A Botanic State of Mind

I was looking through pictures today, reminiscing about my weekend in DC last summer spent with some of my fellow Montessori teachers. We did the usual DC tour of museums and monuments. By far my favorite (and the one I am thinking about today as I sit on the opposite side of the country) is the United State Botanic Garden. We went early in the day when it first opened, so it wasn't crowded or loud. On the contrary, it was quite tranquil. I was able to walk through one ecosystem after another, quietly observing the varieties of plant-life in each. I took notice of the colors, patterns, shapes and beauty of plants I had never seen before. 

I imagine someday taking my own children to visit, carrying along a sketchbook & some colored pencils, and spending our morning getting lost in this jungle of diversity. What a beautiful way to connect with the natural world! This would be such a wonderful supplement to the classification of Kingdom Vegetalia work in the elementary classroom. 

Do you take your children or students to visit gardens? What are some of your favorites?