Wednesday, April 5, 2023

A Secret Garden

Sujata Massey 

It seems amazing that two weeks ago, I was marveling at springtime in the desert. I'm back home in the Mid-Atlantic or "Delmarva," a nickname that includes the states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Washington DC doesn't appear in the moniker, but it's the ultimate springtime destination. 

Springtime in the District is magical, with airy, pastel-colored trees and shrubs decorating the 1920s and 1930s grand architecture that marks neighborhoods like Chevy Chase, Woodley Park and Kalorama. And it seems to me that these old-fashioned, courtly perennial gardens have distinctly British layouts, but a dash of Japonisme when it comes to shrubs. Consider the original cherry trees planted in 1912 near the Tidal Basin by First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador. Following this famous example, cherry and plum and quince trees were planted all over the district and the aforementioned Delmarva.

I would rather visit a private garden, with few crowds, then fight for space among thousands on Washington Mall's. One of DC's best kept secrets is the large formal garden behind the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

I enjoyed a lovely day flower-gazing in DC, and drove home in heavy traffic that I  blame (at least partly) on cherry blossom viewers. Two hours to go 35 miles!

Fortunately, the same flora  is in bloom in my own neighborhood. Daisy, our little brown terrier, walks with me several times a day. Her favorite season is undoubtedly spring. I suspect her affection is driven by the fascinating  smells.

               And Daisy told me that the best way to savor spring is to share it with someone else.


  1. Even though it makes me sneeze (both, as it happens, in the dessert and in our Eastern Climes), I love springtime. Especially that moment captured in your first picture, where the limbs of the trees are still visible, but the lacy new leaves give them a lovely green veil! Thank you for this vicarious visit! AA

  2. Spring is my favorite time in both Manhattan and Northwest New Jersey. Central Park is ablaze with blooms and Joisey woods offer surprising arrays of color in the most unexpected places. Happy Springtime, Sujata!