Guest Voices: Join Us for Smithsonian Gardens’ Garden Fest 2013!

Garden Fest Parterre copy

Getting set up for Garden Fest 2012 – photo courtesy Smithsonian Gardens

Today’s guest post comes to us courtesy of the Smithsonian Gardens’ Educators, who have worked closely with the National Museum of African Art for this year’s Garden Fest, Earth Matters to Smithsonian Gardens. Join us in the sunshine for a full day of free events, this Friday, May 10th, 2013!

Every May, Smithsonian Gardens (SG) hosts Garden Fest in the Enid A. Haupt Garden, an annual celebration of all things green and beautiful, for National Public Gardens Day.  This year’s theme is Earth Matters to Smithsonian Gardens, inspired by the National Museum of African Art’s exhibit.

While designing the activities and selecting the performers for Garden Fest, SG Education staff thought about connecting with the messages Earth Matters’ many diverse artists share in their work.  The exhibit features artists answering the question how does the Earth matter to them personally, and we hope that Garden Fest will give visitors the opportunity to express their own ideas and interact directly with the Earth.

Activities will provoke artistic interpretation by collaborating on the formation of a collective ephemeral land art installation; guerilla gardening by making seed balls to toss in abandoned lots or home gardens; and stimulate explorers to join an ancient expedition through petrified wood, fossils, amber and agricultural tools. The annual plant container design contest will provide ideas on plant combinations and unique containers to spice up home landscapes.

Garden Fest 2012 McNish (10) Vic GardenThe Victory Garden display at Garden Fest 2012 – photo courtesy Smithsonian Gardens

Workshops and demonstrations will explore sustainable gardening techniques practiced at Smithsonian Gardens, easily transferrable to home gardens: irrigation, composting, and vegetable gardening.  Learn about six-legged garden visitors and then dress-up like your favorite winged visitor for a photo shoot – your photo may even get featured on SG’s Shutter-Bug Collection on Pinterest.

Make sure you stick around until 5pm for a special performance sure to get everyone on their feet, drumming, singing, and dancing through the garden. And make sure you head inside for a bit to the National Museum of African Art, which will be staying open until 7pm just for the occasion!

Update: It has just been revealed that the special performer for Garden Fest will be the 2008 Grammy Nominee for Traditional World Music, Cheick Hamala Diabate!

Diabete is a West African musician who writes and performs music in the storytelling griot tradition, saying “The music we griots play is not just about making nice sounds for dancing, it’s about giving a lesson to people about their lives.” Check out his swinging sounds below, and for more, visit his YouTube channel:


We hope to see you there for this free, fun, family-friendly day!

File:Smithsonian Gardens.jpgThe Parterre in the Smithsonian’s Enid A. Haupt Garden – ©Justin Long, courtesy Wikimedia Commons


2 thoughts on “Guest Voices: Join Us for Smithsonian Gardens’ Garden Fest 2013!

  1. Pingback: Today! Join Us for Garden Fest | Earth Matters

  2. Pingback: Let’s Celebrate the 5th Annual National Public Gardens Day! | LEARN FROM NATURE

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