mandola, ethnic flutes, didgeridoo, and vocal music. During this performance he will perform original music crossing the tracks of folk, bluegrass, jazz, new age, flamenco, gypsy, Irish, and classical music, combined with Czech and eastern European traditional songs and instrumentals. Along the way, Radim will talk about the specific woods used in the construction of his instruments, as well as his original "Zenkl style" technique, in which a single mandolin sounds like two.
Come help us celebrate our very own National Garden! Highlighting the three acres of garden space adjacent to the Conservatory, this day-long festival showcases the amazing diversity of American plants through the Mid-Atlantic Regional Garden, Rose Garden, and Butterfly Garden with special activities and programs. Highlights include tasty treats with native plants, Rose Garden tours, hands-on activities for all ages, and much more!
9/21: DC Teacher's Night
Thursday, May 11, 2017 6:00pm-8:00pm
Cocktails In The Garden
AUGUST 2, 2016
NBC Washington - "Hold Your Nose! Corpse Flower Hits Peak Bloom at US Botanic Garden"
"Hold your nose! The corpse flower at the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) has finally started to bloom. The flower began opening early Tuesday morning, the USBG wrote on its Facebook page. Viewers have described the plant's smell as "a combination of garlic, fish, diapers and rotting meat," the USBG said in the statement. That stench is expected to peak between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m Tuesday."