Sunday, March 07, 2021

Paint the Town Pink with Your Own Petal Porch!

While COVID-19 is still hanging its ugly head over this year's National Cherry Blossom Festival (, the famous Tidal Basin cherry trees will still be blooming and the annual celebration of spring will be gone. One of the ways the festival organizers have adapted during the pandemic is to bring the "parade" to the people.  

"Petal Porch Parade was created to help bring the spirit of the National Cherry Blossom Festival to the community," said Festival President and CEO Diana Mayhew. "We’re inviting residents of Washington, DC, as well as adjacent neighborhoods in Maryland and Virginia to join in."

"Really, anyone anywhere can participate," added Mayhew. "Particularly if they want to be active in the social media component of the program. We will only include addresses within the local DMV as part of the porch parade map.


Early registrants will receive a yard sign to display as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Neighborhoods that have the densest numbers of decorated houses, yards, and windows will be chosen for the inaugural Petal Procession and the Festival will process down their street in blossom cars, custom painted by local artists. Participants will also have the opportunity to win Festival prize packs with official merchandise.

The timing of the Petal Porch event is:

  • Registration: mid-February to March 15, 2021 
  • Touring: March 20 to April 11, 2021
  • Petal Porch Procession: April 10-11, 2021
Washington Gardener Magazine is taking part too! We'll have a pink flamingo theme around our gazebo. We will be sharing photos of our plantings and decorations across our social media channels. 

We encourage everyone to register and decorate for spring!
 You don't need a "porch" to participate. Decorations can be displayed in a window, on a sidewalk, or anywhere visible from the sidewalk.

We asked Kellie Cox of Strawberry Fields LLC for her advice on decorating. "It can be as simply as grabbing an old piece of plywood, and painting flowers and cherry blossoms on the wood using exterior paint or spray paint," said Cox. "You can lean the piece on your front yard against a tree, or lean on your porch. If you're handy, you can cut the wood pieces and create cherry flower shapes with the wood pieces, then paint! You can get very creative with this approach, by mounting the flowers on your door, windows and porch! Or simply hanging them from a tree. Using exterior paint is key so your piece will last through the spring. If you are very handy, you can even cut out tree shapes! You can use an old pallet and break the wood up and rearrange to be similar as a tree form. Would be a great way to upcycle!"

Cox continued, "If you have a window you would like to decorate, you can use colored paper and cut out flower shapes, and simply tape to the inside your windows! Bright colors like pinks, reds, greens, yellow and gold are great to include in your window features. If you're looking to bring the full Cherry Festival feeling into your yard, there are a variety of creative ways to do so! You can purchase bulk fabric or silk pink flowers, ribbons, and lanterns to decorate every surface of your yard or porch, creating a beautiful cherry blossom feel in your garden. The use of lights as well, pinks and greens to illuminate your garden art."

Barbara E Katz of LONDON LANDSCAPES LLC shared her suggestions of pink flowers you can plant in your garden during the March-April timeframe to add to the display:
  • Bellis perennis - early annual
  • Camellia japonica - too many pink varieties to list!
  • Chaenomeles superba 'Pink Lady', 'Pink Storm', 'Pink Trail'
  • Cyclamen, any pink varieties
  • Epimedium 'Brilliant Ruby Star', 'Cherry Tart', 'Dark Beauty', 'Lilafee', 'Purple Rain'
  • Erythronium dens-canis 'Purple King', 'Lilac Wonder', E. revolutum 'Pink Perfection'
  • Helleborus 'Pink Frost', Glenda's Gloss' .... the list goes on and on
  • Prunus x incamp 'Okame'
  • Prunus triloba - flowering almond
  • Prunus blireiana
  • Species tulips 'Lady Tulip' and 'Lilac Wonder'
  • Muscari 'Pink Sunrise'
  • Crocus 'Pink Snow'
Please share your additional plant and decor suggestions in the comments field below.

We cannot wait to see your Petal Porch displays and share photos of them in a future issue of Washington Gardener Magazine!


  1. I really like your post. Keep it up!! Visit my website Agro Pro. Thanks!!!

  2. This year will definitely be different and that's ok! I feel great knowing that there are so many safe alternatives for enjoying nature's gifts. Thank you for this!


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