those weeks.) Nevertheless, in my collection of photos a la D.C. were pictures I took last summer at the U.S. National Arboretum in NE. The Arboretum is a gem of gardens and plant collections that are spectacular! Getting to the arboretum isn't necessarily a cake walk and literally tens of thousands of people drive by it every day without stopping in. But once you stop saying, "One of these days I'm going to go there" and you actually do go, you'll never regret it.
I went to the Arboretum twice year; first, with a friend and then with my sister. These pictures are from the bonsai and penjing exhibits. Bonsai is the Japanese art of small trees, while penjing is its Chinese precursor. Some of the bonsai/penjing in the Arboretum's collection are more than 400 years old. Many of these trees are tended and passed down in families for generations, which makes them that much more awe-inspiring.
The arboretum features lily ponds with koi, an herb farm, hiking trails, collections of state trees and flowers, crape myrtle and azaleas in abundance, the aforementioned bonsai and penjing museums, full moon hikes, and--in the works--a Chinese pavilion. There is no entrance fee as the Arboretum is also a research component of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but donations are accepted. The grounds also include a collection of columns that originally were part of the U.S. Capitol Building. You can tour the Arboretum's vast acreage from the comfort of your own car, on the seat of your bike, or whilst shod in a solid pair of hiking shoes; tram tours are also available. If you live in D.C. and its environs or if you're visiting, a day at the Arboretum is time well-spent.
Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 07/06