where flowers bloom, so does hope

While it’s June and we’re nearing the official start of summer, the sad truth is that spring ended long ago and the infamous summer humidity of Washington, D.C. is back in full force. These days, we see longer winters and summers but only the quickest glimpse of an idyllic spring in the city.

To reminisce on the barely week that was spring, I’m telling my spring story in pictures.

Tulips from Bloomia

For a month, Bloomia – a direct-to-retail flower company based in King George, VA –  hosted a pop-up flower shop in the Park at CityCenter. While tulips aren’t my favorite flower, I knew I had to check out this event. Over 40,000 tulips were on display for the Field of Tulips festival. At $1/stem, purchases made here supported DC Central Kitchen, a leading community kitchen that fights hunger and poverty.

Floral Library

The Floral Library can be easily overlooked, but it is well worth a slight detour! It’s located just next to the Tidal Basin, but it’s slightly off the popular paved path – next to the northern end of the parking lot on Maine Ave.

Planted and maintained by the National Park Service, this small patch consists of several varieties of tulips as well as daffodils and some other flowers. Usually, these tulips bloom just after the cherry blossoms. If you’re in town for a while after the peak of the cherry blossoms, this is a great place to drop by.

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Tulips at the Floral Library
National Arboretum

The National Arboretum is one of my places in D.C. Operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it’s a free garden, park, and research institution rolled in one. Consisting of over 440 acres, the Arboretum houses many collections of azaleas, bonsai, penjing, roses, dogwoods, holly, magnolias, maples, and perennials. Perfect place to come with friends, family, dates, dogs, or by yourself.

National Arboretum
Cherry blossom season down at the Tidal Basin

Another year, another cherry blossom festival on the books. Despite the crowds, I can’t help but be drawn to the Tidal Basin year after year. My tip is to go EARLY. I like to get there just in time for sunrise. Fewer people and the light is ideal. This year, peak bloom predictions changed almost every week. We had a hotter-than-average February which originally predicted peak bloom to be around March 17-20. However, cooler temperatures (and snow) prevailed and the National Park Service changed the peak bloom dates to April 8-12. Warmer weather around the end of March brought some flowers out, which meant that peak bloom ended up being around April 5-8.

Classic D.C.
Love the way this tree dips into the water
Cherry blossom trees can be found all over the National Mall

I hope that one year, I will be in Japan for their cherry blossom festival. After all, sakura is Japan’s national flower and the cultural events that take place during their festival look so incredible. It is a dream of mine to partake in hanami during the sakura season. Have you ever been to Japan during cherry blossom season? Let me know your thoughts and experiences!




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