The U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory: Wandering the District

If this blog post were a Friends episode, it most definitely would be called: “The One with All the Plants.”

In an effort to explore town a little more and to keep my creative juices flowing, I’ve committed to exploring one place in DC a month with my camera in hand to share with you on the blog! (If you want to join me in Wandering the District in real life, click here!) I know so many people have been excited about seeing DC through my eyes, and honestly, that means the absolute world! So far, I’ve shared my trip to Union Market, and today, I’m sharing what is most definitely my favorite spot in all of DC: The US Botanic Garden!

I ran through the Botanic Garden quickly with my mom back in the summer (read about that adventure here!) and absolutely knew that I needed to get back for another visit… this time, with a little more time to explore! This place is any plant lady’s Heaven on Earth. Seriously… with thousands upon thousands of species of plants and about ten different rooms, I could literally spend hours exploring. When I visited last week, the indoor exhibits were all open and running, so I did just that! They also have quite a few amazing outdoor gardens that are open during the warmer months. Those aren’t featured in this post because it was absolutely freezing outside, and many of them were closed for the season! The children’s exhibit was definitely one of my favorites though from when I visited back in the summer. If you have young kiddos, they have so many hands-on teaching stations. So fun!

I’ll be completely honest: I’m not huge into museums. I love the idea of the Smithsonian museums (and definitely love that they are free!), but in the end, reading all of the signs and looking at all of the things makes me a little stressed out. The US Botanic garden is the perfect destination if you are a looking to do something on the National Mall but are a little museum-ed out. I guess in a way, it is a museum… but it feels SO much different. (Plus, it is free too!!) There is light, it is warm and a little humid, and there is so much GREEN! After a long winter, I was shocked when I realized that I totally FORGOT that so many plants are green. I know how silly that sounds, but everything has been gross and brown for months.

Before we officially kick this thing off, I need to warn you: this post is what happens when you give a plant-loving lady a camera, pretty light & thousands of plants. This blog post is probably a little longer than it should be, but I just couldn’t help myself! I would say I’m sorry, but truthfully, I’m not. I took just over 500 photos on my own in just one afternoon (Whoops) and culled it way down from there! You’ll understand why I couldn’t help myself and had to share them all once you start scrolling! I hope you enjoy exploring the Botanic Garden Conservatory with me!

If you are visiting the Botanic Garden yourself and have a hard time finding it, walk towards the Capitol… when you have the Washington Monument at your back, just hang a right after you get to Capitol Reflection Pool. You can’t miss the glass globe of the conservatory! (It reminds me of something they would have had at the World Fair!)

The main entrance to the building is on the Mall side of the building. There isn’t an entrance from Independence Ave. If you need me, I’ll be sitting right here for the rest of forever. The Garden Court is so lush, green and gorgeous! Y’all… I’ve missed photographing the color GREEN so much this winter! The little walkways and bridges over water features in the tropics exhibit make you feel like you’re literally in the rainforest or a resort in the islands! It is amazing!  If only I could get my air plant to look like that… right now, mine is whithered and dead 🙈 I’m still trying to decide which exhibit is my favorite. I think the tropics portion is my favorite, but all of the other rooms are amazing too! I just can’t get over all of the LIGHT! A chocolate tree y’all! 😍There is a catwalk (Officially named the Canopy Walk) that will take you all the way around the tropics room! I highly recommend taking the stairs to get up a little higher! I loved seeing everything from above! I walked under this canopy about 5 times… just because. Look how pretty!! This plant was legitimately HOT PINK! I just about gasped when I saw it! It may have been my favorite one! On to the cacti room (Officially called World Deserts!). This room is also easily one of my favorites! When I got there, the light was super glowy! The Garden Primeval was also one of my favorite rooms. There were so many plants that had new leaves uncurling! Pink flowers and fruit trees in the Mediterranean room!!! Yes, please! Chocolate and star fruit growing on trees… if they would let me, I would live here! I definitely think I’ll be back during the spring/summer! If you want to join me in #WanderingtheDistrict, click HERE!

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  1. Harriet Meyer says:

    These are absolutely stunning! Ever since we moved away from the DC area almost 20 years ago, I have missed my FAVORITE arboretum & botanical garden. THANKS for sharing these images and making my day!

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