One of the most difficult things about living in DC is the lack of green. Since I grew up in Tennessee at the base of the Smokies, that may be the biggest adjustment. I’ve heard it’s a problem for larger cities too – that’s why you find so many rooftop terraces in places like New York. To combat this, Virginia and I have tried our hand at being green thumbs in DC.
Gardening is something I would have never thought to be cathartic. I grew up on a small farm, so picking green beans, shucking corn, and pulling weeds was just straight up work. Here in the capital though, buying potting soil and perusing our local gardening nursery couldn’t be more relaxing.
The best shop I’ve found to date is Ginkgo Gardens on 11th St SE. Their outdoor area is a jungle, filled to the brim with variety. Their indoor section has two levels. On the bottom floor you can find every kind of succulent and terrarium material imaginable (I’m a huge fan of terrariums). And on the top floor you can find patio decor, bird feeders, and larger exotic plants. Oh, and if you’re into free plants they often have a rack out front of plants they’re giving away.
DC is unique in that it has parks everywhere, and they’re all national parks. In fact, less than a block away is a small triangle of grass that can’t be more than 10 feet on every side. It’s technically a “park” so it’s required to have a national park service sign saying it closes at dusk.
In all seriousness though, I love the parks and trees in DC. The streets are lined with giant trees of every type, and the parks are lush and comfortable. To get my taste of green I don’t have to garden. But if you’re stressed because of work, need to relax, or need a creative date idea, try out your green thumbs in DC. It’s cheaper than a movie.