Opening/ Closure Status

All outdoor gardens are currently open. The Conservatory and public restrooms remain closed, due to the closure of the U.S. Capitol campus buildings. Please monitor for updates on operating status. USBG resources can be accessed online, including educational materials, virtual tours, and online programs by visiting

Make Your Grounds Go Further

In 2011, U.S. coffee-drinkers consumed more than 2.9 billion pounds of coffee. That's a lot of grounds!

Did you know that all those used coffee grounds can help your garden flourish and your home sparkle?

  • Caffeine is a natural pesticide. Sprinkle used, dry grounds as a barrier around spring bulbs to keep slugs and snails away.
  • Earthworms love coffee! Adding coffee grounds to your garden soil attracts worms to aerate and enrich it.
  • Used coffee grounds are high in nitrogen, calcium and magnesium. Mix dried grounds into your garden soil to replenish it for fast-growing plants like tomatoes.
  • Coffee grounds release nitrogen quickly. Add them to your compost pile to speed decomposition.
  • Roasted coffee beans and grounds absorb odors. Leave dried grounds in an open bowl to deodorize your refrigerator or kitchen after cooking. Or, tie them in a cloth bag or stocking and place them in your shoes to absorb odors.
  • Coffee grounds make a great abrasive. Scrub stains out of surfaces using your dried, used grounds.

Don't brew your own coffee? You can still make a difference! Ask your local coffee shop if they give away their used grounds. Many shops already have them bagged up and ready to go.