flowers in the city {photos}

moving to DC, i had a few things that made me nervous: moving away from a town i’d never left (note: when i was really little, my family moved twice, but i have no memories of that), getting my car sorted out, learning the new neighborhood’s ins and outs, and surviving the summer on less than half the pay i’d be making come fall. 

but one of my biggest worries? living in a city, to me, screamed of cement and brick and asphalt and very little greenery. i grew up in the country – surrounded by mountains, fields, and old oak trees that soared so high as to cause worry when lightning was about. where would i get my nature fix, satisfy my ability and desire to name flowers, and see the brilliant power of the world to turn a seed into a bloom?

"my habitat is apparently a tiny hint of space between sidewalk and street"

“my habitat is apparently a tiny hint of space between sidewalk and street”

right down my block, apparently. y’all. this town has so many beautiful flowers. the roses are fading a bit, but it seems like every house has a rose bush exploding to life. the above hibiscus flower is growing on a massive bush a few blocks away – vibrant, saassy blossoms in the morning that close up and droop sadly in the heat of the afternoon.

these beauties (in many colors) droop over every sidewalk

these beauties (in many colors) droop over every sidewalk

there is clearly something magical in the soil in DC, because it is insane how many houses have front yards or strips of soil along the sidewalk that are just teeming with flora. 

i have no idea what this is, but it's SO bright

i have no idea what this is, but it’s SO bright

you walk down steamy streets and little kids are sitting in the dirt, planting or tending to plants of all kinds. yesterday, walking home from the corner store, i saw a little boy sitting by an equally young magnolia tree, pulling weeds while his mom encouraged him to just yank them out by the roots. 

so. vibrant.

this soothes me. my people are here, in this city. they love green things. they’re teaching their kids to love them, too. there is one house that has so much lavender pouring through the fence that i am sorely tempted to bring scissors on a walk and steal a bunch.

starflowers? i don't know what these are, but they're like little purple stars and i love them

starflowers? i don’t know what these are, but they’re like little purple stars and i love them

honestly, seeing how many homes and shops have taken such care of nature in this city comforts me. it makes DC more like home to see how happy green things are here. among the sidewalks and brick walls and asphalt lanes, nature, too, has a home here. she’s loud and bright and has flowers i’ve never seen before, and i love it.

this is the bush that tells me i'm a block from home

this is the bush that tells me i’m a block from home

as the US Botanic Garden prepares for the flower-that-smells-like-death (mmm, tempting), i’m entranced by the flowers at work outside of those walls. they’re luscious and wonderful and all over the place, and i’m grateful on a daily basis for their existence.

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