MISSION To enrich the Smithsonian experience through exceptional gardens, horticultural exhibits, collections, and education. 2
INSIDE Forward Financials Exhibitions Education Projects Gardens Greenhouses Collections Archives Media Interns + Fellows Staff Volunteers Credits 3
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One year, 12 months, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds. How did you spend your 31,536,000 seconds in 2015? Smithsonian Gardens staff spent theirs realizing a number of achievements in their continued mission to enrich the Smithsonian experience through exceptional gardens, horticultural exhibits, collections and education.
Highlights include: celebrated our 20th annual orchid exhibit, a collaboration between Smithsonian Gardens and the United States Botanic Garden, and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that solidifies this relationship for the future increased our orchid collection holdings through several significant gift acquisitions expanded our education and outreach programs with a new series of summertime garden talks by Smithsonian Gardens staff members and with participation in the award-winning trivia game app, QuizUp kept conservation a priority by joining forces with dozens of conservation and gardening organizations to form the National Pollinator Garden Network in an effort to reverse the decline of pollinating insects received grant funding to digitize the Archives of American Gardens’ J. Horace McFarland Collection received the generous gift of The Lost Bird Project’s Passenger Pigeon sculpture. There’s much more which I hope you will further explore in this 2015 Highlights report. Our goals were ambitious for the year but grounded in thoughtful and thorough planning. With the end of 2015 so concluded our aggressive five year strategic plan which enabled Smithsonian Gardens to achieve museum accreditation, increase our educational outreach, build new gardens with the help of generous support from donors and grants, and become a garden of national recognition. We look forward to building upon our strengths with a new strategic plan that is just as detailed, thoughtful, and ambitious. I hope you will join us as we begin to chart our direction for the next five years. On behalf of Smithsonian Gardens,
Barbara W. Faust Director 4
SMITHSONIAN GARDENS FY2015 FEDERAL APPROPRIATION $6.1M
Endowments, Royalties, Grants and Donations Endowment Payout
Smithsonian Collections Information System IRM Fund Grant
Donations and honorariums
Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund Grant
Internship funding from the Garden Club of America
Orchids: Interlocking Science and Beauty This year marked the 20th annual orchid exhibition. Smithsonian Gardens and the United States Botanic Garden joined together to create Orchids: Interlocking Science and Beauty at the Smithsonianâ€™s National Museum of Natural History. This exhibit explored the rich crossroads where orchid botany, horticulture, allure, and technology connect, and featured orchids from the Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection and the United States Botanic Garden Orchid Collection. More than 300 orchids were on display on any given day. The exhibition ran from
January 24 until April 26. Visitors of all ages attended the Orchid Family Festival in the Evans Gallery at the National Museum of Natural History on February 21. This free event featured activities such as making a miniature Wardian case (an early type of terrarium), creating field journals for orchid observations, and fashioning beautiful orchid corsages to wear. Orchid experts from Smithsonian Gardens and the U.S. Botanic Garden were on hand to answer questions and talk about the orchids from their collections.
Pools, Patios & the Invention of the American Backyard The American Garden Legacy exhibit, Pools, Patios & the Invention of the American Backyard, started on its 5-year run after years of research and planning. The exhibitâ€™s curator, Kate Fox, is a former GCA Garden History and Design Intern at Smithsonian Gardens. The exhibit premiered in March at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansasâ€”a very fitting venue for a mid-century-centric topic. A number of historic images in the exhibit come from various collections at the Archives of American Gardens. Please visit www.sites.si.edu/exhibitions/exhibits/ americanbackyardsr more details.
F E S T I VA L S The country’s first National Math Festival came to Washington, D.C. on April 16-18 thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) and the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS), in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution. The festival featured three days of activities celebrating the role that math plays in our lives. Garden Fest was a terrific success with over 4,000 attendees. This year’s program once again celebrated National Public Gardens Day (May 8) with an array of activities focused on the important roles that pollinators play in regard to our food and ecosystems.
EVENTS For the second year in a row, SG collaborated with the National Air and Space Museum in an education program entitled Museum Moonshine in September. The sold-out after-hours program celebrated the treasures of Earth and space. Attendees explored the museum and delighted in a special viewing of a full lunar eclipse from the garden terrace through high-powered telescopes. Programming included tours of the museum's gardens with an emphasis on night-blooming plants. There were also panel discussions on pollinators and rocketry. Themed cuisine included "Ground Control," a one-of-a-kind space beer by Ninkasi Brewing Co. made with brewer's yeast that went to space and back aboard a rocket. Charm City Meadworks made an event-exclusive mead with botanicals from the Smithsonian’s own gardens. Sona Creamery provided a special assortment of cheeses…because everyone knows 8 the moon is made of cheese!
PROGRAMS Smithsonian Gardens’ Green Team hosted over 900 elementary students for the Garbage to Gardens program in the Haupt Garden in April. Smithsonian Gardens debuted its “Let’s Talk Gardens” lunchtime series of weekly garden talks running from May through September. Approximately 20 individuals attended the first of the series which was a talk by SG’s education specialist Cindy Brown on Gardening 101, The Basics. A Pollination Party for the public was held in Smithsonian Gardens’ Butterfly Habitat Garden to celebrate National Pollinator Week in June. Smithsonian Gardens was joined by the University of Maryland’s PollinaTerps and graduate students form American University Public History program for a celebration of pollination. Numerous visitors enjoyed the beauty of the garden, saw pollination in action, learned how to create pollinator-friendly habitats, explored the history of beekeeping, and engaged in fun, family-friendly activities throughout the garden. The Food in the Garden series returned in August to a sold-out crowd which included many regulars back for another season! Innovation was the key theme. Scientists, researchers, and historians discussed the impact of seeds, seed saving, garden design, heritage, and technology.
L A S T I N G I M PA C T
The south side of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture saw renovations to the hillsides there. Plant selections will now add multi-seasonal interest to this space for the many visitors and pedestrians who pass by this grand building.
The final set of Urban Bird Habitat signs at the National Museum of Natural History were installed by SG staff which completed Phase 2 of this garden space. Visitors now have a dynamic identification key to the many birds that the garden attracts.
Senior landscape architect Bill Donnelly consulted with the Cooper Hewitt 11 Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City on its impressive new garden.
Work on the National Museum of African American History and Culture progressed to the landscape installation phase and is on schedule for the museum’s September 2016 opening. This project represents the culmination of years of intensive coordination and planning being realized with the planting of dozens of specially selected trees, hundreds of ornamental shrubs, turf, and 390,000 Crocus in the lawn panels.
Another longtime planning project was the addition of plinth planters at the entrances of the National Museum of American History. These bowls were hand-crafted by an artisan in Maine, installed by Smithsonian staff, and will now welcome visitors with grand seasonal horticultural displays for many years to come.
February 2015 was the coldest month in Washington, D.C. since January 1994, and the coldest February on record since 1979. The winter of 2014-15 produced 18.3” of snow, just over the 15” average. Eleven separate weather events required Gardens, Security, and Facilities staff to spend countless hours shoveling, plowing or otherwise removing snow and ice in extreme conditions. This winter put a tremendous strain on SG’s budget, requiring more overtime than usual and large quantities of salt. In all, the Federal government was either closed or delayed on 7 separate occasions while the Smithsonian opened for visitors on time each and every day thanks to the dedication and hard work of those who reported for duty.
SG along with dozens of conservation and gardening organizations joined together on June 3, 2015 to form the National Pollinator Garden Network and launch a new nationwide campaign – the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. Designed to accelerate growing efforts across America, the Network is launching the Challenge in support of President Barack Obama’s call to action to reverse the decline of pollinating insects, honey bees, native bees, and Monarch butterflies.
One of the Lost Bird Project sculptures found a permanent home in the Urban Bird Habitat at the National Museum of Natural History. In September, a dedication ceremony was held for the large-scale Passenger Pigeon by sculptor Todd McGrain with special thanks to Susan Frampton, a longtime Smithsonian employee who donated funds for the improvement of the gardens she enjoyed from her library office window.
Scaffolding from the Arts and Industries Building renovation was removed, allowing SG staff to enhance the garden spaces around this landmark museum. The horticultural displays now add natural beauty to a site that had been hidden by construction fencing for many years. 13
PRODUCTION + INSTALLATIONS SG’s Greenhouse Facility is a 53,000-square-foot greenhouse/nursery complex that carries out several programs within one coordinated operation. It’s also where the Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection of over 8,000 rare and specimen orchids is housed and maintained. In 2015, SG’s Tropical Section--which encompasses more than a fifth of the greenhouse facility--produced and maintained over 1,000 specimen tropicals for various displays and exhibits throughout the Smithsonian gardens and museums. Some of the tropicals that were displayed included the endangered […keep text from report], as well as several plants that were featured in the Hawaiian and Chocolate Festivals at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). The Interiors Team coordinated with a number of Smithsonian museums on the planning of numerous displays such as the aforementioned Hawaiian and Chocolate Festivals, as well as winter seasonal displays that included more than 1,000 poinsettias grown by SG, 900 yards of garland, over 30 wreaths, and several elaborately hand-decorated holiday trees. A hugely successful exhibit at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, Gardening in Small Spaces, used pieces from SG’s Garden Furnishings Collection to showcase creative garden displays for non-traditional spaces. In addition, several spaces such as the Kogod Courtyard and interiorscapes at the National Museum of the American Indian were revamped. The Butterfly Section produced and designed plant displays within the Butterflies + Plants: Partners in Evolution exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History. Within the Butterfly Pavilion’s approximately 1,000 square feet of display space, the team installed and maintained over 2,000 pesticide-free sources of nectar that provided food, educational resources, and a handsome backdrop for the exhibit. The exhibit was open 7 days a week for 50 weeks of the year. The Production Team was in full gear year-round, producing 52,000 specialty plants for SG’s display gardens, interiorscapes, and special exhibits such as NMAI’s Day of the Dead Festival and the Smithsonian’s popular Folklife Festival. Throughout the year, SG’s Greenhouse Facility hosted more than a dozen large tour groups for industry professionals, Washington’s International Woman’s Committee, the horticultural staffs of Mount Vernon and Monticello, and various Smithsonian units including the Natural History Museum’s Board of Directors. Filming at the greenhouses took place for various Smithsonian marketing and development projects and by the local public broadcasting station, WETA. 14
KO G O D C O U R T YA R D The Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard’s eight raised beds contain a variety of plantings including eighteen 20’ Bucida buceras “Black Olive” trees and over six hundred understory foliage plants. Smithsonian Gardens horticulturists supplement these plantings with seasonal flower displays, some of which feature plants from the extensive Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection. The Courtyard serves as a welcome respite for museum goers as well as a popular venue for special events. Smithsonian Gardens’ Greenhouse Nursery staff members provide continuous care and regularly schedule plant replacements for seasonal interest in this beloved courtyard. FY2015 Kogod Courtyard Interiorscape Statistics: 17 rotations of 1,300 flowering plants 1 rotation of 400 understory plants 2,730 staff hours Total costs $145,110
Greenhouse Manager Vickie Dibella and Orchid Collection Specialist Tom Mirenda travelled to Penobscot, Maine in July to accept and pack a donation of over 1,400 orchid specimens from the estate of the late Denis Roessiger. Mr. Roessiger was well known in the world of orchid enthusiasts for his outstanding orchid collection.
Many extremely rare and valuable specimens were included in the donation: outstanding linebred cultivars of Laelia anceps and Cattleya purpurata, many Paphiopedilums (both hybrids and species), Phragmipediums, Cattleyas, Lycastes, Sobralias, Vandas, Pleurothallids and an astonishing array of Bulbophyllums. SG is extremely grateful to the Roessiger family for this valuable donation to the Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection. Thanks to the addition of these specimens, the collection continues to be one of the most extensive in North America.
Staff Arborist Greg Huse worked closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to utilize software that quantified the Smithsonian Gardens Tree Collection’s value in terms of environmental benefits.
A Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigiata’ tree was planted at NASM for Arbor Day 2015. This tree was the 1,901st addition to SG’s Tree Collection.
SCULPTURES The Lost Bird Project exhibit, in the Enid A. Haupt Garden featuring four sculptures by the Artist Todd McGrain, ended on May 10th. McGrain’s Passenger Pigeon sculpture was gifted to Smithsonian Gardens by Dr. Andrew Stern and will remain in the Urban Bird Habitat at the National Museum of Natural History. We are all so pleased to have this beautiful sculpture remain with us. Thank you, Andy! SG staffers James Gagliardi and Mike Allen worked with sculpture conservators from the Hirschhorn Museum to learn the proper techniques for caring for SG’s newest acquisition.
G A R D E N F U R N I S H I N G S + H O R T I C U LT U R A L A R T I FA C T S
In 1973, just a year after it was established, Smithsonian Gardens acquired its first antique garden furnishing for display on the Smithsonian campus in Washington, D.C. Since then, over 1,500 garden furnishings and horticultural artifacts have been collected by Smithsonian Gardens ranging from delicate bouquet holders to towering fountains. In 2014 Barbara Israel, a garden antique specialist, performed an assessment of the collection with an on-site inspection of the garden furnishings stored at the Smithsonian’s Suitland Museum Support Center. A report was submitted in January 2015 which identified the collection’s strengths and made recommendations on conservation priorities and refinements. Ms. Israel identified historically significant furnishings, recommended ways to enhance the collection either by deaccessioning pieces or adding to collection, and identified possible themes for future exhibits. Based on these recommendations, Smithsonian Gardens has begun the process of deaccessioning select pieces that do not add scholarly value to the collection.
COMMUNITY OF GARDENS 2015 brought tales of family gardens stretching back generations, community gardens and organizations, and a 1970's backyard wedding to Community of Gardens, the digital archive of American gardens and gardening administered by Smithsonian Gardens. Gardeners across the United States added their personal stories and photos to SGâ€™s crowdsourced collection of garden history. We launched "Grown From the Past," our first digital exhibit, curated by former Enid A. Haupt Fellow Joseph Cialdella, PhD. The exhibit explores the origins of community gardening in diverse communities across the United States, from Pingree's Potato Patches in Detroit in the 1890s to the urban vacant lot gardens of Philadelphia today.
SGâ€™s education team put the finishing touches on the Smithsonian Gardens Green Ambassador Garden Design Challenge, now accessible to educators on the Community of Gardens website. Students at the Paul International High School in Washington, D.C. helped to implement many of the design challenge steps in their own school garden. 2016 will bring a redesigned education page on the website and new digital exhibits.
ACQUISITIONS + PROJECTS
In 2015, the Archives of American Gardens received over 150 historic glass lantern slides from the Summit, NJ Garden Club. The Warrenton Garden Club in Virginia donated 19 glass lantern slides to AAG in November. These slides document the grounds of the Warrenton Country School, later sold to the federal government. AAG is delighted to add both the Summit and Warrenton images to the 3,500+ lantern slides already in the Garden Club of America Collection at AAG. The slides will be cataloged and digitized in preparation for being added to the Smithsonian online catalog at www.siris.si.edu.
Documents from the Perry Wheeler Collection at AAG were loaned to the White House Historical Association for use in the exhibit The Kennedy Rose Garden, Traditionally American which ran from July 16 – September 12 at The Decatur House in Washington, D.C. Over 500 attendees participated in The Kennedy Rose Garden Open House in support of the exhibit. This garden party celebrated and explored the Rose Garden through activities, discussion, crafts and more. Activities were for all ages. SG staff and volunteers provided demonstrations and a garden journal activity.
This year Smithsonian Gardens made the switch to iPhones for its staff. This increased the staff’s ability to communicate quickly and effectively. The public benefited from this change as well. SG horticulturists are able to give the public a better look at what’s going on in the gardens and greenhouses by snapping pictures and sharing them on Smithsonian Gardens’ social media pages. Take a look at some of their handiwork on our Instagram page at www.instagram.com/ smithsoniangardens. Cultivating a robust social media presence is an important way of educating and engaging with the public beyond our gardens. This year SG continued to develop and extend its presence on a range of social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest and its blog (smithsoniangardens.wordpress.com). We saw significant growth in our digital audience, most notably on Instagram where there was an almost 150 percent increase in followers during 2015. SG also participated in the Smithsonian Summer Showdown, an annual social media competition between Smithsonian units to identify the most seriously amazing object or project at the Institution. SG’s Community of Gardens digital archiving project advanced to the second of three rounds of the competition, beating out some great entries by other museums and research centers.
Other social media highlights included participation by our curators and experts in Twitter chats about SG’s traveling Pools, Patios, + the Invention of the American Backyard exhibition and gardening strategies. SG’s blog posts continued to attract followers with behind-thescenes glimpses at Smithsonian Gardens. Active promotion of Smithsonian Gardens exhibitions and education events highlighted our annual orchid exhibit, Let’s 21 Talk Gardens series, garden family days and weekly tours.
22 INTERNS +
GARDENS + GREENHOUSE Twelve interns joined various SG units in 2015 for internships ranging from 10 to 16 weeks. Interns came from colleges and universities across the country, representing Cornell University, Wayne State University, University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, University of Connecticut, Principia College, and Emory University.
Y E S! Youth Engagement through Science (YES!) is a 12-week career immersion internship program for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors from high schools in the Washington, D.C., region. The YES! program, which runs from June to November, accepts 18 students. During the program students get practical experience through a hands-on science internship with Smithsonian science staff, take exclusive behind-thescenes tours and field trips, attend creative studio workshops, participate in a college preparatory program, and create an outreach project for communicating science to peers. SG’s 2015 YES! students were Lisa Haang Lee, a senior at Bell HS and Luis Estrada, a sophomore at Benjamin Banneker. Under the tutelage of Supervisory Horticulturist Monty Holmes, Lisa and Luis rotated through various Greenhouse Nursery Operations but primarily worked in the production section assisting with seasonal crops. They sowed seeds, fabricated mum baskets, pinched poinsettias, and learned about all the facets of greenhouse/nursery production including water quality, soil types, photo periods, etc. This was the fourth year that SG hosted YES! Students.
E D U C AT I O N + C O L L E C T I O N S
Melinda Allen, a graduate student working on a Master’s in Library Science at Drexel University in Pennsylvania, joined Archives of American Gardens for a part-time internship during the winter semester. Melinda digitized historic letters from AAG’s W. Atlee Burpee & Co. Collection for the Smithsonian Transcription Center. Once the letters were uploaded on the Transcription Center site, ‘digital volunteers’ were invited to transcribe them to make it easier to search them online.
Thuvia Martin of Concordia University, an Educational and Outreach intern, focused on creating lesson plans and making resources accessible to educators.
Sara Batts was the 4th graduate research assistant from the Smithsonian-George Mason Master of Arts in the History of Decorative Arts program that SG has hosted in as many years.
ENI D A . HAUPT F EL LOW
Janie Askew was the 2015 Enid A. Haupt Fellow in Horticulture. Janie researched SG’s large collection of funerary wire frames as well as photographs and ephemera in the Archives of American Gardens related to funerary floral arrangements from the Victorian era for her topic, “Framing Grief: Nineteenth-Century Funeral Flower Frames.”
Mike Allen Debra Austen Joseph Brice Cindy Brown Thomas Brown Joe Brunetti Matt Burch Casey Cate Erin Clark Joyce Connolly Emily Cook Francis Cooper Kelly Crawford Joe Curley Graham Davis Alexander Dencker Vickie DiBella Allison Dineen Kurt Donaldson William Donnelly Janet Draper Randy Dudley Barbara Faust Matt Fleming James Gagliardi Vanessa Garner
Shelley Gaskins Jill Gonzalez Michael Guetig Tom Hattaway Paula Healy Sarah Hedean Kevin Hill Shannon Hill Monty Holmes Greg Huse Jonathan Kavalier Cheyenne Kim Ed Kunickis Joel Lemp Sherri Manning Brett McNish Tom Mirenda Darlene Price Christine Price-Abelow Melanie Pyle Michael Riordan Daniel Russell Jeff Schneider Rick Shilling Alex Thompson Sarah Tietbohl
SG’s Director Barbara Faust was recognized with the 2015 APGA Service Award at the 2015 American Public Gardens Association (APGA) Annual Conference. Created in 2004, this award is reserved for an individual who has shown selfless service to APGA through work as a Professional Committee member, Service Committee member, and/or Board member and who has participated actively in the Association's business through their volunteer efforts.
Education manager Cindy Brown led a sold-out Smithsonian Associates tour to the Philadelphia Flower Show in March. Both she and Barbara Faust also served as judges at the show.
Horticulturist Janet Draper, a board member for the Perennial Plant Association, was the key organizer for the 2015 PPA Annual Conference in Baltimore. Over 500 people attended the conference.
Horticulturist Rick Shilling was recognized with a 2015 Office of Facilities and Operations Peer Award.
Orchid specialist Tom Mirenda and Horticulturist James Gagliardi completed the Smithsonian’s Emerging Leader Development Program, a mentorship program designed to develop rising stars at the Institution.
Supervisory horticulturist Brett McNish was recognized by the American Battle Monuments Commission Aisne-Marne Cemetery for his service.
We think our Smithsonian Gardens volunteers are awesome! They contribute their talents and time to work alongside Smithsonian Gardens staff, helping plant, care for and display the plants in our gardens, assisting in the Archives of American Gardens and greenhouses, and volunteering as interpreters in our exhibits and gardens. Volunteers help to sustain some of our most important projects and serve as terrific ambassadors to our visitors.
In 2015, volunteer interpreters donned their Smithsonian Gardens shirts, headed out to the Enid A. Haupt Garden, Heirloom Garden and Butterfly Habitat Garden and fielded all sorts of questions about the gardens. They interacted with visitors of all ages and interests through storytelling to Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center students, and managed hands-on activities at special events including the Food History Weekend, Garden Fest, Pollination Day, and the White House Historical Association Family Day. In January 2015, Smithsonian Gardens, the U.S. Botanic Garden, and the National Museum of Natural History opened the exhibit, Orchids: Interlocking Science and Beauty. Volunteer orchid interpreters had the opportunity to engage the public in the beautiful exhibition space and helped visitors better understand orchids. Smithsonian Gardens staff showed their appreciation to the volunteers by planning special Continuing Education programs and tours, hosting a Volunteer luncheon at SGâ€™s Greenhouse Facility, and facilitating chances to meet fellow garden lovers at SGâ€™s 2015 In-Service Training series and the Horticultural Consortium Volunteer Appreciation Day. In the Smithsonian Gardens greenhouses, volunteers played an important role in propagating annuals and caring for our award-winning orchid collection, tropical plants and perennials. Outside they assisted with planting bulbs and annuals and maintaining our garden landscapes. Their work helped make our gardens an oasis for visitors year-round.
THANK YOU SMITHSONIAN GARDENS VOLUNTEERS! Ben Addlestone
Joy Rubin Shen
Jamie Ann Hester Judith Lesser
Annette Ramirez de Arellano
Nancy Bort Paulina Donna Brandes Christopher Brook 27 Susan Bruns
Lorraine Fishback Anne Hardman
Elizabeth Miller Susan Miller Patricia Mink George Morgan Audrey Morris
Elizabeth Trangsrud Jen Tucci Marcy Wasilewski Laurel Wessman
Jane Simpson Manjeet Singh Martha Smith
Angela Wright Yuanan Zhang
Saralin Riley-Ray Robert Sullivan Christine Rose
C O N TA C T
Mike Allen | Photography
Erin Clark | Photography
PO BOX 37012, MRC 506
Kelly Crawford | Photography
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
Alison Dineen| Photography
T: (202) 633-2220
Vickie Dibella | Photography
James Gagliardi | Photography
Alison Kootstra | Photography + Content
Twitter - @SIGardens
Eric Long | Photography
Instagram - @SmithsonianGardens
Brett McNish | Photography + Design Elizabeth Miller | Photography Tom Mirenda | Photography Jaclyn Nash | Photography
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