The garden features multiple updates including:
- a new platform discovery structure – a series of terraced platforms create a climbing structure, with overhead arching aluminum posts that mimic the architectural style of the Conservatory. As children ascend the platforms (up to 4’ high), they will experience interactive panels with botanical materials demonstrating the diversity and usefulness of plants;
- leaf trellis and watering can seats – a series of fabric and metal leaf shapes, at varying heights, provide overhead interest and shade for a group of seats that resemble oversized watering cans;
- kiwifruit tunnel – a metal arbor replaces the previous vine tunnel. Cables positioned to resemble spider webs will soon be covered by newly planted kiwifruit plants as the vines grow and enclose the tunnel;
- digging area – an area defined by metal and wood walls provides children a space to dig with child-sized tools and learn about composting;
- dandelion sculptures – metal sculptures appear as oversize dandelions, with steel “seeds” attached at the tips of wires. When the wind blows, these “seeds” and wires will sway with the breeze;
- toadstool seats – concrete formed to look like mushrooms at various heights accommodate children of all sizes.
Previously added favorites remain, such as the motion-activated misting poles, watering and planting stations with digging tools and watering cans, and small-sized fruiting plants such as banana, apple, and fig.
When young children use their imaginations to relate to their surroundings, there is evidence that they are also developing a life-long affection for the natural world. Kids are invited to see what’s in bloom, dig, plant, water, and touch and smell the plants in the Children’s Garden. Watch your kids play, discover, and awaken their curiosity!
The U.S. Botanic Garden is open to the public, free of charge, every day of the year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Children’s Garden is open seasonally, typically May to October.
The Conservatory is located at 100 Maryland Ave. SW, on the southwest side of the U.S. Capitol. Visitors are encouraged to use Metrobus and Metrorail. More information is available at www.USBG.gov