Friday, August 18, 2017

Garden Bloggers Fling 2017 — The Smithsonian Gardens: The Castle Garden and Enid A. Haupt Garden

Right about here is where the buses dropped us off, in front of the Smithsonian Castle adjacent to the National Mall...

We were told "You will have approximately 2.5 hours to self-tour the 12 Smithsonian gardens along the mall as well as the US Botanic Garden"...it felt a little lot overwhelming. For starters, what the heck is the "Smithsonian Castle"??? Well...(according to their website)... "Completed in 1855, the Castle is our signature building and home to the Smithsonian Visitor Center. As such, it makes a great starting point for your journey" ...a journey they thought might include museums, but no. My journey was all about the plants, of course! It felt like a big welcome that greeting us in front of the castle was a Mahonia...

As we approached I'd spied this planting, so had to back up a bit to start my exploration here. After all Castor Beans and Cotinus? Yes please!

Then you toss in a half-dozen or so Yucca rostrata and, well, I'm pretty much in heaven.

I was never quite sure when I was in the Enid A. Haupt Garden proper, but I assume most of the images I'll be sharing fall withing the boundaries.

So who is Enid? "Enid Annenburg Haupt may have publishing in her blood, but gardens are in her heart. Her father, Moses Annenburg, started with the publication of a small racing form. Her brother expanded the company to include such mainstays of the American household as TV Guide and Seventeen, a magazine, which Mrs. Haupt herself later edited and published. However, it has been her numerous gifts to build, restore and maintain gardens around the country and the world, which has made her the foremost horticultural philanthropist in America...Therefore, it is no surprise that the Secretary of the Smithsonian at the time, S. Dillon Ripley looked to her for assistance when the idea of the garden for the new Quadrangle was being formalized. The only unexpected part was how generous her gift would be...By offering an endowment of over three million dollars, Mrs. Haupt has ensured not only that her garden was created, but that it would flourish and remain a haven for visitors to the Smithsonian Institution and harried urban dwellers in the Washington, D.C. area." (source, edited for length)

Unlabeled Magnolia, with big glossy leaves.

Magnolia sieboldii 'Michiko Renge' (unfortunately not in bloom)

Quisqualis indica 'Flora-Plena'

Cycas circinalis

I've previously shared images of this crazy-business on Instagram.

I'm still in awe...

If I worked nearby this would be my lunchtime walk. The umbrellas on the left, and others out of view, provided shade for numerous tables and benches. I disturbed more than one person having a quiet conversation among the plants, as I ducked in and around with my camera, hoping to capture it all.

What a bizarre flower! I believe this is the Hibiscus Heather labeled "rode hard and put away wet"...

Bismarckia nobilis

Another Cycad...(where the hell do all of these plants go during the winter? They're not hardy here!!??!)

Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa

Mossy base in the Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa pot.

Plumeria rubra

Another view of the "tropical alley" (my name)...

Jatropha podagrica

Aka "Buddha belly plant"

Hibiscus 'Tylene'

Dioon spinulosum

Entering the moongate garden (still within the Enid A. Haupt Garden, if you were wondering).

Well that's a lovely Farfugium.

There were several urns along the border of the parterre...

Their most remarkable feature was they appeared to be secured with a thin wire. If I were really contemplating stealing one of these urns, and wire was the only thing keeping them secure, I'd probably bring wire cutters.

So, birch logs added recently?

What do you think? (and why were they added? original spacing too wide???)

Standing there in person I didn't notice the construction on the left. Too mesmerized with the activity on the ground plane I guess.

Keeping it real! These formal gardens don't take care of themselves you know.

Another entrance to the "Castle", this one flanked by interesting plants.

It's about to get stinky!

Another gorgeous Furcraea, this one a little smaller than the one we saw last week.

Cyrtostachys renda, aka lipstick palm

And this!!! You know I love spotting an unexpected Agave, and this Fling was full of them. Still this one was a huge surprise. Large, and in the ground. Any guesses as to which species it is?

The splotchy color and movement of the arms have me thinking Agave franzosinii, but that's only hardy to Zone 8....(things that make you go hmmm)...

Oh ya! A branching Yucca rostrata...I am impressed! Check out the very bottom though. That's some weird spreading trunk business there.

Eryngium yuccifolium

Did you catch my "Wednesday Vignette" post this week? This is the backside...

And the front. It looks to be a water feature but the water wasn't running when we were there. The slightly wet concrete was do to a few sprinkles that fell from the sky.

Mussaenda 'Queen Sirikit' — "Mussaendas, often known as Bangkok Roses, are popular throughout the tropics and subtropics of the world" (source). I expected to learn they're somehow tied into the Euphorbias but I guess not.

Live and learn! That's what makes travel so fun right?

Weather Diary, Aug 17: Hi 80, Low 62/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

27 comments:

  1. I was thinking the same thing about where these plants all go for the winter! This takes the annual migration to a whole new level! Loved seeing the larger context of your Wednesday Vignette. Not sure about those birch logs added to the gate. Seems like a welder could easily add more metal bars.

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    1. See Steve's comment below, re: the greenhouse!

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  2. I'm in love with that Cycas circinalis! The whole garden looks gorgeous ¿were those hibiscus planted in the ground? Tylene grows outdoors here but even our generally frost free winters give her a bad time. Greetings from Argentina!

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    1. I'm guessing (because I can't remember) the Hibiscus were probably in containers.

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  3. There is a greenhouse facility where these plants go in the winter. The tour there is spectacular in itself.

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    1. Oh my...I can only imagine! (thanks for the info)

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    2. I spent a summer after my junior year in college working in those greenhouses. They are massive!

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  4. Well Buggery! I wish I'd known this garden had such cool tropical plants, I would have been up for that, it might have improved my mood on that screaming hot day. I read about the Enid Haupt garden and honestly it sounded kind of ordinary to me, so I skipped it. Thanks for showing what I missed.

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    1. I'm a wanderer, I want to see it all! Glad to share.

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  5. Utterly stunning and so nice to see something where I can enjoy being an American. I remember when I was maybe in college seeing an article about Enid A. Haupt in a design magazine that showed her art collection and her orchids. It was a swoon-worthy environment and I wasn't even into gardens then.

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    1. You have an amazing memory Linda!

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  6. Buggery is a good word I haven't seen on this blog before. An impressive garden; Indeed what happens to all the tropical plants in winter? Dioon spinulosum is a stunner. I also like the picture of the formal garden, facing the the castle's entrance from a distance: perfect symmetry.

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    1. Steve (commenter above) says they go in a greenhouse for the winter...wouldn't you love to watch the process?

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  7. A form of asperrima (fka scabra)? The humidity will make Agaves look considerably different, droopier, for sure.

    All the tropical plants thriving in DC's humid heat. Briefly, of course. Thank you for the tour!

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    1. Ah, thanks for the Agave suggestion...poor humid Agave...

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  8. That part of DC is a microclimate Z8 most years

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    1. So about the same as my garden, interesting.

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  9. You saw way more of Enids garden than I did. Glad to see the photos of what I missed. And the birch in the fence is a big fail for me.Out of place-and I never saw that either !

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    1. I wonder if they "gussy" up the gate seasonally? Changing up the extras?

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  10. I was with Kathy (and Sue) and I think we skirted just the edge of the Haupt garden. I certainly missed most of what you caught. You made great use of our time on the Mall and, as always, you have a great eye for what makes each space special.

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    1. I had the advantage of knowing I would return on Monday, so I was much less rushed.

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  11. Ohhhhhh....Ahhhhhhh....these pictures are better than watching fireworks!

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    1. Oh yes, plants over fireworks any day of the year!

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  12. Just when you think you've seen it all...

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  13. This post is making me all nostalgic for DC. Thanks for the memories.

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  14. Very nice. I thought I'd seen this garden but apparently missed much of it. Definitely didn't seen the moongate garden.

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  15. Great photographs, especially the Cycads and Yucca rostrata. We really enjoyed this garden, and you capture it well. We also appreciated the iced coffee in the Castle cafeteria.

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