National Cathedrals’ Flower Mart offers a climb above the blooms

More than 80 vendors, including food trucks and a used book sale, set up outside the National Cathedral grounds as part of the Flower Mart sale. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

WASHINGTON – After all the rain this week, thousands are taking the opportunity to visit the Washington National Cathedral grounds for its free annual flower mart — an event that could also knock out their morning workout.

Debby Page, president of All Hollows Guild, which puts on the Flower Mart each year, knows this year offers visitors the special opportunity to climb to the top of the tower.

“The tours are every half hour and it’s over 300 steps, 300 feet above the ground,” she says.

Climbers will hear the carillon played, the bell ring and feel quite accomplished.

Below, more than 80 vendors will sell everything from earrings to textiles, geraniums to olive oil. They’ll see more than 10,000 visitors during the two-day fair.

“You can’t put a value on the weather – good weather brings everyone out. It’s very festive,” says Lynn Voight who owns All things Olive.

Thousands of area gardeners will get up early to grab the best of Melwood’s blooms at the 75th year of the event.

“We have return customers who always come back (for) geraniums and coleus. Those are our two biggest sellers. They also like to support Melwood, which supports disabled adults. They’re growing all the plants in our greenhouses,” says Sheila Gallagher, director of horticulture for the organization.

Flower Mart started Friday, May 2 and continues Saturday, May 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Washington National Cathedral at the intersection of Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues, NW.

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