N° 49 — April 13, 2021
Happy spring! Please enjoy our regular updates and insights from FONA, the U.S. National Arboretum, and our award-winning Washington Youth Garden.
The US National Arboretum is implementing a new traffic plan starting Wednesday, April 14th to keep the grounds safe for drivers, walkers, and all visitors. This plan is temporary and will be in place until about mid-May.
Our Virtual Farm Field Trips make it easy to bring garden science into classrooms. We created 13 field trips in partnership with City Blossoms and Common Good City Farm to teach students about fundamental garden and environmental science, like the parts of a plant, composting, and ecosystems. We even made an activity guide to go along with it!

Anyone can come on these virtual farm field trips — we've even had teachers from Ohio and Georgia say they're using our field trips in their science classes.

From the Field: Dr. Margaret Pooler
"Women play a critical role in the world’s agriculture and food security, so we need women to be more involved in agriculture at all levels, including leadership and innovative research."

Dr. Margaret Pooler, a plant geneticist who oversees all research projects at the National Arboretum, recently sat down with Casey Trees to discuss her path through botany and how to engage more women and minorities in the field. Dr. Pooler's research and breeding of plants like cherries and crapemyrtles has significantly contributed to both the Arboretum's research and the American plant nursery industry.

Dr. Margaret Pooler oversees all research projects at the National Arboretum. Photo from: Adrian Higgins, Washington Post
Growing Azaleas
The National Arboretum has developed and released 475 azalea varieties into the American nursery industry during almost a century of operation. These plants add wonderful arrays color, texture, and structure to any spring garden. Early-blooming azaleas are flowering in the Arboretum's Azalea Collection.

But how do you plant and care for azaleas? This Washington Post article explains how.

Arboretum Activities
Explore a free outdoor ikebana exhibit at the National Arboretum this weekend, April 17 - 18 from 8 AM to 5 PM. This is the second and final weekend of this exhibit created by Ikebana International's Washington, DC Chapter No. 1.

The chapter will display seven new arrangements on the North Court of the Visitor Center. Bring your smartphone and scan the QR codes to watch the artists speak about their arrangements.

Dr. Tanisha Williams, a Burpee post-doctoral fellow in botany at Bucknell University and lead organizer of #BlackBotanistsWeek, will explore the Black botanical legacy. Photo from: Holden Arboretum
From our Friends: Holden Arboretum
Join the Holden Arboretum tomorrow evening for the next installment of their Growing Black Roots virtual lecture series. Every month, this free series dives into the historical legacy of Black botanists from a broad range of botanical disciplines and highlights pathways towards diversity and inclusion in botanical sciences.

This Wednesday, April 14th at 7PM, Dr. Tanisha Williams will take you on a journey of discovery of the Black botanical legacy and explore the Black botanists who paved the way for own career. Dr. Williams is a Burpee post-doctoral fellow in botany at Bucknell University and lead organizer of #BlackBotanistsWeek.

Spring in the City
It seems like something new blooms every day at the Arboretum! Right now, you can enjoy dogwood blossoms as they cascade from canopies in the Dogwood Collection. This collection also has many overlooks where you can relax, admire the blooms, and take in the Anacostia River.

Looking for other spring blooms? Download the Arboretum's app for iOS or Android platforms to see what's blooming and where you can find it.

Vendor Corner
Although the Lahr and Garden Fair plant sales are both cancelled this year, there are still ways to support the wonderful vendors.

Wood Thrush Natives is a small, retail, mail-order nursery specializing in seed-grown, regional ecotypes of rare, unusual or underappreciated plants native to the mid-Appalachian and surrounding regions.

The Arboretum is open every day from 8 AM - 5 PM except December 25th. Some buildings and collections remain closed to ensure visitor and staff safety.
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