The international flower spy loves spring in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S, in particular Maryland. It just so happens to be one of those rare states that has four true seasons. Spring would have to be one of its best--the flowering trees are everywhere and when the wind blows, it creates a shower of flower petals and color. It's not only gorgeous and fragrant, it's downright romantic. Finding these trees is easy if you live in any of the counties of this state. But if you are visiting or having a hard time finding them, here are some suggestions.
BALTIMORE COUNTY AND CITY: Historic Catonsville and Ellicott City, various sections; Druid Hill Park-Zoo area by water basin; Mt. Washington-Cross Country Boulevard; Bolton Hill-all streets have at least ten flowering trees that are worth the trip-they are old and BIG; Homeland neighborhood- Springlake Way; Guilford by Sherwood Gardens.
ANNAPOLIS: Rolling Hills neighborhood off Generals Highway, Rt. 178, all around the historic district live lots of old fruit trees in bloom.
DC: All along the Potomac hiking trail; the Cherry Trees in Washington D.C. at the Tidal Basin, there are hundreds (go if you live here, if you missed this year, go next year!); National Arboretum. Takoma Park (it's called tree city U.S.A.) is filled with a beautiful variety of old flowering fruit trees; Downtown Silver Spring; and Wheaton.
VIRGINIA: Meadowland Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA.; Leesville Blvd, Springfield, VA.
Trees Shown: Weeping Cherry, Red Bud, Forsythia, Eastern Whitebud, Plum, Double Red Peach, Witch Hazel.
ALL PICTURES BY: THE INTERNATIONAL FLOWER SPY
Posted by Flower Spy on Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Labels: San Francisco/CA
I went for a long weekend to visit an old pal in San Francisco. Since he was a worker bee during the day, I took advantage of my time alone and got down with some serious spring flower spying. I decided to start at the Golden Gate Park. That place may never be the same after I showered it with so much flower-love. It's a place so intoxicating, I got stoned just walking through the little paths and gardens. I could live in those beds of forget-me-nots, mood moss and ivy. It was a floral utopia.
When I arrived, my first stop was to check out the beautiful old Conservatory of Flowers. I walked inside and immediately felt the moist air heavy with tropical odors. How terribly luscious were those exotic botanicals, in particular the orchids! There were some varieties I've never seen which means nothing considering that there are more than 39,000 species of natural orchids growing in the world today. There was one in particular that could compete with the scariest of spiders...it was wild and projectile with flowers that looked like they could bite.
I left the moist Amazonian climate in search of the famed butterfly exhibit that was taking place in the next building. Unfortunately, due to an over abundance of field trips, few of the graceful beauties had much hair left on their wings, many of them were torn from too much fondling and capture attempts. I was disappointed but spotted one monarch stunner that had escaped the tyranny of the tykes.
After yelling at a group of boys to leave the poor creatures alone, I headed out to my next floral mission: the park. As I was leaving, I passed by a sign that said butterflies taste with their feet. I thought that was kinda creepy but cute.
I started walking aimlessly through Golden Gate Park, and came across all kinds of unusual plants and flowers, mosses and lichen, on dead branches that looked like sculptures. And just when I thought I had discovered the mother-load of Spring, I accidentally bump into a grove of perfect calla lilies. They were flawless examples of California's prettiest field flower.
I regained my composure in time to find more floral treasures-- this time I stumbled upon a small hill of echium at the De Young Museum. Like the fields of volkerfreiden delphinium I found in Europe, these guys made me swoon for a small eternity. Bees were swarming all over them and I couldn't blame them. I barely took this picture without getting stung, and it was well worth it. I was entranced and just stared for a while at their perfection. Echium is a native of the Canary Islands, a place so magical, flowers bloom from the sidewalk cracks up to the mountains without ever taking a moments pause. I should have remembered them, I just couldn't place the spikey shape. But I'll never forget that acid-trippy, sky-blue-snowball blue of blue color again.
I guess that was a great place to end my flower adventure. It started to rain, putting a damper on my spying. I would have stayed and waited, but Spring in San Francisco can be a bit nippy, so I headed on out to my next mission: Haight Ashbury. My flower power was in high force so it was time to get my hippie on. Peace out, man.
Locale: Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA.
Flowers Shown: Primrose, flowering Papyrus?(possibly, unsure), an unidentified exotic Orchid, Marigold with Monarch munching away, dead branch covered with lichen, a field of (standard)Calla Lilies, Echium, field of poppies, a perfect Cattleya Orchid.