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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Current Events and Programs

Many Arboretum programs require advance registration.  Please refer to complete program descriptions.  For last minute registration the week prior to the event or more information, please call 202-245-5898.

February

Korean New Year Exhibition
February 7-March 5, 10:00am-3:30pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

The Lunar New Year is celebrated this year with stones from Korea and will feature the artwork of Myung Sook Kim, a Korean-American painter, potter, and seal engraver. Free.

Full Moon Hike
February 19, 7:00pm-9:00pm   FULL
February 20, 7:00pm-9:00pm   FULL
Arboretum Grounds

A whole new world awakens as the sun goes down at the arboretum. Join us for a lively five-mile hike over hill and dale with an arboretum staffer as your guide. See forest and field in a whole new light, and, if you're very quiet, perhaps some of the creatures who venture out under the cover of darkness. Learn about the human and natural history that has shaped the land under your feet. The hikes go on regardless of the weather, so dress appropriately and lace up your best walking shoes. Sorry, no pets or children under 16 allowed. Fee: $19 ($15 FONA) Registration required.

 

Bonsai Repotting Demonstration
February 23, 1:00pm-2:30pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum
Lecture/Demonstration Center

Come watch an expert and pick up important tips on this delicate process. A tree from the permanent collection will be used to demonstrate repotting dos and don’ts. Free.

 

Pruning for Professionals
February 13, 1:00pm-4:30pm (English language lecture and materials) FULL
February 20, 1:00pm-4:30pm (Spanish language lecture and materials)
Administration Building

Skillful pruning can keep a tree or shrub healthy and attractive, while poor pruning can disfigure a plant for years. Instructors from the Arboretum and green industry introduce novice landscape maintenance professionals to the art and science of pruning ornamental trees and shrubs. Demonstrations and interactive problem-solving make this workshop informative and interesting. Fee: $35 ($28 FONA) Registration required.

March

Orchid Auction
March 1, 11:00am-4:30pm
Administration Building

The National Capital Orchid Society sponsors this live auction offering hundreds of orchids from well-known growers and private collections, including many rare and unusual varieties. Preview begins at 10:00 am. Free.

 

Korean New Year Exhibition
February 7-March 5, 10:00am-3:30pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

The Lunar New Year is celebrated this year with stones from Korea and will feature the artwork of Myung Sook Kim, a Korean-American painter, potter, and seal engraver. Free.

 

Potomac Viewing Stone Group Exhibit
March 8-April 6, 10:00am-4:00pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

The Potomac Viewing Stone Group, a regional organization dedicated to stone appreciation, will display stones, suisecki, and scholars’ rocks from members’ private collections. A free lecture, “Introduction to Viewing Stone Collecting,” will be presented on April 6 at 1:00. Free.

 

Environmental Film Festival: “GardenStory: The Garden as Teacher”
March 13, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Administration Building Auditorium

One of the most creative and effective programs in the country to teach inner-city children about the importance and beauty of nature is New Jersey’s Prudential Outdoor Learning Center. Come along for a visit with students, teachers, and volunteers who will share their love of the gardens and how those gardens are transforming their lives. After the film, Rebecca Frischkorn, Executive Producer, and Robin Dougherty, Executive Director of the Greater Newark Conservancy, will discuss the film and answer questions. Part of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. Admission is free, but advance registration is required.

 

The Gesneriad Society Show & Sale
March 15, 1:00pm-5:00pm
March 16, 9:00am-4:00pm
Administration Building

The Gesneriad family includes easy-to-grow blooming plants for the home and greenhouse, including gloxinia, African violets, and more. A fascinating array will be on exhibit and for sale. Free lectures will be held on Saturday at 2:00pm and Sunday at 10:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm. Sponsored by the National Capital Area Chapter of The Gesneriad Society. Free.

 

Invasive Plant Management Symposium
March 18 (Rescheduled from January 15), 9:00am-4:00pm
Administration Building

Experts share their strategies to prevent invasive species from disrupting our native ecosystems. Speakers draw from research and field experience to detail effective control practices for private citizens and institutional land managers. Lunch provided. Fee: $55 ($45 FONA) Registration required.

 

Full Moon Hikes
March 20, 7:00pm-9:00pmFULL
March 21, 7:00pm-9:00pmFULL
Arboretum Grounds

This five-mile-long, mildly strenuous hike is a magical trip through moonlit gardens, meadows and woods. Discover how the striking landscape of the arboretum changes under the moon and stars of the night sky. Your guide will share points of special interest and seasonal highlights. This is a brisk walk over often hilly and uneven terrain, so wear good walking shoes. Held rain or shine. Not recommended for children. Fee $19 ($15 FONA) Registration required.

 

Lahr Native Plant Symposium: “Cultivars Considered”
March 29, 9:00am-3:30pm
Administration Building

Tony Avent, renowned horticulturist and owner of Plant Delights Nursery, will explore the topic of native plant cultivars along with speakers from research, public gardens, and the nursery trade. Speakers will focus on how native plant cultivars fit into our gardens and the possible effects our garden choices have on the natural world. All registrants gain early entry to the Native Plant Sale. Lunch included with registrations received before March 22. Fee: $85 ($68 FONA) Mail-in registration requires use of the form directly off of the Lahr Symposium program. Click here for program and mail-in registration form. Click here to register online.

 

Native Plant Sale
March 29, 10:00am-2:00pm
Arboretum Grounds

This annual sale showcases several area nurseries that specialize in native plants, ensuring an extensive selection. Sponsored by Friends of the National Arboretum. Free.

April

Cherry Blossom Lecture: “Discovering the Diversity of Flowering Cherries”
April 5, 10:00am-12:00pm
Administration Building

Dr. Margaret Pooler, a National Arboretum research geneticist, shares a behind-the-scenes look at how the arboretum’s breeding program creates new varieties of flowering cherries suitable for a wide range of landscapes. Includes a brief walking tour of some of the flowering cherry trees on the grounds and cherry- themed refreshments. Admission is free, but advance registration is required.

 

Potomac Viewing Stone Group Exhibit
March 8-April 6, 10:00am-4:00pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

The Potomac Viewing Stone Group, a regional organization dedicated to stone appreciation, will display stones, suisecki, and scholars’ rocks from members’ private collections. A free lecture, “Introduction to Viewing Stone Collecting,” will be presented on April 6 at 1:00pm. Free.

 

Ikebana International Exhibit
April 11-20, 10:00am-4:00pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

Members of the Washington, D.C. Chapter No. 1 of Ikebana International showcase their talents in this annual show of Japanese flower arrangements. The exhibit will change on April 14 and 18, so plan to come more than once to see them all. Master teachers will give free demonstrations of four different schools of ikebana from 1:00pm-2:30pm on April 12 (Ikenobo), April 13 (Ohara), April 19 (Sogetsu), and April 20 (Ichiyo). Free.

 

Camellia Show
April 12, 1:00pm-5:00pm
April 13, 12:00pm-4:00pm
Administration Building

Expert camellia growers display their finest specimens of every color and variety in this judged show sponsored by the Camellia Society. At 1:30pm on Sunday, Dr. William Ackerman, a camellia breeder for 40 years, will present “Seeking New Horizons for Camellias.” Free.

 

Full Moon Hike
April 19, 8:00pm-10:00pm
April 20, 8:00pm-10:00pm
Arboretum Grounds

This five-mile-long, mildly strenuous hike is a magical trip through moonlit gardens, meadows and woods. Discover how the striking landscape of the arboretum changes under the moon and stars of the night sky. Your guide will share points of special interest and seasonal highlights. This is a brisk walk over often hilly and uneven terrain, so wear good walking shoes. Held rain or shine. Not recommended for children. Fee $19 ($15 FONA) Registration required.

 

Walk & Talk: Azalea Collection Tours
April 23, 5:00pm-7:00pm
April 25, 10:00am-12:00pm
Arboretum Grounds

Amid a glorious spring display, learn about the origins of azaleas from the collection’s curator. Pick up expert advice on growing azaleas and discover how the arboretum has developed new plants for gardeners worldwide. Fee $19 ($16 FONA) Registration required.

 

Garden Fair Plant Sale
April 26, 9:00am-4:00pm
Arboretum Grounds

Thousands of plants, some hard to find anywhere else, are right here at the Friends of the National Arboretum’s much anticipated 17th annual plant sale. Proceeds benefit National Arboretum programs. Free.

May

Potomac Bonsai Festival
May 2, 11:00am-5:00pm
May 3, 9:00am-5:00pm
May 4, 9:00am-5:00pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum
Arboretum Grounds

Co-sponsored by the clubs of the Potomac Bonsai Association and the National Arboretum, this festival features an exhibit of PBA members’ trees and a vendor tent filled with bonsai trees and supplies. Free demonstrations sponsored by the arboretum will be given by leading bonsai artists Shinichi Nakajima from Japan and Californian Cheryl Manning. Demonstrations are May 3 and 4 at 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm. Free.

 

Walk & Talk: Azalea Collection Tours
May 9, 10:00am-12:00pm
May 11, 10:00am-12:00pm (Bring Mom – it’s Mother’s Day!)
Arboretum Grounds

Amid a glorious spring display, learn about the origins of azaleas from the collection’s curator. Pick up expert advice on growing azaleas and discover how the arboretum has developed new plants for gardeners worldwide. Fee $19 ($16 FONA) Registration required.

 

Rhododendron Show
May 10, 10:00am-4:00pm
Administration Building

The Potomac Valley Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society presents its annual display of a multitude of rhododendron varieties in full bloom. Expert rhododendron growers will be present to answer questions. Free.

 

Spring Kusamono Exhibit & Demonstration
May 10-May 18, 10:00am-4:00pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

Kusamono are potted arrangements of wild grasses and flowers in unique containers that accompany formal displays of bonsai or viewing stones. A free lecture and demonstration by kusamono artist Young Choe will be held on Saturday, May 10, from 1:00-2:30pm. Free.

 

Introduction to Bonsai
May 17, 10:00am-3:30pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum
Lecture/Demonstration Center

Designed for the beginner and taught by National Bonsai & Penjing Museum staff, this class will introduce students to the horticultural and aesthetic elements of creating a bonsai. Plant, pot, and soil are provided. Bring your lunch for a noon break. Fee $119 ($95 FONA/NBF) Registration required.

 

Full Moon Hike
May 19, 8:00pm-10:00pm
May 20, 8:00pm-10:00pm
Arboretum Grounds

This five-mile-long, mildly strenuous hike is a magical trip through moonlit gardens, meadows and woods. Discover how the striking landscape of the arboretum changes under the moon and stars of the night sky. Your guide will share points of special interest and seasonal highlights. This is a brisk walk over often hilly and uneven terrain, so wear good walking shoes. Held rain or shine. Not recommended for children. Fee $19 ($15 FONA) Registration required.

 

Azalea Bonsai Exhibit
May 24-June 8, 10:00am-4:00pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

Satsuki and Kurume azaleas trained as bonsai provide masses of full-size, multi-colored flowers in this annual exhibit. Free.

 

Make & Take: Kusamono Workshop
May 31, 1:00pm-3:00pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum
Lecture/Demonstration Center

Kusamono are potted arrangements of wild grasses and flowers in unique containers that accompany formal displays of bonsai or viewing stones. Kusamono artist Young Choe will teach this introductory workshop on this bonsai-related art form. Ceramic container and all materials will be provided. Fee $49 ($40 FONA/NBF) Registration required.

 

Under The Arbor: “Good Scents”
May 31, 1:00pm-4:00pm
National Herb Garden

Members of the Philadelphia Unit of the Herb Society of America host this drop-in demonstration featuring the art of making of tussie-mussies. Popular in Victorian times, a tussie-mussie, or nosegay, is a small, round bouquet made from a cluster of fresh, fragrant herbs. Informal family programs are held “under the arbor” in the National Herb Garden four times per year. Free.


Last Modified: 3/19/2010