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CONTENTS Table of Contents Directorâ€™s Letter Annual Budget
Education Orchid Collection Tree Collection
Archives of American Gardens Orchid Exhibit Media
Grounds Management Operations Greenhouse Nursery Operations Landscape Architecture
Collaborators IPM Green Team
The Kogod Courtyard plant display, tended by Smithsonian Gardens, was enjoyed by more than 270,000 visitors in 2013.
Welcome from Smithsonian Gardens’ Associate Director: In 2013, Smithsonian Gardens (SG) celebrated 41 years of continuous service to the Smithsonian, its visitors, and staff. The 70’s-inspired design of the cover captures the spirit of the time of our origin. This unit has seen many changes over the last four decades, but our commitment to the Institution’s mission has never been stronger. Our most prominent achievement in 2013--the culmination of many years of work--was securing accreditation status from the American Alliance of Museums. With this recognition, Smithsonian Gardens joins the ranks of a relatively small number of museums and public gardens across America that have achieved this certification of excellence. 2013 will also be remembered by many as the year of “sequestration.” Federal budget spending cuts and a government shutdown lasting over two weeks posed significant challenges to our regular operations. Amidst these situations, Smithsonian Gardens was able to reprioritize its spending and employ innovative solutions to keep the gardens flourishing. SG is grateful for financial support received from the federal government, Smithsonian Enterprises revenue, and all our donors and supporters. Generous grants from the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool, Smithsonian Grand Challenges Consortia, and Smithsonian Women’s Committee also helped to fund significant exhibitions, educational programs, and the Urban Bird Habitat Garden. Central to all of Smithsonian Gardens’ objectives is to place the Smithsonian visitor at the center of what we do in order to ensure that their experiences of our gardens, horticulture exhibits, and educational opportunities are of the highest quality. 2013’s hugely successful orchid exhibition, Orchids of Latin America, for example, was not only beautiful but featured bilingual interpretive panels which broadened the appeal of the exhibit to the Smithsonian’s diverse community of visitors. As one of the Smithsonian’s ‘outdoor museums,’ SG seeks to be a catalyst for collaboration by bringing together organizations to enrich the Smithsonian experience. Our gardens provided a dynamic setting for two major Smithsonian initiatives, the educational program Food in the Garden and the exhibit Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa. Many successful and productive SG partnerships like these were formed across the Institution in 2013 as well as with outside universities and professional organizations to provide a richer visitor experience. My thanks go to all the staff and volunteers of Smithsonian Gardens. Without their skills and commitment, the gardens could not achieve their quality, distinction, and place of inspirational beauty to our millions of worldwide visitors each year.
As part of Smithsonian Gardensâ€™ mission, we value mutual respect, open communication, shared responsibility and collaboration.
2013 was a challenging year due to mandated federal budget sequestration reductions which had a direct impact on SG operations. This reduction shelved plans for new gardens and reduced seasonal displays including the cancellation of bulb plantings. Major budget cuts reduced travel and training to mission-critical requirements only.
Fortunately, the repurposing of open purchase orders as well as resourceful actions by staff enabled a few garden enhancements to occur. Special focus was given to efforts to diversify funding through grant applications, donor development, merchandising, donations, Smithsonian Enterprises revenue, and honoraria.
$12,000 2012 2013
A specimen Japanese maple being transported by SG staff from the Ripley Garden to its new home at the Freer Gallery.
Smithsonian Gardens achieved American Alliance Individual Staff Recognition of Museums Accreditation (AAM). Accreditation Jeff Schneider, Grounds Manager, became the 141st is the highest national recognition of a museum’s professional to successfully complete the Certified commitment to public service, professional standGrounds Manager (CGM) program, and only the ards, accountability, excellence in education and second in D.C. The Certified Grounds Manager procontinued institutional improvement. Of the nation’s gram, developed and offered by the Professional 17,500 museums, 779 are accredited, and only 25 Grounds Management Society (PGMS), is the premier program of its type in the Green Industry. of those are public gardens. By achieving AAM Accreditation, Smithsonian Gardens continues to Cindy Brown, Education Manager, became a Certibuild its national renown for innovative horticultural fied Interpreter Trainer (CIT) through the National displays and education programs, significant collecAssociation for Interpretation (NAI). NAI is a profestions, and outstanding service to visitors, professional organization dedicated to the advancement of heritage interpretation. sional partners and the Smithsonian museums, while making professional excellence the underlying Administrative services specialists; Sherri Manning, principle of all its operations. Vanessa Garner, and Management Support Assistants Darlene Price and Daniel Russell became certified Federal Administrative Support Professionals (FASP) after completing a three-year program through Graduate School USA.
Exhibition gardens surrounding the museums are designed to complement the collections that are found inside.
At Earth Matters to Smithsonian Gardens â€“ Garden Fest 2013!, visitors of all ages participated in fun and lively activities focused on interacting with the earth. Visitors helped to create an ephemeral land art installation with artist Emily C-D, listened to live music, made seed bombs, journeyed on an ancient expedition with the help of petrified wood, and danced to Zumba. Workshops and demonstrations highlighted best practices for gardening. Food in the Garden was a pilot program in the newly relocated Victory Garden on the east side of NMAH. The Museumâ€™s American Food History Project and SG brought together local growers, practitioners, educators, and researchers to explore and experience where our food comes from and how we grow it. During the course of five weekly programs, over 700 attendees enjoyed evenings of locally produced food and drinks prepared with gourmet panache, and a dynamic conversation in a relaxed
Exhibit gardens, like the Victory Garden at the National Museum of American History, are dynamic platforms for year-round educational programs.
Smithsonian Gardens completed a benchmarking assessment of the family Orchidaceae in order to compare collection holdings from public gardens across the continent and determine the strengths and gaps in the Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection in preparation for submitting an application to the North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC). A survey covering collection statistics, database records, and growing conditions was sent out to twenty institutions with significant orchid collections as well as a request for a complete listing of species in their holdings. Orchid Embreea herrenhusana (above) was selected as part of the pioneering Smithsonian X 3D digital scanning pilot program. The Smithsonian X 3D Collection features objects from the Smithsonian that highlight different applications of 3-D capture and printing, as well as digital delivery methods for 3-D data in research, education and conservation.
A Collection Management Policy for the Smithsonian Gardens Tree Collection was drafted in 2013. A Geographic Information System (GIS) is used to inventory, track and manage the tree collection which surrounds all of the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. and SIâ€™s support facility in Suitland, Maryland. Information tracked includes tree species, sizes, and locations, as well as maintenance performed and observations on health and other conditions. SG plans to expand the use of GIS in the future by mapping irrigation systems, garden furnishings, and other plant collections.
Smithsonian Gardens hosted its second annual Arbor Day Tree Planting Celebration on April 26th. Although we have a great diversity of tree species here at the Smithsonian, we added two more to diversify our tree species collection. Carolina Silverbell (Halesia tetraptera) and White Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus) were installed in the gardens during public educational planting demonstrations. 13
ARCHIVES OF AMERICAN GARDENS
In August 2013, Smithsonian Gardens participated in the first of a series of pilot projects funded by the Smithsonian’s Digitization Program Office to create high resolution images at a rapid speed. Over 900 historic glass plate negatives from the Thomas Sears Collection in the Archives of American Gardens (AAG) were scanned using this method. Digitizing one image using rapid capture takes less than one minute, whereas an average of 12-15 minutes was typical using existing technology. AAG acquired the Ken Druse Garden Photography Collection which includes tens of thousands of images documenting over 300 gardens across the United States. Archives of American Gardens’ Mystery Gardens Initiative which uses crowdsourcing to help capture America’s garden history before it is lost was launched. ‘Mystery Mondays’ postings on SG’s Facebook page asked followers to help identify unidentified images in the Archives. Several images have been ‘solved’ by the general public thanks to the use of social media. Archives of American Gardens’ Virtual Volunteer program was rolled out to help make AAG images in the Smithsonian's Collections Search Center more accessible. Professional catalogers in museums, archives and libraries are constrained by cataloging rules that do not always accommodate the language of the everyday user. Tags added to images by the general public help to provide other ways for users to access those images.
Nearly 30,000 AAG images are available online via the Smithsonianâ€™s catalog, SIRIS, at www.siris.si.edu.
Orchids of Latin America was featured at the National Museum of Natural History from January 26th to April 21st. Showcasing orchids from the collections of Smithsonian Gardens and the U.S. Botanic Garden, the exhibit looked at the importance of orchids in Latin American folklore and cultural traditions, explored how that region is a hotbed for scientific research on orchid biology and evolution, and highlighted efforts to preserve orchids and their habitats for future generations. Funded in part with a Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool grant, this was the first Smithsonian orchid exhibition to incorporate bilingual interpretive text panels into the exhibit.
Books (featuring images from AAG)
Washington Post, Washington Post Express, The Examiner (TX), Sewickley Herald (PA), Natchez Democrat (MS), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA), The Honolulu StarAdvertiser (HI), South Hill Enterprises (VA), New Canaan News Online (CT), Better Homes & Gardens, ORCHIDS magazine, Country Gardens, The Garden Club of America Bulletin, The Journal of the North American Japanese Garden Association, Smithsonian magazine, OFEO Sustainability Matters Newsletter, F&A Newsletter.
“American Home Landscapes: A Design Guide to Creating Period Garden Styles,” by Denise Wiles Adams and Laura L. S. Burchfield
“Elkridge,” by Elizabeth Janney (part of the Images of America Series by Arcadia Publishing)
“Little White Houses: How the Postwar Home Constructed Race in America,” by Diane Harris “In Bloom: The First 100 Years of the North Country Garden Club of Long Island,” by Elizabeth McLanahan
National Public Radio (NPR), WETA (PBS), and CNN
FAST FACTS Internet American Public Gardens Association, NPR Food blog, WashingtonPost.com, ‘Home & Garden’ blog, WJLA.com
Over 61,000 annual bedding and specialty plants are grown at the Smithsonian Gardens Greenhouse Facility to create innovative seasonal displays.
GROUNDS MANAGEMENT OPERATIONS
The Urban Bird Habitat Garden located at the National Museum of Natural History completed its first phase of installation. Plans for this garden have been over a decade in the making and were jumpstarted with a generous grant from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee. A synergistic collaboration between Smithsonian Gardens, NMNH’s Department of Botany and Division of Birds, and the Office of Exhibits Central resulted in the design and fabrication of garden and interpretive signage. The relocation of the Victory Garden at the National Museum of American History was completed in the spring. Gardens staff utilized over 40 coconut coir logs to construct 9 distinct raised beds. An innovative flexible permeable paver system was used with decorative gravel to create the meandering pathways. Since its installation, the garden has been the focus of a successful collaborative educational series with the Museum’s Food History Program, as well the subject of media food stories and many popular tours. Extensive shoreline restoration was conducted around the large pond at the National Museum of the American Indian. The project involved the installation of ten 8’ long coconut coir logs by Grounds staff which were then planted with 700 native grasses and sedges. This project will protect the pond from further erosion, naturally strengthen the banks, and greatly enhance the beauty of this significant garden feature. The turf maintenance contract was re-drafted to include detailed specifications on the type of equipment required in order to be EPA-certified as low-emission. The mowing contractor exceeded the specifications outlined in the scope of work by using new-technology battery-powered stick edgers and backpack blowers, which greatly reduced fuel consumption.
GREENHOUSE NURSERY OPERATIONS
Smithsonian Gardens’ Greenhouse staff was closely involved with the design, installation, and maintenance of the Orchid Exhibition, Orchids of Latin America, at the National Museum of Natural History. In the Smithsonian Castle and at NMNH’s Q?rius exhibit, new Green Wall planter systems were designed and installed by the Interiors staff. These feature innovative plants custom-selected for the unique growing conditions and “Big Wow” impact for visitors and special events. The Greenhouse also supported the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Nam June Paik: Global Visionary exhibit by displaying 300 plants that enhanced this extraordinary art instillation. The Kogod Courtyard at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture was embellished with highlights from the Orchid Collection and seasonal ephemerals.
SG continued to collaborate with Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN), the landscape architect for the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) project. At the National Air and Space Museum (NASM), SG’s ideas have been incorporated into future repairs, renovations and additions cited in the building and landscape master plans developed by the Ayers Saint Gross (ASG) planning firm. SG served on the Arts and Industries Building (AIB) Interim Public Use project team to promote a temporary plan to enable use of the building in a safe and secure environment. SG was involved in restoration recommendations for the landscape around the building. SG prepared documents and coordinated an overview of the buildings and landscape for a new concept study—the Smithsonian Institution South Campus Plan—by the Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG). At the National Museum of American History (NMAH), SG provided recommendations to minimize construction impact to the landscape with regard to the removal and renovation of the Gwenfritz sculpture. In addition, SG worked on the Public Space Renewal Project Phase III (PSRP3) which involved the development of landscape plans for the west side which will beautify the new location of the Gwenfritz sculpture and restored water feature.
Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa was a collaborative project with the African Art Museum where four artists created land-art installations in the Haupt Garden. Ala by El Anatsui (below).
In 2013, Smithsonian Gardens partnered with these organizations to create dynamic and varied educational programs and horticultural displays. We greatly appreciate their creativity, expertise, camaraderie, and collaborative spirit.
American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery
NMNH Botany Department NMNH Entomology Department
American Public Gardens Association
NMNH Exhibits Department
NMNH Ornithology Department
Anacostia Community Museum
North American Orchid Conservation Center
Anacostia High School
Perennial Plant Association
Architect of the Capitol
Professional Grounds Management Society
Brickyard Educational Farm
Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center
Common Good City Farm
Smithsonian Institution X3D
Freer and Sackler Galleries
Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES)
Garden Club of America Horticultural Consortia of the Greater Washington Area
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Smithsonian Innovation Team
Smithsonian Latino Center
National Capital Orchid Society
Smithsonian Office of Exhibits Central
National Museum of African Art
Smithsonian Office of Policy and Analysis
National Teacher's of the Year
The Smithsonian Associates
National Zoological Park
United States Botanic Garden
NMAH Division of Armed Forces History
University of Maryland
NMAH Division of Home and Community Life
University of Michigan
NMAH Division of Work and Industry
NMAH Food History Program
Youth Engagement Through Science (YES!)
NMNH Anthropology Department
INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT One of SGâ€™s most popular scheduled programs was the Lady Bug Release at NMAI. Over 31,000 of these beneficial insects were released in four separate events with the help of nearly 80 participants. SG is currently evaluating DC Water compost products in test plots for possible future use in garden areas. A sample was evaluated by several experts to verify nutrient content and its safety. A joint project with the University of Maryland Extension is being conducted at the SG Greenhouse Facility in Suitland, MD where a 3,200 sq. ft. area of test plots was created to evaluate low-maintenance fine fescue grass blends.
SG Entomologists completed 165 ondemand work orders in addition to daily quality assurance pest inspections of museum cafeterias, collection areas, and exhibitions.
SGâ€™s Green Team members spoke on various sustainability initiatives and practices at the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, University of Maryland Turfgrass Research Field Day, and the Professional Grounds Management Society. For Earth Week (April 22-26), daily educational programs were presented to the public including demonstrations on tree planting, water savings, attracting fauna with native plants, composting, and understanding beneficial insects. SG was selected to be 1 of 15 beta testers of the Longwood Gardens Sustainability Index by benchmarking activities. Results will be compiled, analyzed, and introduced at the annual APGA conference. The 1st Annual Tool Swap was organized to get surplus tools into the hands of those Gardens staff who can put them to use. This event resulted in a cost savings to SGâ€™s operating budget. A hybrid electric stake body truck was added to the fleet which is forecasted to reduce fuel consumption by 25-40%. Over 457 cubic yards of plant waste, 144 cubic yards of plastic, and 26 pounds of batteries were diverted from the landfill thanks to increased efforts by staff to source local recycling facilities and influence workplace culture and practices.
Enid A. Haupt Fellow Joseph Ciadella—University of Michigan Grounds Interns
Horticulture Collections and Education Interns Alison Koostra—American University Jessica Hemphill—University of South Carolina
Nicole Cabazes—University of Pennsylvania
Sarah Watling—University of Maryland
Kathleen Hix—Utah State University
Audrey Abrams—Simmons College
Bella Wenum—University of South Carolina
Sarah Mirabal—George Washington University
Amber Schilling—University of South Carolina
Justin Kondrat—Cornell University
Mattea Sanders—American University
Julia Jankowski—Temple University Landscape Architecture Interns Sarah Gorney—Texas Tech University
Research Assistants Janie Askew—George Mason University
Laura Stella—Morgan State University
Erin Clark Joyce Connolly Francis Cooper Kelly Crawford Joe Curley Graham Davis Alexander Dencker Vickie DiBella
Matt Fleming James Gagliardi Vanessa Garner Shelley Gaskins Jill Gonzalez Michael Guetig Tom Hattaway Paula Healy
SGâ€™s 146 education programs in 2013 included professional audiences as well as future garden enthusiasts.
VOLUNTEERS Patricia Adams William Aley Terry Anderson Lucie Baker Ann Balch Doris Balinsky Sandra Blake Paulina Donna Brandes Robert Bresnahan Christopher Brook Susan Bruns Shahla Butler Ruth Carter Peter Casey Carolyn Casey-Kneipp Joseph Cialdella Eugene Cross Patricia Cunniff Loretta d'Eustachio Denise Fayne Sharon Ferguson Lorraine Fishback Christine Freidel Lynn Furrow Thomas Garnett
Lynda Garnett Tina Gibson Margie Gibson Donice Gilliland Anna Gormbley Linda Greensfelder Eva Griffeth Anne Hardman Jamie Ann Hester Dexter Hinckley Gail Hodge Elizabeth Hofmeister Johanna Janukatys Heidi Johnson Joan Keenan Maryam Keleshame Vivien Kilner Eva Lanyi Judith Lesser Norman Marks Luis Mason 29
Nancy McGuire Patricia Mink Audrey Morris James Osen William Peters Carol Pihlstrom Annette Ramirez de Arellano Bryan Ramsay Carolyn Rapp Stephen Robinson Linda Rosenfeld Nancy Sahli Carol Schremp Jane Simpson Manjeet Singh Martha Smith Robert Sullivan Diane Svenonius Pat Taylor Barbara Tobias Elizabeth Trangsrud Terrance Versailles RafaĂŤl Vossen Marcy Wasilewski Laurel Wessman Marca Woodhams
In 2013, the Smithsonian campus was enhanced by the addition of 45 new tree accessions into the collection.
Smithsonian Garden established a safety milestone with over 1,500 days without a lost-time incident. This record is a testament to the culture of safety, proper training, utilizing best work practices, teamwork, and the expertise of the staff. The first-ever Smithsonian Gardens Travel Grant Program was launched in support of SG’s Strategic Plan objective to develop a program to give SG staff the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about public garden functions and industry trends. Three staff received grant funding and attended the APGA conference at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, the Perennial Plant Association Symposium in Vancouver, B.C., and The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s Civic Horticulture Conference in Philadelphia, respectively. The 20th annual In-Service Training program was held at the National Zoological Park for four weeks from February 6 to February 27. Over 1,000 attendees heard topics that included Integrated Pest Management techniques for tree care and greenhouse management, organic turf care, and perspectives on collections management. It concluded with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Orchid Exhibit. Over the summer, a one-day workshop on turf management, soil bed preparation, and related practices developed and hosted by SG was piloted for the Architect of the Capitol’s garden staff. In addition, two Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations (OFEO) outreach events were hosted by SG which included a tree planting demo and orchid potting workshop. 31
PHOTO CREDITS Brett McNish
Cover design and layoutâ€”Brett McNish