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Garden Party

Saturday, April 7 & Sunday, April 8, 2018
11 am - 4 pm (both days)

As poet Gerard Manley Hopkins once wrote, “Nothing is so beautiful as spring.” Celebrate the arrival of this fair season at the National Postal Museum’s Garden Party! The festival will occur on Saturday, April 7 and Sunday, April 8 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Activity stations spread throughout the museum are designed to encourage awareness of and appreciation for the natural beauty all around you. We are collaborating with members of various local organizations to help us tell the stories about the beauty of the flowering plants on stamps. Among our valued partners are Smithsonian Gardens, Smithsonian Libraries, Capital Area Food Bank, All Hallows Guild and Master Gardner Program at the University of District of Columbia.

The National Postal Museum recently partnered with Smithsonian Gardens to develop the lush, colorful exhibition “Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps.” Through original stamp artworks from the Postmaster General’s collection, “Beautiful Blooms…” highlights the indigenous flowering plants, bees, birds and butterflies featured on U.S. postage stamps. This exhibition, and the promise of warmer weather, has inspired a fun and educational program for visitors of all ages in the form of a Garden Party – and you are invited!

Beautiful Bloom exhibit entrance with garden and gate

Activities include but are not limited to:

Gardening Workshop

Participate in a Gardening Workshop with local experts. These aficionados will teach you about ecosystem-friendly planting by sharing information about the flora best suited for the region and which invasive species to avoid. They will also answer any questions you may have and share tips to cultivate your own green thumb!

Make a Stamp “Bouquet”

Experience the joy of stamp collecting by hand-selecting your favorites from an ample buffet of vintage postage stamps. Make a floral-themed stamp collection and take home your beautiful stamp “bouquet.”

Learn the Language of Flowers

In the Victorian era, the “Language of Flowers” was a popular way to communicate emotions. What did it mean if you received a purple violet from someone? What about a yellow carnation? Learn the particular significance of specific flowers and colors, and practice this unique tradition of expression with specially-made postcards that you can mail right from the museum!

Start a Mini Garden

Get your hands dirty with soil, gardening tools, and the seeds of your favorite flowering plants! Plant a mini “garden” to take home and enjoy a lasting memory of your time at the Postal Museum as your flowers bloom!

Stamp Design Studio

Learn the basics of the stamp design process and explore the diverse subjects featured on U.S. postage stamps. View the original artworks that inspired some of the most popular botanical stamps and design your own stamp, which can be nature-themed or anything else you envision!

The History of Gardens

Gardens can come in all shapes and styles. For example, Victorian gardens during the late 19th century were grand and decorative, featuring flowers and symmetry. Victory gardens—popular during WWI and WWII—were functional and efficient, using every bit of space to grow fruits and vegetables. Dig into the rich history and evolution of gardens over time with Smithsonian Libraries.

Recharging Station

Recharge yourself and your mobile device by our indoor garden. Enjoy a quiet break with topical books for kids and adults; relaxing music; and complimentary tea, lemonade and sweet treats while supplies last.

Visit the museum’s event calendar for information on the many fun and educational programs available at the National Postal Museum.