Across most of the United States, spring has burst forth with its spectacular show of color. Spring bulbs, flowering trees and shrubs fill public gardens and backyards, welcoming the season of renewal.
Spring is the perfect time for people of all ages to explore public gardens. Master Gardeners and beginners alike can get ideas for their own gardens while enjoying all of the beauty of a public garden with none of the work.
Readers of USA Today and 10Best recently chose the winners in the 'Best Public Garden' contest category for 10Best Readers' Choice.
At the top of the list was Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Va. came in second followed by Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C. You can see the entire top 10 list at the link above.
Favorite spring bulbs you'll find in many gardens include daffodils, hyacinths, tulips and irises. Forsythia, azalea, lilac and rhododendron bushes add springtime color each year.
Among the first signs of spring are flowering trees including the redbud, pear, cherry, magnolia and dogwood. Take a little break from your spring garden cleanup and enjoy the beauty of spring around the country.
Tulips add a Splash of Color
This beautiful bed of tulips welcomes visitors to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Va. The Cherry Tree Walk is new in 2014 at Lewis Ginter. Historic Garden Week will be celebrated at public and private gardens across Virginia the week of April 26 to May 3, 2014.
Forsythia Blooms Mark Spring's Arrival
Forsythia bushes grow wild and free in many yards during early spring, welcoming the season with a bright show of yellow. Prune forsythia and other spring-blooming shrubs after the blooms fade.
Flowering Dogwoods Bring Spring Beauty
Flowering dogwoods are understory trees and are often found beneath taller shade trees. Although white dogwoods are the most common, there are also pink and red varieties of dogwoods. The bark of the dogwood tree is very delicate and may need protection when newly planted.
Daffodils Bloom and Multiply
Start with a row of daffodil bulbs and your daffodil bed will multiply over the years. Daffodils are also known as jonquils or narcissus flowers and are one of the earliest signs of spring. There are many varieties of daffodils, but pure yellow daffodils are often seen on the roadside.
Cherry Trees Offer Blooming Beauty
In cities and towns across the country, cherry trees provide beautiful early spring blooms. Heavy rain and winds often end the cherry tree's blooming cycle early. The people of Japan gifted the United States with flowering cherry trees in 1912 as a gesture of goodwill. Many of these beautiful trees are planted around the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.
Lilacs Offer Fragrant Beauty
The flowers of the lilac are beautiful and so is the fragrance. Lilacs bloom in spring and early summer. The lavender color may be the most common, but lilacs also come in red, pink, yellow, blue and white varieties.
Magnolia's Beauty is Timeless
From short shrubs to towering trees, the magnolia's beauty is timeless. Plant evergreen varieties of the magnolia in early spring and deciduous magnolias in late fall or early winter. There are many varieties of magnolias with beautiful flowers of white, pink, yellow, purple or red.
Azaleas by the Thousands
The U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. contains thousands of varieties of azaleas. As you wander the shaded pathway through the azalea gardens, you'll find azaleas of every color and size. Peak bloom date is generally around the end of April; however, there are azaleas in bloom from early April into June.