• Ellen Mary

Washington DC


Spending half of the year in the US means I get to travel around to see new and exciting gardens and sometimes I feel like I am living in a dream! The most recent trip was up to my bucket list garden, Longwood in Pennsylvania (that'll be another blog) but first stop was Washington DC on route.


You might wonder why I am blogging about Washington and not even including the US botanic garden which is right there in the city. Well...two reasons! Firstly, we only spent one day there and with so much to see, we had to skip the botanic garden but secondly, there was so much more than the White House to see in Washington.


I was overly excited at the marvellous planting around the streets, from swathes of wildflowers to large patches of block planting, clearly with pollinators in mind, it was so refreshing to see. With the back drop of the Capitol Building and the many incredible memorials it did feel like being on a film set. But, the film sets most definitely don't show the wonderful green spaces, old and statuesque trees and the breath of fresh air received from open spaces right in the middle of the a capital city.


Outside each of the museums, the verges by the wide pathways represented what was inside and that included nature areas, pathways and infographics for how to look after wildlife and what wildlife can be seen around the city. It was a huge and pleasant surprise!


The one spot we stumbled on was the most incredible garden outside the Smithsonian Institute. The abundant garden is the Mary Livingston Ripley Gardens and it was marvellous! From the vibrant colours of blue Salvia and orange Dahlias alongside rusty coloured Coleus and pink Lantanas. The raised beds made of brick are packed full of pollinator friendly plants with trees, seating areas, art works and a lovely spot just for containers full of succulents. I totally wasn't expecting to spend more time admiring plants in Washington than tourist spots! But then...I can spot a plant in a pavement crack a mile away so maybe it's not such a surprise!!


See photos from Washington on my social media channels and HERE for the Smithsonian Institute Gardens.