Friday, November 23, 2012

Mother Nature at Work

Last weekend, I was in Washington D.C. with my school's Model Congress team.  While the students were busy showing Congress how to get things done (by passing bills to legalize marijuana and forgive student loans), we got to explore the city.  Among the places we explored was the U.S. Botanic Garden.  I'd never been there before and all I can say is that it will now be a regular part of any trip I take to the capitol.
Located in a corner between the Grant Memorial the Rayburn and Longworth House Office Buildings, the garden is a building filled with beauty.  From the moment you enter the main hall, it smells amazing.  I've a feeling that the many orchids growing under the glass ceiling have helped with that.  This one was especially lovely.
Throughout the main room are replicas of famous D.C. landmarks made out of organic materials and set among the plants and flowers.  I liked this version of Congress a great deal and I bet the folks who work in there have learned to cooperate.  
The plants are accompanied by explanations of where they grow and how they can be used.  I didn't need that explanation for the coffee beans, which may have been my favorite plant in the building. 
JT gave the nod to the cocoa plant and later reported to me that in his imagination, you could just crack open one of these seeds and it would be filled with ganache.  Mother Nature, if you're reading, that's not a bad idea.
The hostas that grow around my house could take a lesson from these giant tropical versions.
I've decided that when I win the lottery I will build myself a glass greenhouse.  Inside it I will grow all sorts of amazing-smelling tropical plants including a whole bunch of ferns like these.
I'm thinking that I will drop a note to the Members of Congress to advise them to take a break and have a stroll around the Botanic Garden.  It's right near their offices, after all.  And it's free.  It gave me a sense of wonder and peace that might be just the sort of thing they need to work out their differences.

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