Yes! This is the only place at the Arboretum where you would be allowed to dig.* The Youth Garden is a HUGE garden space for kids. It's run by fun people who work for the Friends of the National Arboretum. Every year they visit classrooms in public schools in the District of Columbia to teach kids about gardening and growing food. Then they invite the students and their families to help grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers in the Youth Garden. Even though they're working when they're digging, planting, weeding, and harvesting, they always look like they're having lots of fun.
*Because the Arboretum is an outdoor museum, all plants and objects on its grounds and in its buildings should be enjoyed, but not touched, unless there's a sign inviting you to touch.
It's easy to grow fresh vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes, even if you only have a small piece of land (you can also grow a lot of things in containers filled with soil). The key to growing healthy vegetables is to make sure the soil is loose (you may need to mix in some compost—decayed stuff like leaves and grass), your growing spot is in full sun (a minimum of 6 hours of sun), and you keep the plants well watered (but not drowning!). For more information about the Arboretum's Youth Garden, click here.
How to find the Youth Garden at the Arboretum:
Follow the Flowering Tree Walk past the Capitol Columns to the road. Turn right, and you'll see the Youth Garden at the edge of the woods. In the summertime, you can see all of the plants kids are growing. You can also walk through the butterfly garden, which always has at least one beautiful butterfly sipping nectar from the flowers.
Go directly to a specific tour stop by clicking a specific spot on the Map above
Start here, at the beginning
Browse thumbnail images of the Virtual Tour with links to each specific spot
Or, go back to the top of this page
Or, go back to the Virtual Tour for Kids Introduction Page
Last Updated July 10, 2009 9:37 AM
URL = http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/collections/VirtualTours/KidsVirtualTour_17b.html