DowntownDC Landscapes for Spring

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

By Radhika Hira

Have you noticed something different lately while walking down Pennsylvania Avenue or through Freedom Plaza? 

Here’s a hint: Vibrant flowers, lush greenery and landscaping have arrived this spring in DowntownDC. As part of the DowntownDC Business Improvement District's (BID) effort to enhance the public realm for residents, workers, and visitors, the BID has made a significant landscaping investment this year, building upon ongoing beautification efforts. 

Along Pennsylvania Avenue from 13th to 6th streets, 212 planters now house winter gem boxwood, green yucca, forest grass, variegated carex, red begonias, creeping jenny and dichondra. 

At Freedom Plaza (13th & Pennsylvania Avenue) passerby will now find six planter beds filled with sedum autumn joy, feather reed grass and winterberry holly and 12 saucer planters featuring pink muhley grass, purple coneflowers, sedum sparkleberry, liatris, dianthus, snow-in-the summer and red and pink phlox. 

At Herald Square (H Street & New York Avenue) visitors can now find a garden with butterfly bushes, spirea, weigelia, scabiosa, dianthus and feather reed grass in addition to 12 filled planters in the center of the intersection. 

If you stop to look up in DowntownDC, you will also notice 180 hanging baskets adorning select street poles throughout the BID, including in McPherson Square Park and along Massachusetts Avenue. These hanging baskets feature colorful, flowering annuals that will brighten up the streetscape this spring and summer. 

The plants chosen for the 2017 landscaping effort were selected due to their hearty qualities and colorful appearance. Over 75% of these plants are perennials, allowing the BID to continue to expand its investment in green space each year. In addition, many are also drought-resistant, a helpful quality in the summer months. Being drought-resistant also means the plants require less frequent watering and less maintenance than basic plants. 

This summer and fall you will notice BID maintenance ambassadors watering, maintaining and inspecting the plantings daily. 

This fall, expect more changes when all of the annual plants will be rotated out for the season. Our goal is to keep DowntownDC colorful year-round! 

The BID’s 2017 landscaping effort was made possible by the US National Park Service, the US General Services Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.