Welcome to my blog!

I used to blog here mostly using local photos about my neighborhood or Washington DC or other places I visited. But I took a break from the blog for a few months and then found myself posting about crafts and sewing projects I have done or are doing. These involve fabric recycling or re-use and refashioning of clothes, or other frugalities. I've left up the previous blogs and may occasionally revert to those topics again. May your days be blessed with miracles, surprises and creativity too!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hidden Garden With Bright Colors and Unusual Plants

We recently visited the United States Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C., up near the U.S. Congress buildings.  We were thrilled and amazed at the plants and flowers and trees growing there. As it was a very cold wintry rainy sort of day, it was very pleasant to go into a warm and humid environment and see brightly colored flowers and tropical plants. It's set up with many different rooms all of which are glassed in, although there is an outside area -- the Children's Garden -- that is only open in warm weather. There was a room full of orchids that were spectacular hues, some with tiger skin design or flaming pink or orange or colors you didn't think existed naturally. Another very interesting room was filled with desert plants, such as various cactii and grasses that grow in very dry areas.  They had specimens from many areas of the world and with just enough text to explain what it was, although I think they could have provided just a little bit more information. One room was filled with medicinal plants and having more text it was cool to find out how many commonly-used
pharmaceuticals are derived from plants.  Another huge area, two-storeys high, was filled with jungle trees and vines and bromeliads, some flowering, some just hanging. Inside the Children's Garden you could see a large plant that looked like it was made of glass. In fact one visitor looking at it said "That's not a real plant!"  But it turned out there were several of these milky white glassy plants growing there and they are real. Another treat were the topiary trees shaped as animals such as bears, and some potted mosses and ferns arranged to look like frogs or other creatures. Since it was the holiday season there was also an extraordinary display of poinsettas, some pink, some cream and the more familiar red ones. Another (small!) glass room displayed some endangered species plants, including some interesting ferns and flowers.
View to US Congress from front of Botanical Garden
This is a  truly a wondrous place to visit (for free) in the city and learn more about the environment.