The National Botanic Garden is dedicated to education and research, connecting adults and children to nature. This is not an ordinary garden. What distinguishes our garden from most is that it's predominantly made from reclaimed materials.
We look forward to your visit!
America's finest collection and largest bamboo garden, where science and aesthetics meet. Discover a 50-island maze at the lake, made of islands with different types of bamboo. Explore soaring bamboo groves along our large mountain.
Water is key to life - and beautiful as well. The lakes, with over 50 islands, have many varieties of fish which support many birds, from the Bald eagle to Cormorants, great blue herons and many of our smaller feathered friends, not to mention a large selection of geese and ducks, 5 miles of shores, warm shallow water and cold deep springs.
East coast's largest xeric garden: Water wise gardening at its best! Low or no maintenance with color and texture year around. As the world faces greater and greater water shortages due to population growth, economic development (industry uses a LOT of water), expanded agriculture to feed all those new mouths, and climate change, the need to conserve water becomes more urgent. Xeric gardens, also known an water-wise gardens are becoming more and more popular, and in some cases required in many parts of the country as they are desert type gardens requiring little or no water.
Many parts of the United States are facing water shortages, and even areas on the east coast have been known to have water restrictions in the past, therefore the need for new approaches to gardening. On the one hand, deserts are often thought of as barren and not very interesting places (other than to the scientists), while gardens are thought of as peaceful and colorful places to relax and enjoy nature, flowers and fresh air. The National Botanic Garden has spent the last fifteen years studying plants which require little or no water, are hardy in the mid-Atlantic region and provide the pleasures of a traditional garden. In this process a wonderful discovery was made - xeric gardens properly constructed require almost no maintenance - no more lawn mowing, almost no weeding ever, and of course no watering, even in the driest of times! One advantage/disadvantage of such gardens though is the lack of shade.
For sun lovers this is wonderful, for others, pergolas and other structures would have to be built to provide shade. Of course, one advantage of not having trees in the garden is that there are no leaves or needles or branches to clean up - again making the xeric garden truly maintenance free. Best of all, xeric gardens have lots of colorful flowers throughout the summer and some truly fascinating forms and shapes year around. Please return shortly to see a list of plants which do well in Virginia and other zone 6 and 7 regions, along with pictures and descriptions as to how to plant and use them in your garden. It is hoped that visiting these gardens will give others ideas as to how to add interesting facets to existing gardens or to even create totally new gardens.