Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
The azaleas, the dogwoods, the state trees: The National Arboretum is home to several collections of gorgeous plants, but the undoubted jewel in its (floral) crown are its bonsai. The collection began after the 1976 U.S. bicentennial, when the Nippon Bonsai Association donated 53 trees to the federal park. That donation included a Japanese white pine that began bonsai training in 1625: more than 390 years ago. The oldest of the 150 or so bonsai at the Arboretum today, it was in Hiroshima when the city was bombed in 1945—and it survived. This amazing piece of history is on view for free between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. every day.