100 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20001
In Advise and Consent:
“Yes, sir,” Seab said; and after a moment, very softly to himself, “Yes, sir.”
But withstanding sledgehammers, Bob Munson reflected as the cab passed the Botanical Gardens, made its lunge up the Hill past the New House Office Building, turned left, and started around Capitol Plaza toward the Senate office buildings, was what they paid him for. And he wouldn’t want it any other way.” Page i91
In Real Life:
In Advise and Consent, Senator Bob Munson – in a cab – passed what Allen Drury called the Botanical Gardens while he reflected that it was his job as the Senate Majority Leader to resist those senators who call themselves sledgehammers. Now -that sounded to me like an invitation to go and see what’s really called the Botanic Garden of the United States. In my book travels, I’ve been to a couple botanical gardens – the Jewel Box in St. Louis, Missouri and the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. This one was the brainchild of President George Washington. And the job of creating it landed – in 1816 with what was called the Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences. The Institute got the project started – a greenhouse, a pond and some walkways – where the reflecting pool is now and appealed to the world for plants and specimens which flew into the new capital. There was some changing of hands and some moving of the grounds over the years but now the Botanic Garden of the United States is solidly established just across the street from the Capitol and it’s run by the Architect of the Capitol.
I had planned on visiting it – but as we were flying out of Washington D.C., I realized I had forgotten to do that. I texted my nephew – Michael – and asked if he could go check it out for me and take some pictures. Within hours his pictures arrived. I called him and asked about his experience. He said – it’s free so it’s crowded so go early – but he said he liked it so much he didn’t leave – he hung out for a few hours and studied for his exams.