While cherry blossoms get all the attention, the azaleas are also an iconic spring sight in D.C.
The National Arboretum has an azalea collection that is believed to be the largest in the country. It was planted in the late 1940’s, and blankets a large hillside in vibrant colors.
Azaleas in Capitol Hill
Azaleas are found all around the Capitol grounds
Azaleas up close
Azaleas are one of the first spring flowers that bees like to feed on.
In 2010, the azalea collection at the National Arboretum was almost destroyed – the Arboretum wanted to remove it because it attracted too many visitors, was missing a lot of the original labels, and for lack of funding for maintenance. As with many such potential crises, once stories about it started being published, the decision was reversed. You can read about it in this article from the Washington Gardener.
Wow! They’re all wonderful, but I especially like the close-ups — they’re rarely photographed this way. Congrats to all.
Thank you, Jeff!
Thank you for this dose of beauty. It will carry me through the day.
Of all the various Azalea gardens I have seen over the years, particularly in the southern states, none rivals the spectacular explosion of colors, varieties and sheer volume spread out over a very large area – than can be seen in the National Arboretum. Simply stunning!
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