The week of Thanksgiving was very cold so a beautiful indoor garden tour was welcomed. This was our first visit to this building. That might seem a bit surprising since we lived here for many years but, like most residents of the area, neither of us had much free time back in those days.
The lobby decked out for the holidays. Picasaweb automatically added the twinkle and I decided to leave this one in.
Inside the warm, humid conservatory the cold camera initially fogged up...
... so we headed first to the drier desert garden rooms while the camera warmed up.
Not quite as festive but interesting to see so many plants we grow out in the yard featured under glass here.
At first I thought we'd just spend a few minutes but seeing native Texas plants on display surprised me so I took a closer look. This is Texas False Agave or Hechtia texensis. It's hardy to 20F. I'll have to look for this one though it is apparently rare on the market.
Some of the common names were a surprise too. I've never seen "Finestem Tussock Grass" applied to Mexican Feather Grass. It is still tagged Nasella tenuissima though some sites have returned it to Stipa tenussima.
Silvery plants are always worthy of a pause.
A rare bit of sunshine broke through for a few minutes.
With the lens defogged it was back to the main rooms and the famous monuments rendered in natural materials for the holiday display.
The Washington Monument is much clearer now that the lens is defogged.
The U.S. Capitol building
The Smithsonian Institution Building known as "The Castle".
The U.S. Supreme Court Building
The White House with a poster of oranges for a backdrop
The Jefferson Memorial with a gourd used as the dome
Lincoln Memorial from the back
The U.S. Botanic Garden conservatory flanked by moss bear topiaries.
The Poinsettias were not the only color. These Bromeliads put on quite a display alongside a terrarium.
And of course the Orchids chimed in
Loved this pinstriped bamboo
It's not all holiday decor as shown by this cycad display
Palms soar to the top of the 93 foot dome
The mist in the tropical displays caught the sunlight.
Mini garden cases were pretty displays
Christmas trees in the alcoves
And a few more views of this beautiful setting.
The big draw during December is a model train display but we were a little early and it wasn't open yet. The conservatory was a great place to get in the holiday mood though. Next we'll tour the gardens around the conservatory and take a walk across Capitol Hill to Union Station.