The US National Arboretum - an unknown part of the US Capitol - small trees
The US National Arboretum - DC Travel Blog› entry 928 of 1090 › view all entries
I have been to Washington several times by now. This time I was so smart to bring my Lonely Planet. It advised me to visit the US National Arboretum. The Arboretum is not easy to visit for a DC visitor that is depending on public transport. There are no metro stations nearby. I thus saved this for the last day so I could drive there.
Like many of the other highlights in DC the arboretum has free admission. It offers a bit of everything. Herbs, flowers, foreign collections, national collections, like e.g. the National Grove of State Trees, etcetera.
The arboretum also houses a very unusual piece of DC history, the National Capitol Columns a collection of 22 Corinthian columns that once were a part of the east portico of the United States Capitol on Capitol Hill, but had to be removed because and extension of the building.
I walked on the grounds for about 8 kilometers (5 miles) enjoying some blossoms. Unfortunately the same nature law that prevented me from seeing the cherry blossoms yesterday applied here; too cold weather so less flowers. In the meantime the weather turned from overcast, to clouded, to heavy rain quickly, and forced me to the inside section of the site: the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. This is a really cool display of Bonsai (Japanese: miniature trees), Penjing (Chinese: miniature trees in a miniature setting), and Suiseki (Japanese: odd shaped stones that look like a miniature mountain).
The living (!) mini trees may look small, but some of them are really old. And I mean REALLY old. The oldest in the collection is 388 (!) years old. Imagine, when this year-1625 bonsai was started, the Dutch founded New Amsterdam (New York City), and it would take another 151 years before the US signed the declaration of independence.
More pictures below!