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Overview:

The United States Botanic Garden (USBG), run by Congress and located adjacent to the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., on the National Mall, is an artistic showcase for a wide variety of plants from all over the world. The USBG complex includes Bartholdi Park, a Conservatory, and the National Garden, and offers exhibits, classes, tours, and other educational experiences, including larger-than-life-models and interactive displays, that highlight and interpret the impact of plants in aesthetic, cultural, economic, environmental, and therapeutic ways.

more
History:

The origin of the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) goes back to 1816, when the Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences, which was made up of many distinguished citizens, proposed the creation of a garden with a staff who would collect, grow, and distribute plants from countries all across the globe. In 1820 their idea became a reality when Congress approved a bill, signed by President James Monroe, establishing that garden, to be located to the west of the Capitol grounds, where it functioned until shortly after the Institute stopped holding meetings in 1837.

 

Five years later the subject of a national botanic garden re-emerged when members of the Wilkes Expedition, the U.S. Exploring Expedition to the South Seas, commissioned by Congress, brought into Washington a collection of eclectic plants they’d discovered around the world. Initially those plants were put in a specially constructed greenhouse behind the Old Patent Office Building; then in late 1850 they were moved into a new structure on the land previously occupied by the Columbian Institute’s original garden. In 1856 Congress officially named the United States Botanic Garden and placed it under the specific jurisdiction of its Joint Committee on the Library, and in 1863 William R. Smith was appointed the first superintendent of the garden. It was a role in which he would remain until his death in 1912, and during his tenure, the USBG gained national prominence, and significantly expanded.

 

The Conservatory rotunda was built in 1867, and began housing hundreds of unusual and exotic plants. In 1876 Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi sculpted a fountain, in the Greek tradition, that weighed around 40 tons and stood 30 feet high, its large basin seemingly held up by sea nymphs with arched backs, wearing headdresses of leaves, designed fish and scattered sea shells and corals beneath their feet. Bartholdi created the fountain for the 1876 International Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, and in 1877 it was purchased by the U.S. government and placed within the Botanic Garden. Two years later Bartholdi received a patent for what would become his most famous work: the Statue of Liberty.

 

In 1913 George Wesley Hess succeeded Smith in overseeing the USBG, bringing with him a keen interest in adding an educational focus to the Garden experience, at times even conducting tours of the grounds himself. In 1932, Bartholdi’s fountain was moved to the location where it stands today. A year later, Hess retired, and administration of the Garden was officially transferred to the Architect of the Capitol, giving whoever holds that position the title and responsibilities of Acting Director of USBG. Also in 1933, the entire Garden was moved to the land where it has remained ever since. In 1985 the area for which the fountain sculpted by Bartholdi is the centerpiece was renamed Bartholdi Park. In 1993, the USBG opened a plant production support facility containing greenhouse bays and maintenance shops, in the historic D.C. neighborhood of Anacostia. In September 1997 the Conservatory closed for renovations. It reopened in December 2001, with its superstructure, limestone facade, fountains, radiator, glazing system, and all exterior windows and doors restored or refabricated. Five years later, The National Garden was added to the USBG complex. It is a $10 million public-private venture that was built with funds raised by corporations, individual citizens, and garden clubs from around the nation, with a non-profit fund also assisting the Architect of the Capitol in raising part of the money, a portion of which came from the sale of the 1997 USBG silver dollar issued by the U.S. Mint.

more
What it Does:

The United States Botanic Garden (USBG), which has over 185 years collected plants from military and exploring missions, foreign governments, states, and government agencies, hosts more than 750,000 visitors every year. One of the oldest botanic gardens in the world, it cultivates, displays, and houses countless varieties of plants, from pineapple-scented sage to plants that smell like rotting corpses. It also fosters plant preservation by serving as a repository for endangered species. The Botanic Garden also offers a variety of educational programs, on the importance of plants to the earth and its population, for the part they play in balancing the environment through photosynthesis, erosion control, pollination, and air, soil, and water purification. USBG programs also address the significance of plants as sources of food, beverages, sugar, spices, starch, oils, waxes, fibers, dyes, cosmetics, and industrial products. In addition, the USBG courses explore plants in light of their medicinal, therapeutic, and aesthetic value.

 

Comprised of a Conservatory, Bartholdi Park, and the National Garden, all open daily and are free to the public. The USBG currently maintains about 26,000 plants, used for study and exchange with other institutions, as well as exhibition. In addition, it contains a Production Facility that is the largest greenhouse complex supporting a public garden in the United States, covering 85,000 square feet and divided into 34 greenhouse bays and 16 environmental zones.

 

The Conservatory displays 4,000 living species, in permanent and seasonal exhibits, and varying climates, and includes a palm, fern and vine section, called “The Jungle,” complete with a catwalk; an Orchid House; a meditation garden; a garden filled with Jurassic plants; and gardens geared toward kids.

 

Bartholdi Park features the world-renowned Bartholdi Fountain, and an outdoor home garden landscape demonstration, with each of the displays sized and scaled for suitability in an urban or suburban setting.

 

The National Garden, located on three acres west of the Conservatory, houses, with environmental, horticultural, and botanical education as its objective, an eclectic collection of unusual, useful, and ornamental plants native to the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as a Butterfly Garden (pdf), Rose Garden (pdf), and the First Ladies Water Garden (pdf), a square with a frame of surrounding pavement, designed to leave visitors with an image of the role water plays in the world of plants as well as all other living beings.

 

Each year from Memorial Day through Columbus Day, the USBG presents temporary exhibits in the outdoor gardens and on terraces around the Conservatory, and it has become a spring and summer tradition for Capitol Hill staff members to picnic or just relax amidst the varying displays.

 

Exhibits, classes, and lectures at the USBG can run the gamut from “Herbs for Your Pets,” “How Plants Work: A Guide to Being Green,” and “Creating Gourd Art,” to “Cooking with the Sun,” “Botany from a Bee’s Eye View,” “Wicked Bugs,” and “Landscape for Life.” All of the Garden’s programs for the public are listed in a quarterly calendar of events, and also on their website; group tours are available by appointment and for walk-in visitors daily; and a horticultural hotline is set up to answer questions from the public.

 

There are also many activities for children at the USBG, including a Jr. Botanist Program that includes giving out an explorer’s lens and field journal.

 

In addition, the USBG offers a Certificate Program in Botanical Art and Illustration, in conjunction with Corcoran College of Art + Design, which takes an in-depth focus on the traditions, techniques, and history of botanical art and illustration, and includes classes from Photographing Flowers to Painting Bugs and Birds.

 

The USBG is also one of 62 botanical gardens, arboretums, zoos, and research institutions that take part in the Plant Rescue Center Program, whereby hundreds of threatened plants, mostly orchids and cacti, are accepted into the collections, to be used for conservation and education programs. Then through CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Garden aims to help prevent species from being forced toward extinction by uncontrolled exploitation. When plants are shipped illegally and confiscated, they are often sent to the USBG for safekeeping, and at times then also go to the Conservatory for exhibition.

 

From the Web Site of USBG

Admission, Hours, Transportation, and Parking

Calendar of Events

Conservation

Contact Information

Current Exhibits

Education for Schools

Frequently Asked Questions

Gardening Tips

Gardens

Horticulture Hotline

Kids Page

Landscape for Life

Map

National Fund

Plant Collections

Plant Rescue Center Program

Plants in Culture

Press Releases

Rare and Endangered Plants

Sustainable Sites Initiative

Tips You Can Use At Home

Tours

USGB In the News

Virtual Tour

Volunteer and Employment Opportunities

more
Where Does the Money Go:

The Architect of the Capitol would not provide AllGov with information about contractor spending because it “may contain security or procurement sensitive information.”

more
Former Directors:

Alan M. Hantman

George M. White

J. George Stewart

David Lynn

Elliott Woods

Edward Clark

Thomas U. Walter

Charles Bulfinch

Benjamin Latrobe

William Thornton

more

Comments

Marlene van Peppen 1 year ago
My sister and I happened to be at the Botanical Gardens when the Rose Garden was officially opened by all the First Ladies . It was quite wonderful to be so close to these Ladies, We will always remember NANCY REAGAN'S big smile as she walked by us and the way she said HI. Just wanted to share this moment with you.
Paul Schulze 4 years ago
Directions and map of the production facility, especially for 3/9-I've looked everywhere and cannot find.

Leave a comment

Founded: 1820
Annual Budget: $12.1 million (FY 2013 Request)
Employees: 68 (FY 2013 Estimate)
Official Website: http://www.usbg.gov/
United States Botanic Garden
Shimizu, Holly
Previous Executive Director

 

Holly H. Shimizu has served as executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden since November 2000. She was introduced to gardening by her grandfather in Rhode Island.
 
After she graduated from high school in Philadelphia, she was unsure what direction to take. Her mother pointed out that nearby Temple University had an excellent horticultural school and Shimizu enrolled. She received her Associate of Science degree in horticulture and landscape design from Temple, where one of her professors insisted on called her by her botanical name, Ilex (Holly). She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture from Pennsylvania State University.
 
Shimizu spent four years working in public gardens in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Back in the United States, she became manager of the Potomac Garden Center in Potomac, Maryland. While still only 25 years old, she landed a job, in 1980, as the curator of the newly-created National Herb Garden, an adjunct of The United States National Arboretum. During this time, she also earned a Master of Science degree in horticulture from the University of Maryland.
 
She served as assistant executive director and chief horticulturalist of the U.S. Botanic Garden from 1988 to 1996, and then as managing director of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia, before returning to the U.S. Botanic Garden in 2000 to assume the executive director position.
 
Shimizu was one of the correspondents, for 12 years, of The Victory Garden, a gardening show broadcast on public television stations internationally. In addition, she can often be heard on National Public Radio and has written and lectured extensively in her field.
 
Shimizu is an advisory committee member for Longwood Gardens, near Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and on the advisory committee of the American Botanical Council in Austin, Texas.
 
In addition, she has served on the board of Botanic Gardens Conservation International U.S., as a director at large for the American Public Gardens Association, as a panel reviewer for the National Academy of Sciences, and as an advisory board member of the American Horticultural Society in Alexandria, Virginia. She has also been an international and national flower show judge.
 
Her husband, Osamu Shimizu, is a garden designer who was botn in Japan. The couple met in England, fell in love in Belgium and married in the United States in 1979. They have a son, Bevan, and a daughter, Alexa.
 
Holly H. Shimizu Biography (Architect of the Capitol)
more
Ayers, Stephen
Architect

Upon the retirement of Alan Hantman in February 2007, Stephen Ayers was named Acting Architect of the Capitol. Congress also recommended Ayers to President George W. Bush as one of their choices of candidates to serve a ten-year term, but Bush left office without making a decision.  On February 24, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Ayers to the position and on May 12, 2010, he was confirmed by the Senate.

 
Ayers earned a B.S. in Architecture at the University of Maryland, in College Park in 1985, and a Masters of Science in Systems Management in 1988 from the University of Southern California. He then attended Officers Training School at Lackland Air Base in San Antonio, Texas, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, assigned to Edwards Air Force Base in California. There he served as a staff architect with the 6510th Civil Engineering Squadron. He was later promoted to Design Team Chief, followed by Captain. After five years of active duty he resigned to pursue a civilian career. In 1991 Ayers joined the Voice of America in Washington D.C., as a General Engineer, and transferred to Rhodes, Greece, in 1992, to lead construction efforts at several Voice of America sites in Greece and Germany. In 1997 Ayers returned to the U.S. and became an Assistant Superintendent for the Senate Office Buildings. Two years later he was promoted to Deputy Superintendent, and then in 2002 he was promoted to Superintendent of the Library Building and Grounds. Three years after that he was appointed Acting Deputy Architect/COO, and in March 2006 he was named Deputy Architect/Chief Operating Officer.
 
 
 
more
Bookmark and Share
Overview:

The United States Botanic Garden (USBG), run by Congress and located adjacent to the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., on the National Mall, is an artistic showcase for a wide variety of plants from all over the world. The USBG complex includes Bartholdi Park, a Conservatory, and the National Garden, and offers exhibits, classes, tours, and other educational experiences, including larger-than-life-models and interactive displays, that highlight and interpret the impact of plants in aesthetic, cultural, economic, environmental, and therapeutic ways.

more
History:

The origin of the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) goes back to 1816, when the Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences, which was made up of many distinguished citizens, proposed the creation of a garden with a staff who would collect, grow, and distribute plants from countries all across the globe. In 1820 their idea became a reality when Congress approved a bill, signed by President James Monroe, establishing that garden, to be located to the west of the Capitol grounds, where it functioned until shortly after the Institute stopped holding meetings in 1837.

 

Five years later the subject of a national botanic garden re-emerged when members of the Wilkes Expedition, the U.S. Exploring Expedition to the South Seas, commissioned by Congress, brought into Washington a collection of eclectic plants they’d discovered around the world. Initially those plants were put in a specially constructed greenhouse behind the Old Patent Office Building; then in late 1850 they were moved into a new structure on the land previously occupied by the Columbian Institute’s original garden. In 1856 Congress officially named the United States Botanic Garden and placed it under the specific jurisdiction of its Joint Committee on the Library, and in 1863 William R. Smith was appointed the first superintendent of the garden. It was a role in which he would remain until his death in 1912, and during his tenure, the USBG gained national prominence, and significantly expanded.

 

The Conservatory rotunda was built in 1867, and began housing hundreds of unusual and exotic plants. In 1876 Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi sculpted a fountain, in the Greek tradition, that weighed around 40 tons and stood 30 feet high, its large basin seemingly held up by sea nymphs with arched backs, wearing headdresses of leaves, designed fish and scattered sea shells and corals beneath their feet. Bartholdi created the fountain for the 1876 International Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, and in 1877 it was purchased by the U.S. government and placed within the Botanic Garden. Two years later Bartholdi received a patent for what would become his most famous work: the Statue of Liberty.

 

In 1913 George Wesley Hess succeeded Smith in overseeing the USBG, bringing with him a keen interest in adding an educational focus to the Garden experience, at times even conducting tours of the grounds himself. In 1932, Bartholdi’s fountain was moved to the location where it stands today. A year later, Hess retired, and administration of the Garden was officially transferred to the Architect of the Capitol, giving whoever holds that position the title and responsibilities of Acting Director of USBG. Also in 1933, the entire Garden was moved to the land where it has remained ever since. In 1985 the area for which the fountain sculpted by Bartholdi is the centerpiece was renamed Bartholdi Park. In 1993, the USBG opened a plant production support facility containing greenhouse bays and maintenance shops, in the historic D.C. neighborhood of Anacostia. In September 1997 the Conservatory closed for renovations. It reopened in December 2001, with its superstructure, limestone facade, fountains, radiator, glazing system, and all exterior windows and doors restored or refabricated. Five years later, The National Garden was added to the USBG complex. It is a $10 million public-private venture that was built with funds raised by corporations, individual citizens, and garden clubs from around the nation, with a non-profit fund also assisting the Architect of the Capitol in raising part of the money, a portion of which came from the sale of the 1997 USBG silver dollar issued by the U.S. Mint.

more
What it Does:

The United States Botanic Garden (USBG), which has over 185 years collected plants from military and exploring missions, foreign governments, states, and government agencies, hosts more than 750,000 visitors every year. One of the oldest botanic gardens in the world, it cultivates, displays, and houses countless varieties of plants, from pineapple-scented sage to plants that smell like rotting corpses. It also fosters plant preservation by serving as a repository for endangered species. The Botanic Garden also offers a variety of educational programs, on the importance of plants to the earth and its population, for the part they play in balancing the environment through photosynthesis, erosion control, pollination, and air, soil, and water purification. USBG programs also address the significance of plants as sources of food, beverages, sugar, spices, starch, oils, waxes, fibers, dyes, cosmetics, and industrial products. In addition, the USBG courses explore plants in light of their medicinal, therapeutic, and aesthetic value.

 

Comprised of a Conservatory, Bartholdi Park, and the National Garden, all open daily and are free to the public. The USBG currently maintains about 26,000 plants, used for study and exchange with other institutions, as well as exhibition. In addition, it contains a Production Facility that is the largest greenhouse complex supporting a public garden in the United States, covering 85,000 square feet and divided into 34 greenhouse bays and 16 environmental zones.

 

The Conservatory displays 4,000 living species, in permanent and seasonal exhibits, and varying climates, and includes a palm, fern and vine section, called “The Jungle,” complete with a catwalk; an Orchid House; a meditation garden; a garden filled with Jurassic plants; and gardens geared toward kids.

 

Bartholdi Park features the world-renowned Bartholdi Fountain, and an outdoor home garden landscape demonstration, with each of the displays sized and scaled for suitability in an urban or suburban setting.

 

The National Garden, located on three acres west of the Conservatory, houses, with environmental, horticultural, and botanical education as its objective, an eclectic collection of unusual, useful, and ornamental plants native to the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as a Butterfly Garden (pdf), Rose Garden (pdf), and the First Ladies Water Garden (pdf), a square with a frame of surrounding pavement, designed to leave visitors with an image of the role water plays in the world of plants as well as all other living beings.

 

Each year from Memorial Day through Columbus Day, the USBG presents temporary exhibits in the outdoor gardens and on terraces around the Conservatory, and it has become a spring and summer tradition for Capitol Hill staff members to picnic or just relax amidst the varying displays.

 

Exhibits, classes, and lectures at the USBG can run the gamut from “Herbs for Your Pets,” “How Plants Work: A Guide to Being Green,” and “Creating Gourd Art,” to “Cooking with the Sun,” “Botany from a Bee’s Eye View,” “Wicked Bugs,” and “Landscape for Life.” All of the Garden’s programs for the public are listed in a quarterly calendar of events, and also on their website; group tours are available by appointment and for walk-in visitors daily; and a horticultural hotline is set up to answer questions from the public.

 

There are also many activities for children at the USBG, including a Jr. Botanist Program that includes giving out an explorer’s lens and field journal.

 

In addition, the USBG offers a Certificate Program in Botanical Art and Illustration, in conjunction with Corcoran College of Art + Design, which takes an in-depth focus on the traditions, techniques, and history of botanical art and illustration, and includes classes from Photographing Flowers to Painting Bugs and Birds.

 

The USBG is also one of 62 botanical gardens, arboretums, zoos, and research institutions that take part in the Plant Rescue Center Program, whereby hundreds of threatened plants, mostly orchids and cacti, are accepted into the collections, to be used for conservation and education programs. Then through CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Garden aims to help prevent species from being forced toward extinction by uncontrolled exploitation. When plants are shipped illegally and confiscated, they are often sent to the USBG for safekeeping, and at times then also go to the Conservatory for exhibition.

 

From the Web Site of USBG

Admission, Hours, Transportation, and Parking

Calendar of Events

Conservation

Contact Information

Current Exhibits

Education for Schools

Frequently Asked Questions

Gardening Tips

Gardens

Horticulture Hotline

Kids Page

Landscape for Life

Map

National Fund

Plant Collections

Plant Rescue Center Program

Plants in Culture

Press Releases

Rare and Endangered Plants

Sustainable Sites Initiative

Tips You Can Use At Home

Tours

USGB In the News

Virtual Tour

Volunteer and Employment Opportunities

more
Where Does the Money Go:

The Architect of the Capitol would not provide AllGov with information about contractor spending because it “may contain security or procurement sensitive information.”

more
Former Directors:

Alan M. Hantman

George M. White

J. George Stewart

David Lynn

Elliott Woods

Edward Clark

Thomas U. Walter

Charles Bulfinch

Benjamin Latrobe

William Thornton

more

Comments

Marlene van Peppen 1 year ago
My sister and I happened to be at the Botanical Gardens when the Rose Garden was officially opened by all the First Ladies . It was quite wonderful to be so close to these Ladies, We will always remember NANCY REAGAN'S big smile as she walked by us and the way she said HI. Just wanted to share this moment with you.
Paul Schulze 4 years ago
Directions and map of the production facility, especially for 3/9-I've looked everywhere and cannot find.

Leave a comment

Founded: 1820
Annual Budget: $12.1 million (FY 2013 Request)
Employees: 68 (FY 2013 Estimate)
Official Website: http://www.usbg.gov/
United States Botanic Garden
Shimizu, Holly
Previous Executive Director

 

Holly H. Shimizu has served as executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden since November 2000. She was introduced to gardening by her grandfather in Rhode Island.
 
After she graduated from high school in Philadelphia, she was unsure what direction to take. Her mother pointed out that nearby Temple University had an excellent horticultural school and Shimizu enrolled. She received her Associate of Science degree in horticulture and landscape design from Temple, where one of her professors insisted on called her by her botanical name, Ilex (Holly). She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture from Pennsylvania State University.
 
Shimizu spent four years working in public gardens in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Back in the United States, she became manager of the Potomac Garden Center in Potomac, Maryland. While still only 25 years old, she landed a job, in 1980, as the curator of the newly-created National Herb Garden, an adjunct of The United States National Arboretum. During this time, she also earned a Master of Science degree in horticulture from the University of Maryland.
 
She served as assistant executive director and chief horticulturalist of the U.S. Botanic Garden from 1988 to 1996, and then as managing director of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia, before returning to the U.S. Botanic Garden in 2000 to assume the executive director position.
 
Shimizu was one of the correspondents, for 12 years, of The Victory Garden, a gardening show broadcast on public television stations internationally. In addition, she can often be heard on National Public Radio and has written and lectured extensively in her field.
 
Shimizu is an advisory committee member for Longwood Gardens, near Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and on the advisory committee of the American Botanical Council in Austin, Texas.
 
In addition, she has served on the board of Botanic Gardens Conservation International U.S., as a director at large for the American Public Gardens Association, as a panel reviewer for the National Academy of Sciences, and as an advisory board member of the American Horticultural Society in Alexandria, Virginia. She has also been an international and national flower show judge.
 
Her husband, Osamu Shimizu, is a garden designer who was botn in Japan. The couple met in England, fell in love in Belgium and married in the United States in 1979. They have a son, Bevan, and a daughter, Alexa.
 
Holly H. Shimizu Biography (Architect of the Capitol)
more
Ayers, Stephen
Architect

Upon the retirement of Alan Hantman in February 2007, Stephen Ayers was named Acting Architect of the Capitol. Congress also recommended Ayers to President George W. Bush as one of their choices of candidates to serve a ten-year term, but Bush left office without making a decision.  On February 24, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Ayers to the position and on May 12, 2010, he was confirmed by the Senate.

 
Ayers earned a B.S. in Architecture at the University of Maryland, in College Park in 1985, and a Masters of Science in Systems Management in 1988 from the University of Southern California. He then attended Officers Training School at Lackland Air Base in San Antonio, Texas, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, assigned to Edwards Air Force Base in California. There he served as a staff architect with the 6510th Civil Engineering Squadron. He was later promoted to Design Team Chief, followed by Captain. After five years of active duty he resigned to pursue a civilian career. In 1991 Ayers joined the Voice of America in Washington D.C., as a General Engineer, and transferred to Rhodes, Greece, in 1992, to lead construction efforts at several Voice of America sites in Greece and Germany. In 1997 Ayers returned to the U.S. and became an Assistant Superintendent for the Senate Office Buildings. Two years later he was promoted to Deputy Superintendent, and then in 2002 he was promoted to Superintendent of the Library Building and Grounds. Three years after that he was appointed Acting Deputy Architect/COO, and in March 2006 he was named Deputy Architect/Chief Operating Officer.
 
 
 
more