Frustratingly slow spring brings flowering benefits

This year\'s cherry blossom boom has been pushed back to April 6 to April 8. (WTOP file photo)

Andrew Mollenbeck,

WASHINGTON – Where is spring?

That question from school kids, co-workers and tourists doesn’t so much seek an answer as it does air a gripe. People are tired of bundling up and waiting on the sights of the season.

For the second time this year, the National Park Service has pushed back its predicted peak bloom for the cherry blossoms.

The original dates had been set between March 26 and March 30. The latest estimate is April 6 to April 8.

“What I think we’re going to see is more like a northern spring,” says Chris Carley, supervisory research horticulturist at the National Arboretum.

“If you go farther north in the United States, spring happens later, but it happens all at once,” he says.

“It just comes on. Boom! It’s springtime, everything is flowering at the same time.”

Carley says the cool start to the season has actually provided a bigger stage for early flowers.

“It has been a great year to appreciate the early flowering cherries and magnolias. It’s also been a great year for bulbs like the daffodils along Rock Creek Park,” he says.

The cool temperatures also have preserved the hyacinths that are blooming and lasting longer than other years.

But for people anxious for warmer temperatures, the forecast finally offers some hope. Temperatures are expected to reach the 70s by early next week.

“In a couple weeks we’ll even forget this conversation. Everything will be blooming.”

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