Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I have no idea how big an acre is

DC was all abloom these past few weeks with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. It was quite a sight to see. Instead of going downtown and fighting the crowds, Alex and I decided to take a trip to the U.S. National Arboretum.

The U.S. National Arboretum is a 446 acre collection of trees in the south east corner of Washington, DC. It includes nine miles of roadways that connect numerous gardens and collections of trees, bushes, flowers, and herbs. It is a truly lovely, peaceful, and beautiful way to see the cherry blossoms. We will definitely be taking a trip back this summer to picnic, ride bikes, and run around on the grass in our bare feet.

Here are some photos of our trip to the Arboretum and our newly planted balcony container garden.

Blue skies and cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms up close and personal

Love. Love. Love.

Alex and me under the cherry trees.

Weeping cherry blossoms.

In addition to seeing the cherry trees, I was very excited to check out the National Herb Garden. It is the largest designed herb garden in the nation and includes annual, perennial, and woody herbal plants. As you can see, the sign invites visitors to see, smell, taste, and touch the growing plants.

The garden is organized into uses for herbs such as herbs used in food, beverages, teas, and fragrances.

Me under a pretty archway.

After the National Herb Garden, we visited the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum. I'll admit, I've always though bonsais were very strange trees, but these were hauntingly beautiful and many were older than 100 years old. Very neat.

Pretty plum tree blossoms

Bonsais that have been cultivated since 1875.

Pretty trees in the Japanese Woodland gardens.

Beautiful trees in the Dogwood Collections.

Inspired by the U.S. National Herb Garden, Alex and I started our own container garden on our sunny balcony. Here we have cilantro, lemon balm, thyme, and oregano.

In addition to our herbs, we also decided to plant a baby grape tomato plant. We'll see what happens with it, but we planted it with arugula and basil, which are all companion plants.

Lastly, we have sage, parsley, chives, and a baby strawberry plant.

Have you started your herb garden yet this spring? What are you planting? What recipes will you be featuring this spring from your very own yard?


  1. I have never planted an herb garden but have always wanted to! I think if I were to do one this year (I'm undecided) I would do basil, thyme, and rosemary since I use those the most.

    The cherry blossoms look so beautiful :)

  2. Beautiful!! We are little behind you guys but tulips are definitely coming up and the herb garden will get in full swing probably next month!

  3. Love your herb garden! I'm sure it will get a lot of use this summer.... I haven't started our garden yet, I am sure it will be a mix of every imaginable vegetable!

  4. Thanks everyone!

    Stephanie, I love having fresh herbs, it's so fun and much cheaper than buying them in the store. I totally encourage starting one!

    Emily and Kristina, I've always been envious of your gardens. I can't wait to have a yard some day!