Here are places where you can smell the roses in DC, literally!
Since DC is a vibrant city, you might not think there are a lot of gardens or nature patches to visit, but there are in fact many beautiful places where you can admire nature’s phenomenon. Plus, as Audrey Hepburn once said, “to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” Get a breath of fresh air at these green and floral gardens around the city, and feel rejuvenated by nature all around.
The US National Arboretum has free admissions and a collection of unique and creative gardens to visit. It was established in 1927 by an Act of Congress and is 446 acres. From the Asian Collections, the Azalea Collections, Fern Valley, Holly and Magnolia Collections, to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, there are 678 official plant releases. The arboretum has the impactful mission to “enhances the economic, environmental, and aesthetic value of ornamental and landscape plants.” Indeed, this is a beautiful place to visit when you have been in the city for too long and need a bit of nature.
After the US Arboretum, the US Botanical Garden! The goal of the Botanical Garden is to teach visitors about the importance of plants’ interrelationship with the well-being of humans and of the fragile ecosystem. It was George Washington who wished to include a botanical garden in the nation’s capital landmark. Thus, established in 1820, this is the oldest operating botanical garden in all of America. Currently, the Bartholdi Fountain and Gardens and the Terrace Gardens are open, but unfortunately, the Conservatory and outdoor gardens are temporarily closed. Despite these closures, this plant museum is still a staple place to visit!
Located in front of the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building, this garden specifically showcases some of the most beautiful roses and flowers of the city. It was renovated in 2016 to include “all own-root roses selected for disease resistance as well as companion plantings chosen to attract and provide for beneficial insects.” So a much denser variety of roses and flowers are now featured, along with the little insects that pollinate them. Panels with more information about the flower species are located throughout the park for visitors to learn more.
This is not actually a library, but a small one and a half acres park with 93 flower beds. Showcasing tulips and seasonal flowers in the summer and spring, this is a lovely spot to quite literally smell the flowers with a view; it’s located on Independence Avenue right in front of the Washington Monument. Indeed, when it starts to get warmer out, the flowers will bloom and display a colorful and olfactory show for perambulators walking by.
The interesting landscape of this garden is an architectural landmark in DC. At the entrance of the infamous Smithsonian Castle, the Enid A. Haupt grows tall, “reflecting cultural influences celebrated in the adjacent architecture and museums below.” This garden includes the Parterre, the Moongate Garden, and the Fountain Garden over four acres with a lush collection of lovely flowers, bushes, and trees as well as the small insects that populate for pollen.
Tudor Place House was home to Martha Washington’s descendants and the slaves and servants who lived there. This property tells the rich history of Georgetown’s evolution. You can thus enjoy the greenery while learning about the history of our country. The house has a lovely garden that is over five and a half acres big with seasonal plants booming every month. Additionally, coming soon at the Tudor House is an outdoor candlelight concert that will be performed in this intimate ambiance, so stay tuned for more!
Ranked 4th most beautiful urban campus, this is a garden not to miss! Located across the street from Katzen Arts Center and Ward Circle, this is a small sanctuary hidden amongst the DC traffic. It has 4,000 trees and 385 different species of bushes and plants. Need some fresh air after a study session? Come to this hidden urban gem!
[Featured image: @la_hoverman_dc / Instagram]