US National Arboretum

 
 

Current Events and Programs

Many arboretum programs require advance registration.  Please refer to complete program descriptions.
You can now register either online or by mailing in a completed form.
Click here to begin the registration process.

For registration information, call 202-245-4521; or use this form.

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September October November
Summer Activities

Program FULL? If a program is marked FULL, registration is closed, and we do not keep waiting lists. If there is a cancellation, we will remove the FULL marking and re-open registration. However, if the program is scheduled to occur within 10 calendar days, the cancellation period is over and we will not re-open registration. We do not keep waiting lists for any programs. For questions, please call 202-245-5898.

Full Moon Hike

The hikes sell out quickly and the best chance for reserving a spot is to register soon after we post them here on our Current Events and Programs page.
We post them quarterly, by season. Below are the dates that they will be posted and open for registration.

Spring hikes (March, April, and May) will be posted February 3.
Summer hikes (June) will be posted May 1. We do not hold hikes in July and August.
Fall hikes (September, October, and November) will be posted August 1.
Winter hikes (December, January, and February) will be posted November 3.

Note: If the date falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the posting will be done the following work day.

Hike dates are included below with other listings.

September

bonsaiExhibit:CSI: Bonsai
Through October 13; Fridays through Mondays only
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

Why did my bonsai die? Whether you are a master or a beginner, your success with bonsai depends on being able to answer this question. Enter our CSI lab to learn how our crime scene investigators solve specific cases of bonsai death. Discover how knowing basic plant science facts can keep bonsai, as well as all other container plants, alive and well. Free.

 

UTA ArtemisiaUnder the Arbor: 2014 Herb of the Year: Artemisia
September 6, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
National Herb Garden

The Herb Society of America has designated Artemisia as the 2014 Herb of the Year. The Artemisia genus contains many species considered herbal including French tarragon, wormwood, sweet Annie, and more. Highly fragrant, easy to grow, and useful both dried and fresh, Artemisia enhances French cuisine, cosmetics, aromatherapy, dried arrangements,+ and much more. See how it can be used in herbal moth repellant, dream pillows, smudge sticks, fragrances, and cooking. The Under the Arbor series presents informal, drop-in demonstrations on herb-related topics in the National Herb Garden. Presented by Herb Society of America members and Arboretum staff. Free.

 

Full Moon Hike fallFull Moon Hike
September 7, 8:00 – 10:00 pm FULL
September 8, 8:00 – 10:00 pm FULL
September 9, 8:00 – 10:00 pm FULL
Meet in the Visitor Center

Take a brisk hike through moonlit gardens, meadows, and woods. Your guide will share specially chosen points of interest and seasonal highlights. The two-hour walk over hilly and uneven terrain is a brisk hike, not a garden tour so prepare accordingly. No children under 16 or pets, please. Fall hikes book quickly; register soon to reserve your spot. Click here for complete Hike details. Fee: $22 ($18 FONA) Registration required.

 

Private Full Moon Hike for Group
September 7, 7:00 – 9:00 pm FULL
Meet in the Visitor Center

Gather a group of friends, family, co-workers, and others to enjoy a unique experience considered by many to be “one of D.C.’s best outings”. Not recommended for children under 16. No pets, please. Maximum 25 per group. Click here for complete Group Hike details. Fee: $550 Registration required.

 

Herbarium WorkshopNew! Herbarium Workshop
September 13 & 20 (2-session program) CANCELED
10:00 am – 12:00 pm each day
Meet in the Visitor Center

Preserve plants for posterity! The art and science of pressing, mounting, and labeling plants has been the basis of botany for centuries and continues today. Once preserved, the samples are filed in an herbarium to provide reference for scientists worldwide. The specimens can also be framed to create a “botanically correct” way to display your favorite plants. Arboretum botanist Dr. Robert Webster leads this two-session, hands-on workshop which includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the National Arboretum’s 650,000+ specimen herbarium, plus all materials and instruction for you to create five pressed specimens to take home.

Session 1, September 13: Tour the herbarium, collect and choose plant samples to preserve, learn to use the press and the drier.
Session 2, September 20: Mount the samples; create and attach botanically accurate labels. Take home and enjoy! (Frame on your own.) Fee: $39 ($31 FONA) Registration required.

 

Fall lawn careFall Lawn Care Best Practices
September 13, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Meet in the Visitor Center Auditorium

To have a beautiful lawn next spring, start now by learning and implementing the five fall “best practices” for a healthy, environmentally-friendly lawn. Join turf specialist Geoff Rinehart for a presentation and demonstration of these easy-to-implement principles which will result in noticeable improvements in the spring.  Then take a guided tour of the Arboretum’s new ‘Grass Roots’ exhibit, which explores all types of grasses and their uses. Light refreshments and door prizes will be available. Program includes classroom time and a walking tour on flat paved surfaces. Free, but space is limited and registration is encouraged. Please call 202-245-5965 to register.

 

Photgraphy classWorkshop: Photography as Zen Art
September 13, 20, 27 and October 11 (4-session program)
8:45 am – 12:00 pm
Meet in the Visitor Center Classroom

Using the Arboretum collections as inspiration, enhance your photographic vision and produce more meaningful images with lessons from this four-session workshop. Built upon the common denominator of photography and Zen – wise attention – this program incorporates several Zen creative practices, including relaxed awareness (attentiveness), mindfulness of perception, seeing with one eye, and more. These techniques enable you to find beauty wherever you are, loosen the grip of preoccupations and attachments, and capture images that reflect your true nature (artistic personality). For more class details, call the instructor at 703-855-9888. All levels of experience welcome. This workshop sold out last spring, so please register early. Required: digital camera, tripod, and means of sending digital images. Fee: $119 ($95 FONA) Registration required.

 

Under the arbor lemon herbUnder the Arbor: Lemon Herbs
September 13, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
National Herb Garden

Lemon-scented herbs are among the most popular, useful, and intensely fragrant in the garden. Herb Society members will demonstrate techniques on using these herbs in teas, recipes, arrangements, potpourri, and more. The Under the Arbor series presents informal, drop-in demonstrations on herb-related topics in the National Herb Garden. Presented by the South Jersey Unit of the Herb Society of America. Free.

 

Lawn RenovationLawn Renovation Workshop
September 20, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Meet in the Visitor Center Auditorium

In some lawns, years of neglect, weeds, wear and tear, and more can create a situation that requires   advanced treatment; it might be time for a renovation. Learn how to determine the needs and best techniques for your situation from turf specialist Geoff Rinehart. Start with a classroom presentation followed by a visit outside to field plots treated with recommended techniques to see “before” and “after” demonstrations. Then join Geoff, coordinator of the new ‘Grass Roots’ outdoor exhibit, for a tour of this new educational venue that explores all types of grasses and their uses. Door prizes and refreshments will be available. Free, but space is limited and registration is encouraged. Please call 202-245-5965 to register.

 

hot new plantsNew! Hot New Plants!
Introduction Garden Tour

September 27, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Meet in the Visitor Center

Hot: Thrive in hot humid weather (with no complaints), while providing brilliant summer color.
New: New cultivars not commonly seen. We’ll ask for your ratings to add to our evaluation trials.
Plants: Incorporated into simple yet striking designs that show off their colors, textures, and forms.

Walk with Arboretum horticulturist Bradley Evans who designed and maintains these beds of “hot new plants” in the Introduction and Friendship Gardens. Learn how good design shows off and benefits your plants, and get tips on planning your landscape for both low maintenance and high seasonal interest. The Introduction Garden “introduces” new plants and the Friendship Garden was designed as a model of sustainable residential landscaping and has recently been enlivened with newly planted perennials. This is a walking tour over flat ground including paved and unpaved surfaces. Fee $12($10 FONA) Registration required.

 

golf course day‘Grass Roots’ Golf Course Day
September 27, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Meet at the Grass Roots Exhibit

One of the utmost challenges in turf management is maintaining golf courses to the high standards of durability and aesthetics required.  Join several turf professionals from local courses who will demonstrate the special techniques and equipment they use for this demanding task. Meet them and ask questions about golf course management and homeowner lawn challenges. Tour the ‘Grass Roots’ exhibit with coordinator Geoff Rinehart at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, or 12:30 pm. This is an informal program that will take place entirely at the ‘Grass Roots’ exhibit, adjacent to the Visitor Center and R Street parking lot.  Door prizes will be available. Free, but registration is encouraged. Please call 202-245-5965 to register.

October

Annual Orchid Show and Sale
October 11 – 13, 2014

The Orchid Show and Sale will be held at Behnke’s Nursery in Beltsville, MD this year. Click here for the National Capitol Orchid Society’s website for more information.301-937-1100.

 

bonsaiExhibit: CSI: Bonsai
Through October 13; Fridays through Mondays only
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

Why did my bonsai die? Whether you are a master or a beginner, your success with bonsai depends on being able to answer this question. Enter our CSI lab to learn how our crime scene investigators solve specific cases of bonsai death. Discover how knowing basic plant science facts can keep bonsai, as well as all other container plants, alive and well. Free.

 

Full Moon Hike fallFull Moon Hike
October 7, 8:00 – 10:00 pm FULL
October 8, 8:00 – 10:00 pm FULL
October 9, 8:00 – 10:00 pm FULL
Meet in the Visitor Center

Take a brisk hike through moonlit gardens, meadows, and woods. Your guide will share specially chosen points of interest and seasonal highlights. The two-hour walk over hilly and uneven terrain is a brisk hike, not a garden tour so prepare accordingly. No children under 16 or pets, please. Fall hikes book quickly; register soon to reserve your spot. Click here for complete Hike details. Fee: $22 ($18 FONA) Registration required.

 

Private Full Moon Hike for Group
October 7, 7:00 – 9:00 pm FULL
Meet in the Visitor Center

Gather a group of friends, family, co-workers, and others to enjoy a unique experience considered by many to be “one of D.C.’s best outings”. Not recommended for children under 16; no pets, please. Maximum 25 per group. Click here for complete Group Hike details. Fee: $550 Registration required.

 

under the arbor chile peppersUnder the Arbor: Chile Peppers
October 11, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
National Herb Garden

Hot, hotter, and hottest! Taste-test a variety of peppers, sample chile-based foods, watch live demonstrations, and pick up informational materials at this annual event celebrating the cultivation and use of chile peppers. Explore the National Herb Garden’s extensive collection of over 60 varieties, including some of the world’s hottest peppers. The Under the Arbor series presents informal, drop-in demonstrations on herb-related topics in the National Herb Garden. Presented by members of the Mid-Atlantic Units of the Herb Society of America. Free.

 

 

Panayoti Kelaidis lecturePanayoti Kelaidis: Vista and Vignette
October 15, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Visitor Center Auditorium

Is your site small or in need of a focal point? Are you working with imperfect growing conditions? Try a rock garden! Rock gardens provide an eye-catching range of color, texture, and form over a long season of interest. They also solve landscape problems beautifully by accommodating steep slopes and dry or shallow soils. The rock garden’s natural style is perfectly suited for both native plants and cultivated varieties.  No garden can provide a more beautiful vista or more charming vignettes.

Panayoti Kelaidis has been with the Denver Botanic Gardens for 30 years and is currently the Senior Curator and Director of Outreach. An internationally known plantsman, he travels extensively to study, collect plants, and lecture. He is the author of numerous books and articles and has received the Award of Excellence from National Garden Clubs, the most prestigious award given by the organization; and the Arthur Hoyt Scott Medal from Swarthmore College, which is generally considered the highest honor in American horticulture. Kelaidis will share his endless enthusiasm, knowledge, and insight on rock garden history, design, and culture, with special consideration of plants and conditions of the mid-Atlantic region. Fee $12 ($10 FONA) Registration required. (This event takes place on one of the Arboretum’s closed days; no walk-ins will be allowed. All pre-registered guests’ names will be on a list at the R Street gate. Only the R Street gate will be open)

 

nat cap area flower showNational Capital Area Flower Show
October 18, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
October 19, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Visitor Center

Attend free educational talks and browse creative exhibits on horticulture, photography, art, and design presented by members of District Garden Clubs and National Arboretum staff. Displays include judged entries of annuals, perennials, grasses, floral arrangements, and more. Sponsored by National Capital Area Garden Clubs, Inc. Click here for a schedule of speakers and topics. Admission and all activities free. Registration not required.

.

 

autumn bonsai exhibitExhibit: Autumn Bonsai: The Colors of Nature
October 24 – November 10; Fridays through Mondays only
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

Enjoy bonsai in their glowing autumn colors before the leaves fall away to reveal their bare winter silhouettes. Visit the Special Exhibits Wing for a formal display of select trees during their peak fall colors, including red maples, yellow ginkgos, fruiting trees, and more. Free.

November

Full Moon Hike fallFull Moon Hike
November 6, 8:00 – 10:00 pm FULL
November 7, 8:00 – 10:00 pm FULL
November 8, 8:00 – 10:00 pm FULL
Meet in the Visitor Center

Take a brisk hike through moonlit gardens, meadows, and woods. Your guide will share specially chosen points of interest and seasonal highlights. The two-hour walk over hilly and uneven terrain is a brisk hike, not a garden tour so prepare accordingly. No children under 16 or pets, please. Fall hikes book quickly; register soon to reserve your spot. Click here for complete Hike details. Fee: $22 ($18 FONA) Registration required.

 

Private Full Moon Hike for Group
November 6, 7:00 – 9:00 pm FULL
Meet in the Visitor Center

Gather a group of friends, family, co-workers, and others to enjoy a unique experience considered by many to be “one of D.C.’s best outings”. Not recommended for children under 16. No pets, please. For more details, see description of Full Moon Hike. Maximum 25 per group. Click here for complete Group Hike details. Fee: $550 Registration required.

 

overwinter bonsaiTalk and Tour: Overwintering your Bonsai
November 15, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum
Lecture Demonstration Center

Prepare yourself and your trees for the approach of winter by learning about the methods used to overwinter the national bonsai collection. Museum assistant curator Aarin Packard will discuss how to prepare trees for and bring them out of storage, the importance of winter dormancy, temperature control, air circulation, and the role that light plays. Tour the Museum’s winter storage area in a behind-the-scenes tour. Fee: $12 ($10 FONA/NBF) Registration required.

 

autumn bonsai exhibitExhibit: Autumn Bonsai: The Colors of Nature
Through November 10; Fridays through Mondays only
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

Enjoy bonsai in their glowing autumn colors before the leaves fall away to reveal their bare winter silhouettes. Visit the Special Exhibits Wing for a formal display of select trees during their peak fall colors, including red maples, yellow ginkgos, fruiting trees, and more. Free.

More Activities

 

Note: The Administration Building pool where the koi live is currently empty due to renovation. The project should be complete this summer. Please call the front desk for details at 202-245-4523.

 

 

FONA/NBF

 

FONA/NBF refers to members of the Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) or the National Bonsai Foundation (NBF), who receive a discount on many programs. For membership information for FONA, call 202-544-8733 or see their website at www.fona.org. For information on NBF, call 202-396-3510 or see www.bonsai-nbf.org.

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Last Updated   September 12, 2014 1:45 PM
URL = http://www.usna.usda.gov/Education/events.html