What's Happening at Smithsonian Gardens

Exhibits and Events

Farnham Garden

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.

Click here to learn more about this exhibit.

The Lost Bird Project

The Lost Bird Project

Smithsonian Gardens and Smithsonian Institution Libraries are pleased to present The Lost Bird Project, an outdoor exhibit by artist Todd McGrain. Five large-scale bronze sculptures of extinct North American birds are on display in the Enid A. Haupt Garden and the Urban Bird Habitat through March 15, 2015.

Learn more about The Lost Bird Project

Orchid Symphony

Orchid Symphony Exhibition

February 22 - April 27, 2014 at the United States Botanic Garden

Experience the incredible elegance of an orchid symphony. The U.S. Botanic Garden will feature exuberant displays of orchids nestled among whimsical topiaries and musical fountains. Illuminated by an orchid chandelier, the Garden Court will sing the praises of beautiful orchids. The Conservatory will feature orchids from all over the world in a multitude of environments. Come see desert orchids, jungle orchids and even orchids used in medicine and cooking against the gorgeous backdrop of the U.S. Botanic Garden collections.

Orchid Symphony is a collaboration between the U.S. Botanic Gardens and Smithsonian Gardens.

Click here to view past exhibitions

Click here to learn more about our Orchid Collection.

Garden Fest

Garden Fest 2014

May 9th, 2014

This year’s Garden Fest will take place in the Enid A. Haupt Garden on Friday, May 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This year’s theme: Water, Water, Everywhere coordinates with First Lady Michelle Obama’s new initiative “Drink Up” as part of her Let’s Move campaign.

The idea for Garden Fest was sown in 2006 and has grown into an annual all day family-friendly event presented by the Smithsonian Gardens (SG). The purpose of Garden Fest is to highlight each of the Smithsonian gardens and connect people to plants through educational demonstrations and engaging hands-on activities. Garden Fest takes place each year in the Enid A. Haupt Garden during spring.

Click here to learn more about Garden Fest

Visitor Education

Smithsonian Events Calendar

To learn more about other upcoming Smithsonian events please visit:
The Smithsonian Events Calendar >

Mary Livingston Ripley Garden

Smithsonian Gardens Events

  • Weekly Garden Tours are available from May through September (weather permitting). No tours on federal holidays.