Category Archives: Washington

Natural and constructed spaces in the capital of the ‘free world’.

Underneath the cherry tree

Break open a cherry tree and there are no flowers, but the spring breeze brings forth myriad blossoms. (Ikkyu Sojun)

The celebration of the cherry tree  in Washington dates as far back as 1905, when the author and Japanophile Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore proposed planting trees on the reclaimed waterfront of the Potomac River (now known as the “Tidal Basin”).  Her vision was realised in 1912, and by 1935 the first Cherry Blossom Festival was held in the American Capital.  Most of the photos here were taken on Friday 25 March, the day before the official opening of the season.  It was a cold day (with the promise of snow on the weekend), and I was eager to avoid the crowds.  I have tried to capture the extraordinary beauty and enigmatic shapes of each branch and flower as much as possible.  First impressions of the hype surrounding the festival (and the crowds) should not put you off going.  The landscape architects and gardeners, and those who conceived of the project and brought it to fruition should be congratulated for creating one of the most beautiful and striking thematic plantings I have ever observed. (The photos at the end of this collection are of cherry trees blossoming in Dupont Circle)

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Spring has sprung …

Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where da boidies iz?

Da little boids upon da wing … hey, dat’s absoid.  Da wing’s upon da boid!

Enough of this frivolity: from a beautiful warm beginning, the weather has chilled again just in time for the cherry blossom festival.  (Cherry blossoms will be a separate posting)  Those early flourishes of colour are, nevertheless, beautiful and they awaken a post-chrysalis feeling of joy and excitement, after the quietude of winter.

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Autumn by any other name …

Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun.

Enough of Mr Keats.  Yes, this is waay overdue – some images from my arrival in DC, when the Fall was almost fallen:

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Winter observed …

A favourite choral setting from Claude Debussy begins with the words:

Yver, vous n’estes qu’un villain (Winter, you are a villain!)

If so, then you are a very attractive villain … here are some images from the beginning of the cold in December to the middle of February:

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