Historical landmarks and wonderful Washington DC flower shops can both be found in our nation's capital.
Legally named the District of Columbia, Washington D.C. is the nation’s Capital and home of the White House. The city hosts 174 foreign embassies and is also home to the World Bank.
Although crucial to the function of the country, all of the politics can leave Washington D.C. feeling a little drab which is why the National Cherry Blossom Festival is always a welcomed event each year. Now in its 98th year, the festival is a two week event that marks the arrival of spring in D.C., and celebrates the blossoming of over 3000 cherry trees in the area. The trees were a given as a gift to the people of Washington D.C. from Tokyo in 1912, and each year the city explodes in a sea of white and pale pink blossoms making this a sight that easily takes the breath away.
The blossoming of the trees can actually make a dent in the profits of the Washington D.C flower shops for a couple of weeks as many residents also have their own trees and blossoms are often cut from the trees for display in homes and businesses. Some Washington florists have tried throughout the years to incorporate the blossoms in to their arrangements but have been unsuccessful as cherry blossoms don’t last long after having been cut.
Flowers in Washington D.C have been in recent headlines with house speaker Nancy Pelosi coming under fire for her Washington D.C flower expenses. Pelosi apparently spent a total of $2,993 in tax payer money on fresh flowers. The speaker’s office defended themselves against the criticism by claiming the business went to a local Washington D.C. florist. They’ve also claimed that one third of that budget was spent on flowers for Jack Kemp’s funeral and that these too, were commissioned from a Washington D.C. flower shop.
In other news, the White House’s very own Washington DC Florist announced her plans to retire in 2009. Nancy Clarke served 31 years as the White House’s chief florist through 6 presidents. She started in 1978 in the position responsible for the design, planning, arrangement and placement of all flowers for the White House, the First Family and official state functions. Although it may seem like a simple enough position there is a political component to flower arrangement. Due to the meanings different cultures assign to flowers there is often a great deal of research that must take place prior to designing flowers for foreign dignitary visits. In some cultures, white and yellow are only used for funeral, as are certain types of flowers. Although Washington D.C florists would love to lay claim to the amount of business to be garnered through supplying the demands of the house, they actually have their own Washington D.C. flower shop located on the ground floor of the White House.
Whether it’s inside the White House, or outside in the surrounding area, it’s nice to know that thanks to the intricate wonders of Mother Nature, policies are not the only things blooming in the nation’s capital.
Points of interest in the District of Columbia
- White House and the Capitol buildings
- Lincoln Memorial
- Washington Monument
- International Spy Museum
- Korean War and Vietnam Veterans Memorials
- Smithsonian Institution