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My Favorite Places for Signs of Spring

March 31, 2021 by Lori Lankford

 “Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.” — Lewis Grizzard.

As the cold of winter starts to leave, we experience the new beginning of spring every year. When spring begins to arrive, we can see the buds appearing on trees, crocus flowers popping up from the hard ground, and daffodils blooming along the side of the road. It is one of my favorite times of the year. The energy, color, and freshness of the earth is something to behold. 

I love to get out on the weekends or for sunrise/sunset to capture this new beginning’s essence. 

Here are some of my favorite local places to really see the birth of spring. I hope you will get out with your camera and celebrate the new beginning of spring. 

  • The National Arboretum is a great place to spot the early signs of spring. Crocus flowers popping up, Red Bud and Cherry Trees starting to bloom. The national park is large, with trails to explore. There is a cherry tree map to download to see all the unique varieties. 
  • The Congressional Cemetery in DC is a historical cemetery with a beautiful grove of early blooming cherry trees. They are some of the first to bloom in the city. This is a great place to visit on the weekend, walk the historic cemetery, and capture the trees’ beauty. Nearby is the farmer’s market at Eastern Market. 
  • The Parterre, at the Smithsonian Haupt Garden is one of the more popular places to see the beautiful early blooms of the saucer magnolia trees. They are spectacular to see. Get out early, the gates are open from dawn to dusk.
  • Rawlins Park is a small park off the National Mall. There is easy street parking. The first bloomers of the Saucer Magnolias are perfect at this spot. Grab a warm beverage and plan to sit and enjoy these trees’ beauty in a quiet park. 
  • For a short day trip, the Lewis Ginter gardens near Richmond make for a perfect spring outing. The park is easy to walk in a day and has many spring plants to see. They start blooming a little earlier than in Northern Virginia, so it is a nice spot to visit starting in March. 
  • Meadowlark and Green Spring Gardens in Virginia and Brookside Gardens in Maryland are also worth exploring. 
  • Following the Cherry Trees and Saucer Magnolias in March and early April, we’ll find ourselves in Tulip season. Visit the Floral Library at the north end of the Tidal Basin (along Independence Ave) the Franciscan Monastery, Hillwood Museum in DC, the large collection at the Netherlands Carillion in Arlington, and in north Baltimore, check out the small residential park, Sherwood Gardens.  
  • Virginia Bluebell season is just around the corner. Bull Run is a great spot for this as is Riverbend Park near Great Falls

I hope you will brave the chilly days as well as the warm ones and get out this spring to see nature in all its glory. 

“Listen, everyone has a chance. Is it spring, is it morning? Are there trees near you, and does your own soul need comforting? Quick, then––open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song may already be drifting away.” Mary Oliver

Join Lori Lankford at these In-Person Flower and Garden classes;

April 25, 2021: Creative Close-Up Photography in the Gardens

May 16, 2021: Create Impressionistic Images in the Garden

May 23, 2021: Garden Photography - Storytelling In The Garden

June 13, 2021: Getting Started in Flower and Garden Photography

Online, Lori is teaching 

May 5, 2021: Creative Photography Using Light  

Also in May, Creative Close Ups