The Smithsonian Gardens and U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) are displaying their annualOrchid Exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum, now thru May 14. The exhibition showcases over100 orchids selected from the collections of both Smithsonian Gardens and the USBG. The stunning blooms are presented as "colorful time-based installations, constantly changing throughout the exhibition’s four-month run. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the exotic assemblage as a whole as well as each orchid as it stands in that moment, and return again and again to enjoy the display as it evolves.”
Image below: Orchids displayed in the 2014 exhibition.
The U.S. Botanic Garden is exhibiting You Can Grow It!in the Conservatory Terrace and East Gallery, thru October 15. The exhibit “helps experienced and novice gardeners alike to have more fruitful indoor and outdoor gardening experiences. Wander the Terrace and the exhibit Gallery to explore the basics of growing plants and investigate solutions for many common plant problems. Along the way, discover foolproof plants, learn about the right plant for the right place and person, and even pick up a few specialty horticulture techniques for plants requiring a little extra care.” The exhibit is designed for all skill levels of gardening.
Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland will have their annual Orchid Show & Saleon Saturday & Sunday, March 18 & 19. Participants will have the opportunity to consult with orchid experts, enjoy the vibrant displays, and purchase orchids either to add to their collections or to get a collection started from top area growers. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Brookside Gardens and will take place in the Visitors Center Auditorium.
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens will celebrate Orchid
Month in March with workshops, tours, and colorful displays. Visitors to Hillwood will be treated not only to the brilliance and fragrance of these exotic beauties as they bloom in abundance in the Greenhouse. They will have opportunities to explore Hillwood founder Marjorie Post's original collection, learn more about the collection today, and hear from outside experts about the history and care of the unique botanicals.
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens is exhibiting Friends and Fashion: An American Diplomat in 1820s Russia, thru June 11. The exhibition focuses on 45 portraits from an album assembled by the family of politician and statesman Henry Middleton and acquired by Hillwood in 2004. Middleton, his wife, and the six youngest of their ten children left Charleston, South Carolina in 1820 on a nearly two-month-long journey to Russia, where Henry would become Minister to Russia. The watercolor and gouacheportraits on view in this exhibition were originally assembled in an album that documents the family’s time in St. Petersburg and the people they met through their diplomatic and social engagements. Objects, images, and publications were selected to complement the portraits and offer “an exploration into a number of themes, including the historical events surrounding his time there, the family’s social life in Russia, the artistic traditions of the period, and the elaborate fashions and hairstyles of the day.”
Image below: A watercolor from Friends and Fashion: An American Diplomat in 1820s Russia
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens is exhibiting Four Seasons, the first-ever installation of art in the gardens, thru March 31. Contemporary American artist & filmmaker Philip Haas’s sculptures create "a monumental interpretation of Italian Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s famous botanical paintings.” “Lush foliage, colorful blooms, and vegetation native to each of the seasons are spectacularly transformed into four larger than life, three-dimensional portrait busts.”
Images below: Views of Philip Haas’s"Four Seasons”
Mount Vernon opened a new exhibition titled Lives Bound Together: Slavery at George Washington’s Mount Vernonon October 1. The exhibition “shares the personal stories of the enslaved people who lived and worked at Mount Vernon and explores the first president’s evolving views on slavery.”
Image below: The Mount Vernon greenhouse, reconstructed between 1950 and 1953 based on Washington's original structure. The wings of the brick structure contained slave quarters. Photo by John Henley – Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.
Mount Vernon opened The Chintz Room, formerly known as the Nelly Custis Bedchamber, after two years of research and restoration work, on May 7. Mount Vernon senior vice president Carol B. Cadou has commented that “The careful research carried out by Historic Preservation and Collections staff is breathing new life into this space. This room will give visitors a real taste of the vibrancy of the late 18th century.” An original crib, given to Nelly Custis Lewis by Martha Washington in 1799, will be returned to the room.
Photo below: The Chintz Room – Photo by Rob Shenk – courtesy of The Mount Vernon Ladies Association.