Hi guys! Need some ideas on free things to do in Washington, D.C. during your visit? This is a compilation of b-roll footage from a spontaneous trip I took to the United States Botanic Garden – enjoy!

A little bit of history:

Near the Capitol building in Washington DC is the US Botanic Garden, which is open every day of the year – including federal holidays – and is free of charge. This is the oldest continually operating botanic garden in the United States. The garden was established by the US Congress in the year 1820 under the leadership of President James Monroe. The Columbian Institute, an early advocate for a plant repository, led the initiative, bringing in plants from countries all around the world, including China and Brazil. For many years, however, there was a lack of funding for the upkeep of the Botanic Garden and the Columbian Institute struggled to keep running.

In 1838, Lieutenant Charles Wilkes set out on the US Exploring Expedition to circumnavigate the globe and explore the Pacific Ocean. Over the course of four years, the expedition traveled 87,ooo miles and collected large amounts of horticultural and botanical specimens that were brought back to the Botanic Garden. But because Washington, D.C. was built on a swamp, many early cultivation attempts were unsuccessful.

In 1867, Congress provided funding for the construction of the first greenhouses at the Botanic Garden. A few years prior to that, the garden was also placed under the jurisdiction of the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress. Today, the Architect of the US Capitol serves as the acting director of the Garden.

In its early years, the garden was much closer to the Capitol. But it was moved to its new grounds just southwest of the Capitol in 1933, and it remains there today.

The US Botanic Garden currently houses 10,000 living specimens, some of which are more than 165 years old! The grounds of the Botanic Garden include both indoor and outdoor areas, such as greenhouses, a rose garden, fountains, an orchid house and much, much more!

Thanks for watching!

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