Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Tradition

Happy New Year!

One of our family traditions this time of year is a visit to the United State Botanic Garden. Every winter the USBG, a conservatory next to the Capitol building, puts on a spectacular train display. This year the adventure began outside:





Inside there were two more train displays. One was a fairy-tale land with trains running by the houses of the three little pigs, Grandma's house with a wolf wearing an apron waiting at the door for Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella's carriage, etc. The other was a train running through 19th-century village which encircled an enormous Christmas tree.

Designed by Paul G. Busse, all of the buildings are decorated with bits of the natural world: pinecone scales, walnut shells, locust pods, coriander seeds, birch bark, cinnamon sticks, acorn caps, dried okra, pistachio shells, corn husks, moss, and the like.

My favorite part of the conservatory's holiday decorations is their National Mall in Miniature exhibit, also made by Busse:

Here is the Capitol...



...the USBG conservatory building itself...



...the Library of Congress...



...the Washington Monument...



...and at the end of the reflecting pool, the Lincoln Memorial...



...complete with a little Lincoln.



I love the gourd top of the Jefferson memorial:



After walking through the lusciously humid jungle of plants in the rest of the conservatory, I sat down to knit and enjoy the warmth and the scents of the flowers. Soon I realized that I was sitting in the perfect location: right in front of a painting of a spinning wheel!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great way to usher in the new year! Sounds like a great time. Thanks for the virtual tour. It's too rainy here for sightseeing so I'm stuck inside. :(

But it's super for knitting...

Anonymous said...

I think that is me in those picture

beadlizard said...

Neat! You have such an intersting life! Best part is the photo of you. --Syl

Jasmine said...

What fun -- thanks for sharing and maybe I will make it down there this week before the show is up (where does the time go?). Have a wonderful, wonderful 2007

Lolly said...

What a wonderful tradition! I still can't believe that I have not been there yet - I have walked by so many times! Do you know how long it will be open?

Love the photo of you knitting!

Mama Bear said...

Ohhh... that's a great place! Thank you so much for letting us come along through your photos.

Your 2006 Gallery is great. What lovely items.

Happy New Year.

Carrie K said...

What a great tradition and what a cool looking place! I can't believe I've never heard of it and I was just in DC last Sept. Now I have to go back.

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