Aug 25, 2023
How To Make the Most of D.C.'s Flower Season
From visits to vibrant flower farms to creative end-of-summer workshops, we’ve got you covered. The most conspicuous sign that winter is over in the DMV might be the flowers. Floral-rich with a long
From visits to vibrant flower farms to creative end-of-summer workshops, we’ve got you covered.
The most conspicuous sign that winter is over in the DMV might be the flowers. Floral-rich with a long blooming season, we bask for months in spring and summer’s visual and olfactory (and, yes, histamine-triggering) gifts: the fleeting cacophony of cherry blossoms, sprays of forsythia and delicate crocuses giving way to daffodils, tulips, hydrangeas and roses.
The first week of August marks summer’s official midpoint. And with the relief that comes with the first whisper of cooler days ahead, you may also find yourself panicking that the season’s sensory bounty will soon be behind us. But if you’ve got a case of the summer scaries, we’ve got the cure: Soak it up. It’s only August; some of the DMV’s best flowers are just getting started.
“Flowers are a scientifically proven mood booster, and local flowers especially are a way to embrace the present and really be absorbed in time and place,” says Amber Flack, owner and CEO of Little Acre Flowers, the only D.C. floral shop boasting 100% locally-sourced blooms.
Flack notes that this time of year, the area is rich with field-grown showstoppers like dahlias, sunflowers and zinnias, as well as a host of floaty wildflowers like rudbeckia, cosmos and gomphrena.
As summer’s swansong takes root, consider this your guide to the places and experiences that will help you make the most of the flowers that define the season — and make some memories (and maybe even some crafts) to last you until next year.
This month, see flowers in new ways with workshops and events for budding gardeners, floral designers and crafters.
Pressed Flower Frame Workshop with Wildry at the Makery at Relume Desperately trying to squeeze the last bit of life from summer in hopes it will last forever? There’s a craft for that. Join the folks at Wildry for a crash course in pressing and framing flowers, hosted by The Makery at Relume. Wildry specializes in one-of-a-kind floral art with a local and sustainable bent: They primarily source materials from second-hand and vintage purveyors and their flowers are grown and dried in the D.C. area. Learn more about Wildry at wildry.co or follow them on [email protected]. $46. 5:30 p.m. 760 C St. SE, DC; relume.co // @relume_co; @themakerydc
Dahlia Dreams at Petal’s Edge Floral DesignFew flowers scream late summer like dahlias. Fun fact: This showstopper of a bloom is not only visually pleasing, it boasts peppery, completely edible petals and tuberous roots to boot. In this workshop, learn the basics of floral design and craft your own arrangement featuring this gorgeous and multifaceted garden darling. All flowers and materials are provided, and Petal’s Edge is accessible by Metro with parking available nearby. For those looking to go deeper into floral design, check out their one-on-one mentorship opportunities. $150. 7 p.m. 1105 Oronoco St. Alexandria, VA; shoppetalsedge.com // @shoppetalsedge
Desert Terrariums at REWILD ShawTerrariums are the place where seriously skilled crafting meets utter whimsy. Build the tiny desert ecosystem of your dreams to gaze upon all winter long. $50. 7 p.m. 1924 8th St. NW, DC; rewilddc.com // @rewilddc
Garden-Inspired Bouquets with Flowers x Flores at Shop Made in DC – Union MarketShop Made in DC is no stranger to flower-inspired classes, from sip-and-paints focused on peonies and tropical florals, to indigo dying to making DIY eucalyptus. Keep an eye on their class calendar for more, including natural soap making, hosted by White Lily Shoppe on August 3, if you’re hankering to sprinkle flower petals into something you will then rub all over your body. Private classes for groups of five or more can be arranged. $100. 3 p.m. 325 Morse St. NE, DC; shopmadeindc.com //@shopmadeindc
Annual Begonia Show and Sale at Green Spring GardensThe Potomac branch of the American Begonia Society sponsors this annual show, featuring a wide variety of this colorful perennial (including tropical and subtropical species) to keep the garden party going inside all year long. (Not for nothing: Green Spring Gardens is itself worth a visit in any season. Consider going in the fall or winter when the witch hazel collection is in bloom.) Free. Various times. 4603 Green Spring Rd. Alexandria, VA; fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/green-spring
Indigo & Shibori 101 at Rhizome DCSet in Rhizome’s multipurpose backyard, this afternoon class covers making an indigo vat, the basics of dying and an introduction to shibori (Japanese tie-dye). All materials are provided, and participants will receive one bandana each to dye and are welcome to bring additional items from home. $15–$25. 1 p.m. 6950 Maple St. NW, DC; rhizomedc.org // @rhizome_dc
Local gardens and parks will be popping off this month. Take some selfies, learn a little something about horticulture and regional ecology, and bask in the D.C. area’s wonderland of flowers while you still can.
Kenilworth Park & Aquatic GardensThe annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival wrapped in mid-July, but both blooms are still going strong. Kenilworth is the only National Park Service site dedicated to aquatic plants and a haven for nature lovers within city limits, with ranger-led programming and special events throughout the year. 1550 Anacostia Ave. NE, DC; nps.gov/keaq // @kenilworthnps
McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management AreaEvery spring, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources plants fields of sunflowers that will become a vital food source for mourning doves, honey bees and other species of wildlife — but not before serving as a backdrop for a lot of social media content. Dove hunting generally begins in early September, so enjoy while you safely can. And no picking the flowers — they’re the doves’ food, you monster. 18600 River Rd. Poolesville, MD; dnr.maryland.gov
Pollinator Garden at the National Museum of Natural HistoryThere’s important work happening year-round in this Smithsonian garden, specially designed with continuous flowering and insect sheltering in mind. Visit in early August — when blooming reaches its peak and pollinators are the most active — and in fall to catch buzzing pollinators storing up for hibernation and monarchs and hummingbirds migrating south. 850 Madison Dr. NW, DC; gardens.si.edu // @smithsoniangardens
From flower shops boasting sustainable, locally sourced blooms to day trip-worthy flower farms, the DMV is flush with spots to get your late-summer flower fix.
Bona TerraThis native plant nursery puts our collective recycling skills on blast by growing plants in reused containers with soil made from composted invasive plants and fertilizer made from invasive fish. Visits by appointment only. 391 Friendship Rd. Friendship, MD; bonaterradc.com // @bonaterradc
Blk Flwr MrktA community-oriented mobile floral shop and studio hosting regular in-person pop-ups and non-traditional floral design workshops. blackflowermarket.com // @blkflwrmrkt
Deep Roots FarmSign up for the fall CSA at this Black and woman-owned holistic farm and be sure to add on fresh flowers. 15105 Mt Calvert Rd. Upper Marlboro, MD; deeprootsfarm.us // @deeprootsfarm
Flowers x FloresFlowers x Flores is a farm and floral design studio using regenerative growing practices on an urban lot in Hyattsville, Maryland. flowersxflores.com // @flowersxflores
Lee’s Flower + Card Shop Inc.First opened in 1945, Lee’s is the oldest Black-owned flower shop in D.C. 1026 U St. NW, DC; leesflowerandcard.com // @leesflowersdc
Little Acre FlowersIn an industry notorious for its environmental impact, Little Acre offers 100% locally sourced arrangements wrapped in sustainable materials. (Check out their subscription options, too.) 2004 17th St. NW, DC; littleacreflowers.com // @littleacreflowers
Wollam GardensAn 11-acre farm and wedding venue 60 miles west of the District, Wollam Gardens is home to an impressive array of perennials, annuals, trees, and shrubs. Spend a day picnicking, wandering the grounds and cutting your own bouquet. CSA options available. 5167 Jeffersonton Rd. Jeffersonton, VA; wollamgardens.com // @wollamgardens
Want first access to summer activities and workshops around D.C.? Join the District Fray community, where you’ll access free and discounted tickets. Become a member and support local journalism today.at Petal’s Edge Floral Designat Shop Made in DC – Union Marketat the National Museum of Natural HistoryBona TerraBlk Flwr MrktDeep Roots FarmFlowers x FloresLee’s Flower + Card Shop Inc.Little Acre FlowersWollam Gardens