Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Botanical Christmas

 Forget the gingerbread houses! Who needs them when the National Botanical Gardens in Washington D.C. has there own twig and leaf version depicting the monuments on the Washington D.C. Mall. Every Christmas the garden puts on a display of these national treasures.

 When I first saw these magnificent structures I thought they were made from paper, but when I got a closer look at the replica of the Capital Building, I realized that they were meticulously sculpted with natural items; everything one would find in a botanical garden.

 The buildings aren't even painted! The natural color is shown in each representation. The windows are paper-thin leaves. Sticks turn into columns; the tops crowned with a Corinthian embellishment of fern.

 Just look at the dome of this building; leaves lined up as perfect tiles, overlapped by twigs to create the ribs of the structure.

 And look at the tiny walk area of the Capital! No detail went unnoticed. With every monument represented you can walk amongst the flowers and trees enjoying the holiday event. Go early though, because it is only up from Thanksgiving until the New Year. If you plan ahead there is also a display of Christmas trains that run in another room. The train event does require a ticket, but the twig and leaf display is free for all to ogle.