I last posted about the amazing plant-based monument replicas at the U.S. Botanic Garden back in 2018, and I think it’s time for an update. One of the recent additions is this replica of the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art, which is the first modern building in the collection. (The East Wing may be the most famous work of I.M. Pei. Here’s what it looks like on site.)

You have to get close to really appreciate the details – the bark walls and the little black blobs that replicate artworks by Andrew Goldsworthy.

Here’s info about the entire collection at the USBG. These marvels of creative workmanship are made by a Kentucky-based firm named Applied Imagination.

Another new replica is of a little-noticed building on the Capitol grounds – the Summerhouse. (Here’s what it looks like on site.) The Capitol’s website tells us that “Construction on the Summerhouse began in 1879 and was completed in late 1880 or early 1881 by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted,” which implies that Olmsted constructed it himself, amirite? But moving on: “He included the Summerhouse in response to complaints that visitors to the Capitol Building could not find water or a place to rest on their journey. In addition, he designed it as a setting for decorative vegetation.”

I can’t resist posting this shot of the Lincoln Memorial, with the Washington Monument in the distance. I appreciate the massings of unusual varieties of poinsettias throughout the building.

Bonus Photos of the USBG’s 2022 Holiday Show

Since the pandemic, the USBG’s popular train set has been moved outdoors, where it’s more accessible – though the trains don’t run in the rain.

Each year there’s a theme to the display, and this year it’s farms and it’s fun to look for these 13 farms from around the world, all made from plant parts, of course: orange grove, Florida; cranberry bog, Massachusetts; terrace farming, rice and lentils, Nepal; hillside vineyard, grapes, South Australia; indoor vertical farming, Finland; coffee-banana-sweet potato cropping system, Uganda; sorghum-millet-cowpea cropping system, Mali; olive grove, Spain; potato farm and Machu Picchu, Peru; onion farm, Mexico; rooftop urban farm, Illinois; artichoke farm, California; and wheat and corn farm, Kansas. (Photo credit USBG, probably by Devin Dotson.)

I’m always looking for ways to decorate my containers for the winter and I looooove these, though when you start with pots this gorgeous how can you go wrong?