My first visit to the National Botanical Gardens was work-related! A trade association hired my chamber group to provide background music for a wine and cheese reception. The idea was to wine and not quite dine members of congress and their staffers who might support legislation the hosts were promoting – a popular form of “lobbying”.
Sitting in a straight-backed chair playing the Haydn London Trios, I felt something funny on my foot – a little tickle. Then another – and oh gosh! The place was infested with mice! Every time a nibbler at the reception dropped a piece of cheese on the floor, one of the little guys would run across my foot, across the floor, and grab it!
And I couldn’t play my flute and scream EEEK!!!!! at the same time! On our breaks, however, I did get the opportunity to check the place out – and WOW!
I love plants. Plants don’t love me, or at least they don’t love living in my house. I had recently lost a 3-foot high umbrella plant (schefflera), probably from over-watering. There, towering in front of me was a schefflera that must have been over 100 feet tall, and it was so healthy and robust that I keenly felt the loss of my own.
The federal government has been in the gardening business since the early 1800’s, and the present botanical garden was built just west of the Capitol grounds in 1934. It has several different sections with varying temperature and humidity settings, to all of the various species can be happy.
Whether your thumb is a bright Kelly green, or purple like mine, seeing the huge, healthy specimens of all types in this beautiful setting will knock your little socks off!
It's located near the Federal Center Metro stop at 100 Maryland Avenue, SW
And if you have a little phobia about small rodents, at the National Botanical Gardens, they only come out for cheese.