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
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'
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"...
Another Cycad...(where the hell do all of these plants go during the winter? They're not hardy here!!??!)
Mossy base in the Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa pot.
Another view of the "tropical alley" (my name)...
Aka "Buddha belly plant"
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.
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
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