The Tidal Basin Only Has Buds, Not Cherry Blossoms (Photos)

Cold weather means no pretty pink flowers yet, but still lots of visitors.

By: Carol Ross Joynt

This is not scientific, nor based on any expert opinion, only a personal visit to the Tidal Basin on Tuesday morning: The cherry blossoms are NOT blooming. In fact, it is no surprise the National Park Service had to postpone the expected peak bloom date. Originally predicted for today, it is now expected to start next Wednesday, April 3. Even that seems a challenge, given the very tight appearance of the buds.

The reason the peak blossom period has been postponed is, obviously, the unseasonably cold weather. Temps are inching up to the high 40s, but the nights can dip below freezing. It’s good, then, that the blossoms are still in the bud stage. That protects them from the cold, ice, snow—if any kind of wintry mix should happen again as it did on Monday.

Even if the cherry blossoms are not on schedule, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is fully underway, and the tourists have arrived in town in large numbers. Sadly, they march around the Tidal Basin in search of pink flowers that just aren’t there. The stretch of West Potomac Park public parking that runs along the Potomac River from the Jefferson Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday morning was tour buses as far as the eye could see.

The festival ends April 14.

Buses near the Tidal Basin. Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.