By Jamie Grotter

The most spectacular gardens in Washington DC are hidden among the marble and monuments. This pastoral shangri la awaits exploration by those pleased to hunt for it. The centre of the country's civic feats is also home to a wide variety of gardens and greens that celebrate the natural beauty of the U. S.. The very best include:

United States Botanic Garden

The most renowned of Washington DC gardens and the stone in the country's horticultural crown, the U.S. Botanic Garden is the premier destination for plant-loving visitors to the District of Columbia. Found on the National Mall near the Capital, the USBG was built in 1820 and extensively renovated in 2001.The conservatory homes a bunch of over 4,000 plants including picturesque reproductions of worldwide ecosystems from dry deserts to tropical rainforests. The National Garden features the First Ladies'Water garden, a rose garden and a large spread of flowering plants, trees and shrubs. Over the road, Bartholdi Park is home to an intricately landscaped flower garden and a fountain designed by the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty.

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

Among the most beautiful of Washington DC public parks is this twelve-acre pristine badlands devoted to water-loving plants and animals. Set up in the 1800s by Walter Shaw with a few water lilies, the nautical wetlands were purchased by the Central government in 1938. In the process of saving the lily ponds, a part of the original bog was saved long before the environmental significance of wetlands was fully accepted. Today, a boardwalk along the waterfront permits a peaceful and uninterrupted view of the aquatic plants and wildlife. Butterfly seekers and birdwatchers are welcome.

Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Hillwood Estate encompasses one of the loveliest formal Washington DC gardens. Once the home of cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, Hillwood Estate was originally willed to the Smithsonian but is now maintained by the Post Foundation. Come to see the largest collection of Imperial Russian art outside Russia but linger in the pleasant gardens. Suitors of orchids will swoon in the greenhouses that contain over 5,000 example of those fragile beauties. A Japanese garden with waterfall, a rose garden, intricately designed French Parterre and cutting garden are among the other natural marvels to be seen here.

River Farm

Among the most significant gardens in Washington DC is River Farm. Now the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society, the property was a part of George Washington's land holdings at the time of his passing. The farm is composed of 25 acres of landscape and lawn just outside Washington in Alexandria, Virginia. Popular attractions include the Andre Blumenthal Meadow - four acres of wild flowers and grasses together with two black walnut trees which will date back to Washington's time - and the Children?s Garden, more than a dozen tiny plots dedicated to different themes and engineered to be both beautiful and tutorial.

Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve

Home to frolicking beaver and muskrat and visited by virtually 300 species of birds, Dyke Marsh is 485 spotless acres along the west bank of the Potomac Stream and part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. One of the most untouched Washington DC public parks, the mire is a true outback area and doesn't sponsor any ranger-led programs. Leave your vehicle or bike at the entrance and travel back in time on foot. Dogs are welcome but must be leashed. Over 360 sorts of native plants have been identified growing in the mire to this day.

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