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Kenwood a 'fairyland' of blooms and a draw for locals

Saturday - 4/12/2014, 2:09am  ET

kenwood2 (murillo)
Observers have called the Kenwood neighborhood a "fairyland" of cherry blossoms during peak season. (Mike Murillo/WTOP)
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WASHINGTON-- When tourists flock to the Tidal Basin, locals who are looking to take in the blooms head to the Kenwood neighborhood in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

"It's a beautiful neighborhood and when the cherry blossoms come out it's a fairyland," says Ted Beverly a 36-year-old resident of the neighborhood.

The trees were planted in the late 1920s. Developers hoped they would lure people to buy a home in the area, which was on the outskirts of D.C. We have "a wonderful collection of cherry trees, Japanese cherry trees that were first planted with Model T technology," says Beverly.

Some of the notable residents include Vice President Spiro Agnew, who lived there in the 1960's. Also, writer and columnist William Saphire called Kenwood home. According to Beverly, Saphire called the neighborhood a "God damn fairyland" during Cherry blossom season.

It will be a tough two weeks for people who live in the neighborhood. "You can hardly get out of your own neighborhood," Beverly noted. Police have posted no parking signs and warnings to not climb the trees.

But Beverly is glad to share his yard during this time of year. "You often sometimes see people having lunch picnics, lunches on your front lawn. As long as they pick up the chicken bones, we don't mind."

He says he also enjoys what happens down the road, which most people don't realize -- "two weeks later are the azaleas."

As for the cherry trees, Beverly says the "average tree size here is quite a bit bigger than down on the Tidal Basin," with some of the original trees three feet in diameter. His theory on why they are larger: "the trees seem to be very sensitive to automobile exhaust fumes."

Elliot Stonehill of Chevy Chase was spotted taking pictures of the blooms with his wife. "About 30 years we have been coming back and forth here," he said.

Peak bloom is expected this weekend. In all, the neighborhood expects to see 30,000 to 50,000 thousand people driving and walking down the streets before the season is over.

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