Traveling “The Scenic Route” at Smithsonian Institution’s Third Annual Garden Fest

May 6, 2009
News Release
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The Smithsonian’s third annual Garden Fest takes “The Scenic Route” with family-friendly activities for adults and children. The free festival will be held Saturday, June 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Enid A. Haupt Garden, a public rooftop garden that occupies four acres between the Smithsonian Castle and Independence Avenue.

This year’s Garden Fest broadly defines “The Scenic Route.” Through live-music performances by the Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra, a band that “grows their own instruments,” and beneficial bug releases, the many ways, places and reasons to travel “the scenic route” will be explored.

Demonstrations and hands-on activities for all will be featured throughout the garden.

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 National 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 National 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. All activities are free.

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 A. 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 of the Smithsonian Institution, 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.

For more information on the event, press photos and a detailed program guide, please visit:

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