Memory Care America - June 2020

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Our Nation’s Botanical Gardens

In 1842, the Wilkes Expedition returned from its trek across the Pacific Ocean on behalf of the United States government, having visited parts of Portugal, Brazil, Antarctica, and Fiji. Among the specimens the explorers brought back from their travels were collections of plants gathered from around the world — just what the young nation needed to start its very first botanical garden.

tour, check out these other gardens that allow you to explore without having to leave your home.

Chicago Botanic Garden In the spring, the Chicago Botanic Garden staff invited virtual visitors to join them for a nature moment. Garden staff shared images from around the 17 gardens kept there. The Chicago Botanic Garden continues to wow with virtual tours that, thanks to Google’s technology, make you feel as if you’re really there. Start your tour at ChicagoBotanic.org. Waddesdon Manor and Gardens This historic site across the pond in England gives visitors detailed virtual views of the Waddesdon Manor and its stunning gardens. Each day at Waddesdon Gardens, the staff designates a specific area as a “Silent Space,” where visitors can go to disconnect and find peace. The Gardens also created a special message for their virtual visitors that we can all take to heart: “We encourage you to find a space in your garden or in your home that feels peaceful and designate a time each day to enjoy a quiet moment of reflection.” To see this historic site for yourself, visit Waddesdon.org.uk.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams had a shared dream of creating a national botanical garden, but the idea didn’t really get off the ground until the

Wilkes Expedition brought back the garden’s first plants. The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) was established in Washington D.C., and four of the plants on display there today are part of the original collection brought back from the expedition. Since it’s not always possible to go on vacation and visit far-off gardens, many botanical gardens around the world have started bringing the flora right to you with virtual tours. In addition to the USBG, which offers virtual tours at USBG.gov/take-virtual-

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