N° 194 — April 17, 2024

Enjoy regular updates and insights from FONA, the U.S. National Arboretum, and our award-winning Washington Youth Garden.

The National Arboretum's temporary spring traffic plan is in effect through mid-May. This impacts traffic flow and parking throughout the grounds.

Check our Website for Full Details >

Garden Fair & Plant Sale

Plant lists are here for next week's Garden Fair & Plant Sale! Check out the list of plants our team of garden experts have ordered for this event, held on Saturday, April 27th:

There will also be succulents for sale from the private collection of the late Dick Hammerschlag. Dick was a long-time FONA volunteer and Garden Fair committee member. His collection has been generously donated by his wife, Freddi. Dick dedicated his life to plants and ecology. We hope his passion and memory lives on in the plants he cared for so dearly.

Photo by Marie Joabar

All of these plants are sold by FONA, and will be available in the Plant Sale tent located on the south side of the New York Avenue parking lot. The Garden Fair & Plant Sale is FONA's largest fundraiser of the year. All proceeds from the Plant Sale directly support our work and mission at the National Arboretum.

See Everything the Garden Fair & Plant Sale Has to Offer >

Free plant sitting will be available until 4 PM so you can leave your purchased plants while you enjoy the rest of the event. When you are ready to pick up your plants, you will be able to drive around the outside of the parking lot to load your plants. Parking will not be available in the NY Avenue lot, but shuttles will transport visitors from the R Street and Grove lots to the event.

View an Event Map of the Grounds >

Click map to view in full screen

Photo by Marie Joabar

Special Membership Perks

Plant Sale items are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. FONA members get early access to the Plant Sale from 9 AM to 11 AM on April 27th. Join or renew your membership today to get first pick of these one-of-a-kind plants! Many choice plants are gone by the start of the public hours, which run from 11 AM to 4 PM.

Members who join at the Outdoor Enthusiast level ($150) or higher can pick up a free gift plant from the Membership Tent at the Garden Fair.

Join or Renew You FONA Membership >

Spring Blooms

Between flowering azaleas, dogwoods, lilacs, and more, the Arboretum is jam-packed with color right now. Peak bloom for the Kurume and Glenn Dale azalea varieties is happening now through about April 21st. Other azalea varieties will bloom up until June.

When visiting the Azalea Collections, don't forget to stay on the trail paths and out of garden beds to protect the plants (this goes for dogs, too). Dogs must stay on leash at all times. Cars can park along Eagle Nest Road in front of the Azalea Collections, but please keep all four tires on the road. Car owners are responsible for towing their vehicles if they get stuck in the grass.

Learn About the Azalea Collections >

Spring Concert Tickets

Tickets for our spring Music in the Meadow concert featuring Cumbia Heights are now on sale! Join us on Friday, May 17th from 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Enjoy a picnic while you listen to music from Cumbia Heights, a neo-cumbian band based in Washington, DC with alt-tropical vibes.

Registration is required to enter the Arboretum for this event. Only the Ellipse Meadow and National Herb Garden will be open to attendees.

Our suggested ticket price is $25 (or $20 for FONA members). If this price would prohibit you from attending, please pay what you can to attend. Children 12 and under are free, but tickets are required.

If you want to pay more than the suggested ticket price, the difference will go towards covering the cost of those in our community who can't. Ticket revenue helps cover the cost of the band, Arboretum security and facilities, and staff time to organize the event.

Concert Details & Ticket Sales >

Summer Institute

There's still time to register for the 2024 Summer Institute for Garden-based Teaching. This four-day professional development course will take place from July 16th to 19th. This training inspires and connects teachers and school staff to more fully integrate their school garden into their daily educational activities. All participants receive a stipend for participating (amount contingent upon final funding).

The Summer Institute includes in-person instruction, activities, and workshops in the Washington Youth Garden and Arboretum's auditorium and classroom. Participants also take tours of DC school gardens and hear from partner organizations and program alumni.

Apply for the Summer Institute >

Ikebana at the Arboretum

Don't miss the annual spring ikebana exhibition, happening now through April 21st in the Exhibits Gallery of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. This annual exhibit is hosted by the Washington, DC Chapter of Ikebana International, and features flower arrangements representing a variety of ikebana schools and styles.

The exhibit will change out on April 18th to showcase new arrangements. There will also be free ikebana demonstrations in the Visitor Center on April 20th and 21st from 1 PM to 2:30 PM.

Photo courtesy of the National Arboretum

Photo courtesy of the National Arboretum

Register today for the children's ikebana workshop on Sunday, April 21st from 1 PM to 2:30 PM. This workshop will show children ages 8 to 15 how to make their own ikebana flower arrangements to take hodme and share. Tickets are $15 to cover the cost of materials, registration is required.

Register for the Children's Workshop >

Upcoming Events

Garden Fair & Plant Sale

April 27, 9 AM - 4 PM

Plants, vendors, workshop, free activities

Details & Registration >

Music in the Meadow: Cumbia Heights

May 17, 7 PM - 8:30 PM

Evening concert with alt-tropical vibes

Purchase a Ticket >

Grow the Garden Party

June 8, 11 AM - 1 PM

Celebrating the expansion of WYG

Save the date — details to come

Music in the Meadow: Wylder

June 8, 7 PM - 8:30 PM

Evening concert with modern folk vibes

Save the date — details to come

Forest Bathing Walks

Various dates and times

Meditation and mindfulness

Upcoming Dates & Registration >

The Arboretum is open every day from 8 AM to 5 PM except December 25th.

Check Our Website for Full Details >

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Friends of the National Arboretum
3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002
FONA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization with the mission to preserve and enhance a vibrant public space and support experiential programming that instills a love of plants, nature and the outdoors in all who visit, while promoting the overarching research and education mission of the U.S. National Arboretum.

Since its inception, FONA has helped support the Washington Youth Garden, Capitol Columns, Flowering Tree Walk, horticultural and research internships, restoration of Springhouse Run, and much more.

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