06 April 2009

Cherry Blossom Spring

Tidal Basin
In Washington, we know it's spring when the cherry blossoms and the tourists come out. Both were in abundance this past weekend in Washington around the tidal basin. I haven't been to the area in years, and Palm Sunday seemed like an opportunity to trek into town on a warm sunny day.

Blooming cherry trees can be seen here and there around town without tripping over the tourists, baby strollers, and stepping on dogs. But there is a unique feeling in experiencing so many trees (and people) in one spot along the water. This entry is basically just a photo souvenir for my journal.

Garden Calendar:
  • Blooming: Emperor tulips, ice follies daffodils,
    korean rhododendron, lemon chiffon daffodils
  • Seedlings progress: Purple basil germinated, 7 days
  • Outdoor progress: Spinach, radish germinated, 6 days
  • Outdoor benchmark: Broccoli seedlings transplanted

Tulip Library
The National Park Service maintains a Tulip Library nearby. Well, 'maintains,' is a matter of opinion. The area consists of about 100 beds of different tulips. It helps gardeners get a good idea of what different varieties look like, as well as their bloom times. In the past, a photocopy sheet with a map listing the varieties was available from a nearby box. This year, only an empty box stood, presumably a victim of budget cuts. There are no tags or markers in the different beds, leaving one to guess what varieties are planted. I found a map online when I got home.

Smithsonian Garden
Afterwards, my feet carried me to a few nearby Smithsonian museums. The courtyard around the Sackler Gallery was in full bloom with fritillaria, thousands of purple hyacinths, saucer magnolias, and a weeping cherry.


Nancy said...
Beautiful!! I wish is was there!! Maybe some day I will visit Washington in spring.
Kenneth Moore said...
Man, I'm almost jealous of you... One of the volunteer groups I'm in was there recycling on March 28. A bird pooped on me and it was so soggy that it was hard to see the big pencil across the water.

Maybe when I'm volunteering this weekend it'll look better, but most of the blooms will be gone!

I'm glad you got in this weekend, it was a madhouse! Did you see folks in blue volunteer shirts going around with bags and grabbers picking up cans and plastic bottles?
JIm/ArtofGardening said...
I'll be spending the week in Washington next week. Can you keep the blossoms on the trees till then?
Swimray said...
Kenneth: I didn't see any blue shirts, but did see some green shirt Park Service people just sitting in a truck. There were blue barrels around -seen in one of the photos.

Jim: Can't do. We really need to move on with the season. It's already progressing too slowly. How about I kick the dogwoods into blooming for you? We usually tell Buffaloans that they are cherry blossoms.
Jim/ArtofGardening said...
That's not very nice. If you were coming up this way, I'd keep teh snow for you.

I fell for the dogwood thing last year during my visit to DC. But this year I'm smarter.
. said...
This post is making me very nostalgic: for about ten years we came over to Alexandria every early April for a conference.
We used to cycle round the Basin below the blossoms and then all over. One year I was treated to a new bike to take home with me to the UK. A carbon fibre Trek. I felt like a princess riding around the Monuments on that beautiful machine. Nobody seemed to mind and I happily rode down flights of steps. (It was an off-road bike).Schoolbands playing, flags all fluttering in unison. Magic.
Thanks for bringing those memories to the fore.
healingmagichands said...
I've never made it to WA for cherry blossoms, but I feel like I was able to be there now that I have seen it through your camera. Thanks for sharing. Good luck in the GGW contest, too.
Swimray said...
Glad you enjoyed the visit. You will need to return the favor and provide us a trip to the show-me state through your camera.