Linda Stevens is Field Notes Coordinator for Smithsonian Journeys. Combing the Institution for interesting projects happening around the world, she prepares these research notes especially for travelers. Learn more about Linda here. Click here to see more research notes.
The Smithsonian Institution includes a number of outdoor museums. These alternative centers for learning are the colorful and attractive gardens that surround the Smithsonian museums along the National Mall. The Horticulture Services Division was established in 1972 to manage the grounds of the Institution museums in Washington, DC, and to develop specific interior and exterior spaces as horticulture exhibitions. In addition, a research and educational program promotes the ongoing development of collections of living plants, horticultural artifacts, and garden documentation.
The Enid A. Haupt Garden is located on the National Mall above the underground Sackler Gallery, the Ripley Center, and the National Museum of African Art. The Haupt Garden, which opened to the public in 1987 when these Smithsonian museums were inaugurated, includes three distinct areas—the Asian-influenced Moongate Garden, the central 19th-century-style parterre, and a Moorish-style Fountain Garden. This garden is geometrically symmetrical and includes a central fountain and water channels. The Fountain Garden is modeled after the Court of the Lions at the Alhambra, a 13th, 14th, and 15th century Moorish palace and fortress in Granada, Spain, now included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The legendary Court features a chahar bogh —a Persian term meaning “four gardens”—pattern of four quadrants formed by water channels that meet at a central fountain. (more…)