US National Arboretum

 
 

Current Events and Programs

Some arboretum programs require advance registration. Please refer to the program description for details.

At this time, we have no online registration and payment service. Click here for current registration procedures for all programs .

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August September
October November

Program FULL? If a program is marked FULL, registration is closed, and we do not keep waiting lists. If there is a cancellation, we will remove the FULL marking and re-open registration. However, if the program is scheduled to occur within 10 calendar days, the cancellation period is over and we will not re-open registration. We do not keep waiting lists for any programs. For questions, please call 202-245-5898.

Full Moon Hike

The hikes sell out quickly and the best chance for reserving a spot is to register soon after we post them here on our Current Events and Programs page.
We post them quarterly, by season. Below are the dates that they will be posted and open for registration.

Spring hikes (March, April, and May) will be posted February 2.
Summer hikes (June) will be posted May 1. We do not hold hikes in July and August.
Fall hikes (September, October, and November) will be posted August 3.
Winter hikes (December, January, and February) will be posted November 2.

Note: If the date falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the posting will be done the following work day.

Hike dates are included below with other listings.

August

 Hot! New! Plants!
August 22, 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Meet in the Visitor Center lobby

Hot: Thrive in hot humid weather while providing eye-catching beds, borders, and containers.
New:  Creative designs and new cultivars not yet released to the public.
Plants: Incorporated into striking designs that show off their colors, textures, and forms.

See how you can use good design to plan your landscape for both low maintenance and high seasonal interest. Tour the Arboretum’s North Court with horticulturist and designer Bradley Evans to learn how he combines annuals, perennials, tropicals, succulents, and more to create visually striking and heat tolerant beds and containers for sun and shade. This is a walking tour over flat surfaces. Free, registration recommended. Call 202-245-2708 to register.

September

beverageCocktails in the Garden
A Gardener Walks into a Bar… (BYOPL, Bring your own Punch Line)
September 3, 6:00 8:00 pm (Rain date September 4, 6:00 8:00 pm)

Would you like to spend a summer evening in a world-class garden enjoying creative food and freshly-made sherry cocktails while learning about herbs and mixology? We thought so! Come to the National Herb Garden for a setting of late summer blooms, open meadows, and views of the National Capitol Columns. Begin with a specially-created cocktail, then explore the garden on a tour with the Arboretum’s Herb Garden staff, pinching and sniffing as you go. Finish with mixology demonstrations, more cocktail samples, and Asian-inspired finger food. Drinks created by Chantal Tseng of Mockingbird Hill and Tabard Inn fame, and her inspired partners at RED EYE MENUS. Light fare provided by Asian culture and cuisine expert Chef Thomas Park, known for his inventive work at Founding Farmers Restaurant. Sherry from DC’s newly released Valdespino portfolio will be featured, as well as a special treat from Chartreuse liqueur, provided by guest expert Patrick Owens.

Fee: $59 ($47 FONA) Includes entry, food, drinks, tour, and demonstrations.  Entrance at R Street gate only; use 2400 R Street NE for GPS. R Street gate opens at 5:30 pm. Registration required. Click here to register. (Registration available only at Brown Paper Tickets; not on the Arboretum website.) Questions? Email programs.usna@ars.usda.gov.

 

Lawn Renovation Workshop
September 12, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Meet in the Visitor Center

Has your lawn suffered years of wear and tear, neglect, weeds, and worse? It might be time for a renovation. Learn how to determine your lawn’s needs and the best techniques for your situation from turf specialist Geoff Rinehart. Start with a classroom presentation followed by a visit outside to field plots treated with recommended techniques to see “before” and “after” demonstrations. Then join Geoff, coordinator of the ‘Grass Roots’ outdoor exhibit, for a tour that explores all types of grasses and their uses. Door prizes and refreshments. Free, but space is limited and registration is encouraged. Call 202-245-5965 to register.

 

Fall for Bonsai
September 19, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum and Visitor Center

Visiting guest artist David Nguy will share his insight and techniques at a free demonstration followed by a live auction of the demo tree. California-based bonsai master Nguy was formally trained by renowned bonsai master, Masahiko Kimura in Japan and has also studied under Harry Hirao, Ben Oki, and Ernie Kuo. For more about Mr. Nguy, see his website.  A bonsai vendor will offer trees and supplies Saturday and Sunday. Sponsored by the Potomac Bonsai Association.  Free. No registration required.

 

Fall Lawn Care Best Practices
September 26, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Meet in the Visitor Center

Start now to have a beautiful lawn next spring.  By learning and implementingthe five fall “best practices”, you will create a healthy, environmentally-friendly lawn. Join turf specialist Geoff Rinehart for a presentation and demonstration of these easy-to-implement principles which will result in noticeable improvements in the spring. Then take a guided tour of the Arboretum’s unique ‘Grass Roots’ exhibit, which explores all types of grasses and their uses. Light refreshments and door prizes. Program includes classroom time and an outside walking tour on flat paved surfaces. Free, but space is limited and registration is encouraged. Call 202-245-5965 to register.

 

full moonFull Moon Hike
September 27, 8:00 – 10:00 pm FULL
September 28, 8:00 – 10:00 pm FULL
September 29, 8:00 – 10:00 pm FULL
Meet in the Visitor Center

Take a brisk hike through moonlit gardens, meadows, and woods. Your guide will share specially chosen points of interest and seasonal highlights. The two-hour walk over hilly and uneven terrain is a brisk hike, not a garden tour so please prepare accordingly. No children under 16 or pets, please. Fall hikes book quickly; register soon to reserve your spot. Click here for complete Hike details. Fee: $22 ($18 FONA) Email registration required: click here for information.

Note: There will be no Group Hike in September

 

Hot! New! Plants!
September 26
9:00 am – 10:30 am
Meet in the Visitor Center

Hot: Thrive in hot humid weather while providing eye-catching beds, borders, and containers.
New:  Creative designs include new cultivars not yet released to the public.
Plants: Incorporated into striking designs that show off their colors, textures, and forms.

See how you can use good design to plan your landscape for both low maintenance and high seasonal interest. Tour the Arboretum’s North Court with horticulturist and designer Bradley Evans to learn how he combines annuals, perennials, tropicals, succulents, and more to create visually striking and heat tolerant beds and containers for sun and shade. This is a walking tour over flat surfaces. Free, registration recommended. Call 202-245-2708 to register. 

October

Under the Arbor: Chile Pepper Day
October 3, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
National Herb Garden

Hot, hotter, and hottest! Taste-test a variety of peppers, sample chile-based foods, watch live demonstrations, and pick up informational materials at this annual drop-in event celebrating the cultivation and use of chile peppers. Explore the National Herb Garden’s extensive collection of over 60 varieties, including some of the world’s hottest peppers. Presented by members of the Mid-Atlantic Units of the Herb Society of America. Free. No registration required.

 

Planting for Diversity
October 10, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm

Are you interested in history, gardening, agriculture, conservation, cooking, and/or eating? If so, come to this event and see how all of these play their part in the important cause of preserving plant diversity. Plant biodiversity is continually threatened as crop genetics have narrowed to produce fewer and more uniform food crops and landscape plants. However, home gardeners, community groups, and government agencies, including the Arboretum, are working to ensure plant genetic diversity by preserving as many types of plants as possible. This genetic material will be preserved for breeding to address future challenges including pests, diseases, and environmental changes. Learn the concepts, techniques, and pleasures of preservation including seed saving and gardening with heirlooms at presentations, tours, demonstrations, a seed exchange, book signings, and more. Presenters include:

Rosalind Creasy, Landscape designer, photographer, author, and champion of edible landscaping
Kevin Conrad, Horticulturist and Curator of the Woody Landscape Plant Germplasm Repository
Peggy Cornett, Curator of Plants at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. 
Joan Feely, Curator of Fern Valley Native Plant Collection, US National Arboretum
Kathy Jentz, Editor and Publisher, Washington Gardener Magazine
Dr. Richard Olsen, Director of the U.S. National Arboretum
Dr. Joe Kirkbride, Research Botanist and Director of the US National Seed Herbarium
Ira Wallace, Worker/owner of the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and author

Click here for the day’s schedule. Registration required. Fee: $79 ($63 FONA members) Fee includes all sessions and activities, morning and afternoon breaks, and lunch. Click here to register. Free parking on site. 

 

National Capital Orchid Society’s 68th Annual Show and Sale
October 10, 11, & 12
 
The Orchid Show and Sale will be held at Behnke’s Nursery in Beltsville, MD this year. Click here for the National Capitol Orchid Society’s website for more information.301-937-1100

 

Exhibit: Autumn Bonsai: The Colors of Nature
October 23 – November 8, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum
Special Exhibits Wing

No need to leave town for leaf peeping – these miniature masterpieces glow with brilliant autumn colors. Appreciate the artistry and nature of each unique tree in this formal display featuring those with the most striking fall features, including foliage, fruits, and berries. Free. No registration required.

 

Talk and Tour: Overwintering your Bonsai
October 25, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum
Lecture Demonstration Center

Prepare yourself and your trees for the approach of winter by learning about the methods used to overwinter the national bonsai collection. Museum curator Jack Sustic will discuss how to prepare trees for and bring them out of storage, the importance of winter dormancy, temperature control, air circulation, and the role that light plays. Tour the Museum’s winter storage area in a behind-the-scenes tour. Fee: $22 ($18 FONA/NBF) Email registration required: click here for information.

 

full moonFull Moon Hike
October 26, 8:00 – 10:00 pm FULL
October 27, 8:00 – 10:00 pm FULL
October 28, 8:00 – 10:00 pm FULL
Meet in the Visitor Center

Take a brisk hike through moonlit gardens, meadows, and woods. Your guide will share specially chosen points of interest and seasonal highlights. The two-hour walk over hilly and uneven terrain is a brisk hike, not a garden tour so prepare accordingly. No children under 16 or pets, please. Fall hikes book quickly; register soon to reserve your spot. Click here for complete Hike details. Fee: $22 ($18 FONA) Email registration required: click here for information.

 

Private Full Moon Hike for Group
October 26, 7:00 – 9:00 pm FULL
Meet in the Visitor Center

Gather a group of friends, family, co-workers, and others to enjoy a unique experience considered by many to be “one of D.C.’s best outings”. Not recommended for children under 16; no pets, please. Maximum 25 per group. Click here for complete Group Hike details. Fee: $550 Email registration required: click here for information. Prepayment required for Group Hike.

November

Full Moon Hikes
November

There will be no Full Moon Hikes in November because the full moon falls on November 26, which is Thanksgiving. All of our guides and many of our hikers will be traveling and spending the holidays with family and friends. (Note: the December full moon falls on the 25th, Christmas Day, so there will be no Full Moon Hikes in December). Thank you for your understanding and enjoy your holiday.

 

Exhibit: Autumn Bonsai: The Colors of Nature
October 23 – November 8, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum
Special Exhibits Wing

No need to leave town for leaf peeping – these miniature masterpieces glow with brilliant autumn colors. Appreciate the artistry and nature of each unique tree in this formal display featuring those with the most striking fall features, including foliage, fruits, and berries. Free. No registration required.

Cell Phone Tour

A free* tour of all of the major collections and research areas is available when you bring a cell phone to the arboretum. Look for the signs in the gardens and follow the directions. More information is available in the lobby. * You will use your minutes.

  

FONA/NBF

 

FONA/NBF refers to members of the Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) or the National Bonsai Foundation (NBF), who receive a discount on many programs. For membership information for FONA, call 202-544-8733 or see their website at www.fona.org. For information on NBF, call 202-396-3510 or see www.bonsai-nbf.org.

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Last Updated   August 28, 2015 6:17 PM
URL = http://www.usna.usda.gov/Education/events.html