A Guide to Smithsonian Gardens
By Carole Ottesen
(Smithsonian Books, Paperback, 9781588343000, 160pp.)
Publication Date: March 8, 2011
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A beautifully illustrated guide to the colorful gardens that surround the Smithsonian museums along the National Mall, each unique in its design, plant materials, and purpose.
Many visitors are surprised to learn that the Smithsonian Institution includes extensive gardens and landscape areas. All have been designed to complement the museums they border and to enhance the overall museum experience. Imagine having the Smithsonian's resources and knowledge to solve the problems that confront every gardener: holding four-season interest, experimenting with exotic plants, designing a garden that reflects the architecture around it, creating a contemplative space, recreating historic or themed gardens, and much more.
The Smithsonian Gardens are wide ranging: gardens that reflect distinct cultural influences; a rose garden; an intimate, four-season wonder filled with a vast selection of plants; an ever-changing backdrop and contemplative haven for viewing large-scale works of art; an eco-sensitive Native American habitat considered an extension of the building; an urban space dedicated to butterfly gardening; historical gardens that reflect the classic American flower garden and the Victory gardens of World War II; a classical oasis that invites reflection and contemplation; a historic courtyard turned all-season favorite with architectural pinache; the greenhouses that support these gardens and the museums with orchid displays, seasonal interest, and plant materials; and a garden collection that includes both furniture displayed in garden settings and extensive collections documenting historic and contemporary American gardens.
Carole Ottesen is a garden writer, photographer, and designer whose writing and photos have appeared in many magazines, including House Beautiful, Horticulture, Garden Design, Fine Gardening, and Martha Stewart Living. She lives in Potomac, MD.
"A Guide to Smithsonian Gardens is an excellent addition to the gardener's library and a valuable tool if visiting Washington D. C. It is highly recommended for gardener or traveler." Dave's Garden
"Part gardening book, part history lesson, part museum souvenir, A Guide to the Smithsonian Gardens has something to offer almost everyone." Garden of Possibilities
"This guide to the Smithsonian gardens is a well-designed and thorough tour through each of the sections and the history behind them. With photos of the majestic art, sculpture and buildings, as well as the innovative and interesting plant displays, this is a book that is as much fun to casually flip through as it is to read." North Coast Gardening
"Tourists to D.C. typically see the Smithsonian museums, but how about the 28+ acres of maintained gardens around them? Most would be surprised to learn there's that much hort action going on right there on the National Mall. But straight from Smithsonian Books, the new Guide to Smithosnian Gardens by Carole Ottesen will, I hope, direct more visitors to these local treasures." Garden Rant
"Amateur and professional garden enthusiasts can enjoy this book. It provides unique plant combinations and a range of design ideas to inspire the masses. The stories will keep you reading, while the illustrations provide ideas for your next garden project." HortScience
"The gardens around the Smithsonian suite of museums feature almost every type of historical setting, from a roof top garden to classical courtyard, to roses, butterfly garden, and a native landscape complete with woods and wetlands. This indispensable guidebook, filled with rich photographs, will help you navigate around the Mall and its gardens." Chicago Botanic Garden
"With beautiful photography and wonderful descriptions of each (garden), it is enough to make the reader yearn to spend a few days in Washington, DC in order to visit them all. The gardens vary greatly – and being able to go to one city in order to see so many different types of landscapes in a short period of time adds to the appeal. From the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden to the Heirloom and Victory Gardens, there is something to inspire every designer."