The US National Arboretum - an unknown part of the US Capitol - small trees

The US National Arboretum - DC Travel Blog

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And yes, I managed to find a few blossoms!

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.

Bonzai
The columns were stored and in the 1980s they re-appeared in the Ellipse Meadow of the arboretum. At least 22 of the 24, since two columns were damaged and were left on top of a hill near the Azalea collection. While reading this for my blog research I realize that I actually stood on one of those not realizing what it was.

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!

diisha392 says:
Glad you found this place on your visit to DC; I enjoyed my day trip here a few springs ago although I was blessed with warmer weather!
Posted on: Apr 21, 2013
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And yes, I managed to find a few b…
And yes, I managed to find a few …
Bonzai
Bonzai
The retired columns of the US Capi…
The retired columns of the US Cap…
The retired columns of the US Capi…
The retired columns of the US Cap…
The retired columns of the US Capi…
The retired columns of the US Cap…
And yes, I managed to find a few b…
And yes, I managed to find a few …
And yes, I managed to find a few b…
And yes, I managed to find a few …
A Suiseki
A Suiseki
Bonzai
Bonzai
Bonzai / Penjing
Bonzai / Penjing
Bonzai (or Penjing?)
Bonzai (or Penjing?)
Bonzai
Bonzai
Bonzai
Bonzai
Bonzai (or Penjing?)
Bonzai (or Penjing?)
Bonzai
Bonzai
This bonzai is 388 years old!
This bonzai is 388 years old!
The east portico of the US Capital…
The east portico of the US Capita…
GPS profileof my visit to the Arbo…
GPS profileof my visit to the Arb…
The US National Arboretum - DC
photo by: mdalamers