Easter weekend was a great day to visit the now-finally-fully-open National Arboretum and snap some spring sunshine for you guys. It’s just a 15-minute drive from my house, and I cycled around its 446 acres often during the pandemic when its buildings were closed.

This gem in the Northeast part of Washington, D.C. is little known to residents outside the neighborhood. It’s nice to see its bonsai collection attracting busloads of Asian tourists, and I often see groups of kids on field trips there.

I’m told that a big expensive improvement is coming in 2025 – a bridge from the Arboretum across the Anacostia River.  It’ll connect to a large underserved community there. 

The Administration Building is an award-winning example of modernist architecture.

The koi are finally back, too.

Outside the Bonsai and Penjing Museum, a Japanese maple with peonies.

Another view, with visitors galore.

No blooms here, but none needed to catch me eye – the chartreuse maple leaves and expert pruning are enough.

Inside, these bonsai examples are just so cool.

The Capitol Columns always draw a crowd. Pano view.

Honestly, my eyes went right to the mostly-weed meadow around the columns, and the big question I’d love to get answered: How do they get rid of all the weeds? The perennial obstacle in meadow-making being how to get rid of weeds without massive use of herbicides. Massive use of volunteers?

And what’s going on with the design? The gorgeous amsonia+aster fall color combo is greatly missed – all the asters are gone.

The Children’s Garden is coming to life, with these native honeysuckle blooms just about to pop.

One of my favorite scenes is this one in the Conifer Collection.

But the big treat was finding this temporary outdoor exhibit from Chapter 1 of Ikebana International.  I knew nothing about Ikebana but was about to be schooled.

“Passage of Time” in the Sogestu School

“Fortitude” in the Sogestu School

“Palm Spring” in the Sangetsu School

“Nagame” in the Saga Goryu School

“Spring is at our Door” in the Ohara School

“Heartbreak” in the Ichio School

“Meditation” in the Ichinobo School

For more schooling on this fascinating art form, you can listen to the artists describing their works.