We used to have window boxes in London where we grew herbs and flowers and I loved them dearly. It cheered me up to see the greenery and know that I had grown it! It also saved a fortune in fresh herbs once they got going, the basil especially grew like gangbusters during the summer.
So when we moved to DC one of the first things I noticed about our flat was the lack of window boxes or opportunities to grow anything. All the windows have fly screens to keep the mosquitoes out and I would rather have no mosquitoes than plants.
Then last weekend our church was having a flower mart and they had lots of herbs on sale so I decided that now was the time to invest. We then had to get something to put our indoor window boxes on and chose a red Ikea bench which if needed can also be used as an actual bench rather than just a place for our plants.
I love seeing them in our living room! Tending to them and checking them for how they are doing. Our basil, thyme and parsley are all looking very happy in their new homes. Our coriander on the other hand is taking a little longer to settle in but I’m sure it will get there eventually.
Springtime in Washington, D.C. really is glorious. This year especially. We’ve had about six days in a row with temperatures in the twenties (Celcius that is), which has meant that the cherry blossoms are out early. They were due at the end of March but we went down to see them this weekend and they were already looking wonderful.
Below is a new type of cherry tree for me, the weeping cherry tree, it has the most beautiful branches fir to bursting with blossom which dust down to the ground and sway gently in the wind.
And finally, some gentle pink amongst the white. It would seem that the pinker blossomed trees flower later than the white blossom ones as when we were out and about most of the trees were white. This one though was tinged pink and looked ever so pretty.
J and I went to Whole Foods today, it is quite possibly one of my favourite places in DC. The range and quality of the produce is amazing. We weren’t quite sure what we were after, just that it was going to be fresh and ideally seasonal. Look what we found!
Amazing, beautiful heirloom tomatoes… Yummy too once sliced, a sprinkle of salt, some dried oregano and a generous drizzle of olive oil had been added. Mmmmm, happy summer days.
J’s cousin is visiting us (hence some of my quietness, hosting takes up quite a lot of time) and in an inspired organised moment I booked tickets in March to go up the Washington monument in July. It was amazing and I’m so glad we went. Not only are the views spectacular but the building itself is stunning. Despite being 123 years old it looks very new, has a super whizzy elevator and it awe-inspiring once inside.
The Jefferson memorial, Reagan National Airport and looking out into Virginia.
The White House! You can also see here how green it is still, I imagine in a few weeks these lawns will be a lot browner…
The World War II and the Lincoln memorial. Such a shame they are working on the reflecting pool at the moment, does rather ruin the view. Although you can see how huge the Lincoln memorial is and I have to say it’s even better in real life. Of all the memorials the Lincoln really is the best and most amazing (in my opinion anyhow…)
Today we went to the DC BBQ Battle, held the entire weekend a stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue was devoted to BBQ and the eating, cooking and general lifestyle of it. It was an experience. A lot of pork was being cooked and of course eaten…
This smoker/BBQ machine was pretty cute. They tended to range from the sweet and pretty like the below to the huge and pretty or just plain practical.
Mmmmm, prepaing the ribs. (Although I’m more of a pulled pork girl if I’m honest).
Couldn’t help but share this pic…
And finally, an entire lorry devoted to a sausage grill. Astonishing.
It was a great experience, one of those things you’ll probably only do once but once nonetheless…
And now for a few BBQ free days we think.
At this time of year Washington, DC, really is beautiful. It’s green and full of flowers. The most plentiful flower is the Azelea, which is everywhere in all it’s many variations and colours. I’d never really seen it before and kept noticing it, drawn to it’s brightness, delicate flowers and glorious riot of colour. I thought it rude not to share with you the fabulousness.
The deep pink ones really are this colour. So bright and so joyful.
A weekend back J and I had friends in town and together we went out to Arlington cemetary. It was a beautiful spring day, bright with the most amazing blue sky but thankfully not too hot.
We joined a DC by foot walking tour of the cemetary, which was great and I would highly reommend.
The cemetary is a beautiful place, so full of nature and greenery and incredibly calm and moving to visit. After a certain year all the gravestones are the same. They are also placed to be in horizontal lines which stretch out as far as the eye can see in some places.
One of the Kennedy’s, Edward I think, had this simple white wooden cross as his tombstone.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is famous and not quite what I wa expecting. They have a guard watching it at all times so you can’t actually get very close to it. It’s also interesting that now they have much better record systems the number of unknowns is decreasing hugely.
Every half hour they change the guard who watch over the tomb of the unknown soldier. It’s an interesting display. The inspection of the new guard (as shown below) is very twiddly. Also all the guards have to be between 5’10” and 6’2″ and have a 28″ – 32″ waist! This is so the guards can fit the uniform and look uniform too!
The graves range from many years but some are newer than others. This one with the rock stood out to me. The rock has written on it:
A couple of weeks ago we were fortunate enough to be given tickets to the Spring opening of the White House gardens. Not only were we given tickets but we were given four! Which was rather wonderful as we had lovely friends from England with us.
So on a chilly grey Sunday we turned up (as did about 10,000 other people that weekend) to tour around the gardens. And what fun it was! The gardens really are beautiful.
I don’t think this is a famous bit but it looks just lovely.
They had a band playing as we went around. Lots of brass and rousing tunes.
The vegetable garden as introduced by Michelle Obama. Here if you look closely you can see plants which were from Jefferson’s garden. As in plants which have been cultivated at Monticello since Jefferson’s time and are now being grown in the White House gardens!
And finally an ‘up close’ pic of the House itself, complete with the many many visitors that morning!
J and I went to see the Cherry blossoms a couple of weeks ago and while we were over near the Jefferson memorial we spotted this bride hiding behind Don’s Johns. It tickled me to see her there, peeking out to see that everything was ready.
It was very sweet seeing the wedding in such a public place, everyone watching (not in the wedding party) clapped her in and I couldn’t help but think that she had been incredibly lucky with both the weather and the beautiful blossoms in the background.