What's Happening at Smithsonian Gardens

Exhibits and Events

Let’s Talk Gardens! logo

Let’s Talk Gardens!

Thursdays from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., May 12 – September 29, 2016 in the East Walk of the Enid A. Haupt Garden

Turn your thumb green! Join Smithsonian Gardens’ horticulturists for a weekly series of free lunchtime talks and demonstrations on gardening basics. This year we’re covering everything from tree care and composting to growing hops and herbs at home. Check out the series schedule and get your questions ready.

See the 2016 Let’s Talk Gardens series schedule

Pools, Patios and the American Backyard

Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard

In the 1950s, America was a nation emerging from the shadow of World War II, searching for ways to enjoy its newfound peace and prosperity. The baby boom, a growing middle class, the do-it-yourself movement, and a dramatic rise in home ownership remade much of the U.S. and, surprisingly, contributed to the development of the suburban backyard. This traveling exhibit traces the rise of outdoor living through vivid photographs, landscape architecture plans, and popular culture imagery from magazines, advertisements, and how-to books.

Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard is a collaboration between Smithsonian Gardens’ Archives of American Gardens and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

Learn more about the exhibition

Enid A. Haupt Garden

Garden Tours

Many visitors are surprised to learn that the Smithsonian Institution includes a number of outdoor museums. All have been designed to complement the museums they border and to enhance the overall museum experience of learning, appreciation, and enjoyment. From mid-April through September there are weekly garden tours available (weather permitting).

Explore our gardens

Garden Inspirations

Garden Inspirations

Drawing inspiration from images in the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Gardens, these miniature landscapes are small-scale works of art designed to spur creativity.  What garden elements inspire you?  Think about colors, textures, scents, or features that you would like to add to your own garden.

Exhibit starts September 3, 2016 and runs through September 3, 2017 in the Ripley Center Concourse