Washington DC: Enid A. Haupt Garden, Freer/Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and the National Museum of African Art

img_4764Located in the National Mall of Washington DC, there is the Smithsonian Castle and near this castle lies a garden called the Enid A. Haupt Garden. Named after the publisher (she helped published Seventeen Magazine) and philanthropist Enid Annenberg Haupt, this is a garden that she wanted to finance and to support the project landscaping of. It is located and associated with Smithsonian Institute, which is a museum, education, and research complex (also one of the world’s largest). This castle and garden also feature two museums adjacent to them: the Freer/Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the National Museum of African Art. These museums are also part of the Smithsonian Institute.

My friend Leslie and I went to visit these when I went to visit Washington DC for a weekend to visit her. The first stop we went to was, of course, the gardens, located just by  the side of the castle.

Even though the weather that day was still very cold and it was still winter, looking at these gardens and their flowers fully bloomed made me feel like it was a beautiful spring or summer day and I just love admiring plants.

While not all the plants were bloomed and some weren’t there, you can already learn what plants they were by reading these little signs stuck into the soils with labeled scientific plant names. There were cute little props to look for in the garden like what seems to be a bird wooden feeder and a display with a collection of all different trees and their parts in their own compartment.

I also came across a baby weeping willow tree in the garden.

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I know that this garden will look more phenomenal and beautiful in the spring and summer with more of their grown plants and bloomed cherry blossom trees.

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Me posing by the fountain in the garden

We walked into the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery building afterwards.  This museum featured a lot of Asian influenced artwork and you can move from different cultures and different time periods to get a feel from the things the museum has to show.

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A beautiful memorial of bouquet of flowers for Arthur M. Sackler, who was an American psychiatrist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.
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Their gift shop. You can see they are selling a lot of Japanese goods with a theme of cherry blossoms trees (well known symbol for Washington DC).

My favorite part of the gallery/museum was when I went downstairs to see the section for the Islamic World. I loved learning about how these people in countries like Afghanistan rebuild homes there from the video screens on the wall and learning facts about how hardworking men and women in these countries work hard to make creations like ceramics, silk rugs, jewelry with emeralds, woodwork, etc. with the help of Turquoise Mountain, an organization that renovates historic buildings, opens school and medical clinics, support these artisan works, and build other necessary places in those countries.

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After this section, we went upstairs to go take a quick glimpse of the National Museum of African Art, which is connected to the Freer/Arthur M. Sackler gallery. By the time we got to see this, we had almost ran out of time as the museum was going to close but I did see a couple things from here on my way out.

I recommend you visit these places. It’s not a long walk from the Washington Monument and from the Hirshhorn Museum and other museums!

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