WASHINGTON – In a city full of political animals, the giant bird nests near the Department of Justice will, hardly, ruffle any feathers. A nest at the corner of 12th and Constitution is bigger than a hot tub, and is one of the first installations you’ll likely see that comprise Smithsonian Gardens’ new “Habitat” exhibition.
The exhibit features 14 different places across the Smithsonian campus - both inside and out. Each location will have a different theme, like a garden at the National Air and Space Museum illustrating how "the natural world has inspired innovations in flight."
From the giant bird nests to stunning sculptures, it's all part of an effort to send a single message: protecting habitats protects life.
"To go from an idea, a photo, a rendering, to reality, is such an exciting thing to see," Brett McNish, a horticulturist for Smithsonian Gardens who worked on the project said.
McNish, along with Barbara Faust, Marisa Scalera, and James Gagliardi all worked to re-imagine the Smithsonian's gardens as part of the project.
"We're having 25 million visitors downtown that are seeing our gardens," Gagliardi said. "And we really wanted to create something that brings all of them in."
That idea explains their dramatic sculptures like a giant mushroom, a homage to figs, and large scale models of dragonflies.
The exhibition highlights habitats to focus on fragility, so we don't forget about our national and natural treasures.