Real Gardens

The National Arboretum in Winter, and Video Update

I took the photos you'll see here on Christmas Eve Day at the sadly under-visited National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.  I kinda like this style of video, and next time I'll remember to include a title page and credits.  I created it using Photo Story 3, which the reviews prefer to Moviemaker for videos of stills.  It's free and incredibly easy to use.

Next up, the U.S. Botanic Gardens, which I visited on Christmas morning.  It was possibly the only place open that day and one Belgian guy I met wandering the city killing an 8-hour lay-over was sure happy to discover it.

These are my first attempts at capturing the Gardens of Washington throughout the Year in order to promote these under-promoted gems – a big project that'll only be completed if I find sponsors. I'm talking to DC's tourism board, of course, but who else?  Ideas, please.   

On my blog I've chronicled some of my mistakes made and lessons learned about buying a camcorder, and gotten some very helpful comments.

Posted by on December 26, 2009 at 5:00 am, in the category Real Gardens.
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15 Responses to “The National Arboretum in Winter, and Video Update”

  1. Susan,

    Thanks so much. What a lovely video. The National Arboretum is a wonderful place any time of the year. We used to live nearby so we could visit often; now our visits are much more limited, but we make time to see it whenever we’re in the area.

  2. Rosella says:

    Thanks, Susan, for the lovely video. One of my personal favourites is the Atlas cedar, and I look for it when I visit the collection. Trouble is the traffic between me and the Arboretum is quite daunting and a visit now requires planning and fortitude, so I don’t get there often.

    Another favourite is Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens — I hope you will include a video from there in lotus time!

  3. Very enjoyable. I’m always amazed at how old some of those plants are!

  4. Joy Kuebler says:

    I may have some connections to help with the promotion. My late Aunt and Uncle were DC residents for 30 some years and very connected in the garden and pond groups and with govn’t agencies like ag and education departments. They too adored these gems and would be happy to know we were getting the word out. Email me directly and I will see what I can pull together… jkuebler@jklastudio.com
    Merry Christmas!
    Joy Kuebler

  5. Katie says:

    Fantastic! Some of my VERY FAVORITE gardens are in the DC area. I’ve been all over the US and Canada visiting gardens, and I love Love LOVE the DC gardens. thank you for this great project!

  6. John says:

    When I talk to people and mention how much I love DC as a tourist destination I hear a lot of positive feedback – so I don’t think DC Tourism has done anything wrong. Everyone seems to go there at some point, maybe it is just the volume of attractions competing with each other over tourists dollars. I also like that the Bot Garden is within walking distance from Union Station (as is the rest of the mall).

  7. The problem is there is no public transit to the USNA and it is a section of city with no other landmarks to pull in the passing tourists. A hidden gem, if you come to DC – definitely add in an extra day to explore the grounds there. (You will need a taxi, rental car, or host willing to drive.)

  8. Kate G. says:

    Hey, Susan, how about the guidebook group NTF (Not for Tourists? They have a blog and a DC edition. I turn to them to find off-the-tourist grid destinations and it sounds to me like your idea is a fit.

    We’re not talking the big writer bucks here, but who knows where it could lead, so I’m throwing it out there.

  9. susan harris says:

    Thanks for that idea, Katie.
    And you’d better believe I followed up via email with Joy. Good brainstorming going on here!

  10. Geez, here’s a rant for you. I went to their tourism board web site and clicked on the National Arboretum link. Clearly a template, but at least I thought I’d get somewhere by clicking on the Photos link. “No photos available.” ! Posting a section for Nature Lovers on their tourism site would be a nice start for them.

  11. Pam J. says:

    Nice work Susan! The best website for the National Arboretum is, not surprisingly, their own site: http://www.usna.usda.gov/. Lots of pictures, maps, other stuff. And yes, the Arboretum IS a hidden DC treasure.

  12. Donna Vogelpohl says:

    Don’t miss the Bishop’s Gardens at the National Cathedral – and take in Dumbarton Oaks too. I toured all of these – during a visit in celebration of our 20th anniversary 17 years ago. My husband and I had met in DC – I worked for the FBI and he was a sailor in the US Navy. We’ve lived in Oklahoma most of our 37 years married and today I am a professional market gardener and greenhouse owner. The bonsai in the video, is 17 years younger in my photo. I’ll now watch the video – just to reminence.

  13. When I was a member of a bonsai club, there was a letter writing campaign for the US POstal Service to create a bonsai stamp/set, but to no luck so far. Perhaps some fellow GardenRant readers can join in on the campaign to help motivate the Postal Service and it’s selection committee to issue a bonsai stamp set.

    http://www.knowledgeofbonsai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=79&t=626

  14. It’s too bad there’s no public transit like Kathy mentioned. It would also be nice to see the link Pam posted on their tourism site. Please keep us posted of your progress — we all own the nation’s parks and arboretums!

  15. Dottie Webb says:

    That’s lovely, thank you! As someone who is utterly unfamiliar with the National Arboretum, I found myself wishing you had given me some audio commentary. For example, I wanted to know roughly how many plants are in this exhibit (do you show them all?) And are there interesting stories regarding their respective additions to the collection? How did they come to be there? Did any one person make a mark as caretaker?

    I certainly hope that the tourist bureau or the Not for Tourist folks take an interest!

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