Friday, June 13, 2008

Field Trip

Located on the US Capitol grounds and housed in a building of breathtaking architecture is the US Botanic Gardens (USBG). If you live in the DC metro area and you haven't been there, get yourself on the Metro and go (blue or orange line to Capitol South). If you are planning a visit to our nation's Capitol, make sure this is a stop on your itinerary. You don't even have to be a fanatic about flowers to love this place. On my stroll through the gardens on Wednesday, I saw countless people relaxing on the benches eating their lunch or reading their paper surrounded by perfectly manicured landscapes and it occurred to me: what an oasis amidst the rat race that can be Washington DC.

My purpose for being there was enjoyment and education. The USBG has a couple of resident experts in the area of container gardening. Beth and Margaret were conducting a workshop with the goal of teaching the participants the ABC's of container gardening and encouraging them to try something new. Here's the interesting thing: this was the second workshop of its kind at the USBG just this season. I tried signing up for the first one just one day after I saw it advertised in the Washington Post and the class was already full with a 41-person waiting list. Yeah, a lot of people have gotten hip to container gardening either because they lack space, lack time or lack the spinal strength to labor endless hours over large flowerbeds. Instead, why not opt for a couple of pots full of flowers on your front steps or your deck? Beauty and simplicity with minimal effort.

So my take away from this workshop was don't be afraid to take chances--go ahead and mix a cherry tomato plant in with your flowers and foliage or try some unusual color combinations. There are no rules, there is no formula. The way I see it, you are limited only by your imagination...and your pocketbook.

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