USPS Puts Its Stamp On America’s Most Beautiful Blooms

Floral stamp from the USPS Pollinator stamp series

You may think that gardens and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) have little in common, but The National Postal Museum, located in Washington, DC, is currently challenging that point of view. It recently opened an exhibition featuring the botanical art behind 50 years worth of floral stamps. And it’s delivered the goods just in time for the spring season. Continue reading

Bridging the Gap: DC To Build First Elevated Park On 11th Street Bridge

Washington, DC’s 11th Street Bridge Park/Photo: OMA + OLIN Anacostia Crossing

There’s a new movement afoot that aims to turn old infrastructure into public parks, breathing new life into spaces that have long since been neglected or forgotten. Of these, the transformation of an old rail line into a 1.5 mile landscaped park on Manhattan’s West Side (the High Line) is perhaps the most well known. Now comes Washington, DC’s own variation on the theme: the 11th Street Bridge Park, the city’s first elevated park that will soon be floating above the Anacostia River. Continue reading

Cherry Blossoms Peak on Washington, D.C.’s National Mall

Washington Monument framed by cherry blossoms.

After decades spent living in the Washington, D.C. area, I have come to associate spring with the annual peaking of the cherry blossoms on the National Mall. And because of this long-standing tradition, I am perhaps more aware of the weather at this time of year than others who don’t live in the area. Some years, I’ve donned a heavy jacket to see the flowers, many years I’ve worn shorts. Still other years, fickle spring winds have spelled the early demise of the delicate pink blossoms. Continue reading

Miniature Mastery At The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

IMG_8532

In Japanese, bonsai translates roughly as ‘tray planting,’ but over the centuries the term has come to mean so much more. Today, bonsai and its Chinese predecessor penjing represent the highest forms of horticultural art. And happily, one of the best collections in North America of these amazing miniature trees and landscapes is located right here in Washington, D.C. It’s called the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. Continue reading

Going Underground at the Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral/Photo: herebydesign/net

When summer temperatures start to soar, it’s a blessing to find a peaceful, secluded place to unwind. That’s why this time of year, I like to head to the Washington National Cathedral. I bypass the main sanctuary, though, and take the stairs down underground. There, I find cool refuge in the beautiful chapels of the lower level. Continue reading

Every City Has Its Limits: The Story of D.C.’s Boundary Stones

photo 3 (1)

Jones Point in Alexandria, Virginia, site of the first boundary marker

If you’re traveling to Washington, D.C., it’s good to know that the oldest federal monuments are not located on the National Mall, but rather at one-mile increments along a 10-mile square beginning at Jones Point, Virginia. Laid in 1791 and 1792, they are simple in form, but of great historical significance. They are the 36 surviving boundary markers of the original District of Columbia and the oldest federally placed monuments in the United States.

Continue reading