The US Botanic Garden celebrates the holiday season with annual ‘Season’s Greenings’ display

Two exhibits offer an inside look to how plants and flowers can interpret a story about agriculture and be used as building materials

The US Botanic Garden celebrates the holiday season with annual ‘Season’s Greenings’ display

U.S. Capitol replica at the U.S. Botanic Garden

The U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) rang in the holiday season with its annual “Season’s Greenings” exhibit, which includes a massive outdoor G-gauge train display and scaled down D.C. landmark replicas surrounded by plants and flowers.

The train display in the outdoor gardens has railroads and bridges weaving through different agricultural and horticultural scenes. Built out of different plant parts and materials, these scenes are inspired by the United States and the world, including an orange grove in Florida, a cranberry bog in Massachusetts, an Indoor Vertical Farming system in Finland, Europe and a Coffee-Banana-Sweet Potato Cropping system in Uganda, Africa. 

Embedded in the display are signs for the visitors about the scenes. The sign beside a Machu Picchu potato farm in Peru, South America talks about the different types of potatoes grown there and the agricultural methods Andean farmers use. 


After enjoying the outdoor display, visitors go inside to the USBG Garden Court conservatory and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee from the Zeek’s Coffee of D.C. booth and view the landmark building replicas. Similar to the train display, these replicas are also built out of both sustainable and plant materials.

Signs explain that the Washington Monument replica was built from sycamore, sea grape leaves and moss. Likewise, the White House replica is made out of palm frond stems, cinnamon curls, honeysuckle sticks, bear paw pods, hemlock cones and various tree barks, and The Library of Congress replica is made out of magnolia fruit stems, acorn caps, tree fern, basket cane, pine cone scales and bamboo.

Models also included the U.S. Supreme Court, the Thomas Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of the American Indian.

At night, the gardens and train display structure are lit up, adding a magical feel to the exhibit. A nod to the holiday season, beautiful poinsettia flowers and dark green USBG plants surround the exhibit. The cheery holiday decor and intricately-built displays beautifully bring in holiday tidings. 

The ‘Seasons Greenings’ holiday exhibit will be on display in the U.S. Botanic Garden until January 2.

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