The Smithsonian’s third annual Garden Fest takes “The Scenic Route” with free, family-friendly activities for adults and children on Saturday, June 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Enid A. Haupt Garden, the public rooftop garden that occupies four acres between the Castle and Independence Avenue in Washington, D.C.
Through demonstrations, talks, book readings, hands-on activities and live music from the Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra (a band that “grows their own instruments”), Garden Fest 2009 explores the many, many ways to take “the scenic route” through the natural world:
• A plant-passport activity will transport visitors to six of the seven continents.
• A scavenger hunt will lead travelers on a “road trip” around the garden using fun facts about the Smithsonian’s Garden Furnishings Collection.
• Guests may create their own garden journal, learn about orchids and plant their own summer container.
Representatives from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center will discuss wildflowers on America’s roadsides.
• Staff from the Museum of Natural History’s Insect Zoo will speak to visitors about butterflies, bees and other important pollinators in the Washington, D.C., area.
• ImagineAsia Family Programs from the Freer and Sackler galleries will
take visitors “Along the Spice Route” where they will learn to identify, weigh, grate and grind spices.
• The Museum of African Art will share the meaning of African masks and help children make one of their own.
• Attendees will have an opportunity to learn how seeds travel and what it takes to attract Monarch butterflies into home gardens.
• Authors James Prosek, Jean Richards and Alan Madison will read from their works and be available for book signings throughout the day.
• Tours of all of the Smithsonian gardens will be offered.
• Short talks given by Smithsonian horticulturists will invite visitors on a journey to view the many habitats and plants of Madagascar and on a virtual field trip to view native orchids in the Washington, D.C., area.
• The do’s and don’ts for beginning your own garden adventure and a tour through different regional garden styles of the United States will be presented.
• Rebecca Henry from Petal’s Edge Floral Design will share how to make one’s home more “scenic” using European-style floral arranging techniques.
Garden Fest is presented by the Horticulture Services Division, which was established in 1972 to manage the Smithsonian grounds and to create interior and exterior horticultural exhibitions. In addition, its research and educational program promotes the ongoing development of collections of living plants, horticultural artifacts and garden documentation.
Posted: 11 June 2009