Last October, I posted two photos of a nice hellstrip along the west side (12th Street, N.W.) of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History.
In mid October of this year I discovered the Urban Bird Habitat Garden, on the other side of the sidewalk. It’s essentially all the grounds of the museum on the north, west, and south sides (the east side is the Smithsonian’s Butterfly Habitat Garden).
The bird habitat was established in July 2012 (one of twelve Smithsonian gardens). Native trees, shrubs, and perennials were especially chosen to create “an oasis” for many of the more than 300 birds species found in Washington, D.C.
Although the garden is very narrow along 12th Street and the Mall, it was full of birdsong during my visit.
You can click on ‘Continue reading’ below to scroll through larger images of the garden. (And you can see the garden in other seasons here.)
Continue reading “Urban Bird Habitat Garden”
On this Bloom Day, I thought I would share some photos that I took this week of the remaining flowers and various seed heads in one of my favorite gardens in the city, the Smithsonian Institution’s Butterfly Habitat Garden.
(You can see more of the Butterfly Garden here.)
Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is the 15th of every month. To see what’s blooming around other garden bloggers, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.
I’m sorry that these photos are a little out of season, but I enjoyed my late September visit to the Smithsonian Institution’s Butterfly Habitat Garden so much that I still wanted to share them.
The garden is a long corridor between the National Mall and Independence Avenue. It’s bordered by very busy 9th Street, N.W., on one side and the parking lot of the National Museum of Natural History on the other.
Stepping inside, however, you feel enveloped in another world — particularly in early fall, when many of the plants are at their fullest and tallest.
The entrance on the National Mall.
I really like the simple hardscaping.
Exposed aggregate concrete and white granite.
At the end of September, parts of the garden . . .
were absolutely frothy.
The plants have specific relationships to the life cycles of eastern U.S. butterflies.
Seedheads of ironweed.
Perennial sunflowers ‘Lemon Queen’ on the left.
The garden sections mimic habitats important to the insects:
. . . wetlands, meadows, edges of woods, urban gardens.
Can anyone identify this plant?
These are its seedpods.
“Golden Fleece’ goldenrod and ferns.
Begonia flowers and violets.
Looking toward Independence Avenue.
The National Archives in the background.
Update: the mystery plant above is Asclepias fruticosa (syn. Gomphocarpus fruticosus) from South Africa.
Walking back toward the Mall.
Click on any thumbnail in the gallery above to enlarge the photos.
In my captions, I haven’t included many plant labels, because I didn’t take very good notes during my visit. I was depending on a list of plants at the S.I. gardens website, but, unfortunately, it seems to have been removed for the moment. However, there are some recommendations in this Smithsonian brochure, and there’s additional information here at the Smithsonian gardens blog.
To see the garden in early August in 2011, click here.
ADDENDUM: The power of Pinterest — the mystery plant with the spiny seedpods is Asclepias fruticosa (syn. Gomphocarpus fruticosus), a species of milkweed native to South Africa. Thanks to Miranda M.