Becoming a floral tourist

Spring is putting on quite a show these days! The Kwanzan cherries in my yard are in full bloom.* It was fascinating to watch them go from these fuchsia colored buds to soft pink petal snowballs in a span of 36 hours. The crab apple blossoms are making the air fragrant.

And the tulips are at peak! So I became something of a floral tourist this weekend. Here’s where I went:

Longwood Gardens. My 13-year-old had wanted to go see the historic pump room (the equipment that used to power Pierre du Pont’s gigantic fountains up until the 2014 renovation) without his other siblings begging to not spend time in the historic pump room. So I made a reservation and we drove down on Saturday morning. We definitely studied the pumps but we also swung by the tulips!

Chanticleer Gardens. My husband and I had arranged a date night on Saturday, starting with a date afternoon (we don’t stay out that late so we needed to make it worth a sitter’s while…) We visited Chanticleer, a garden designed with whimsy in mind. We spent a while sitting on a stone “sofa” — there’s a whole fake ruins of a house with plants growing around it. I enjoyed seeing the beginnings of the wisteria but I think my favorite view was a blooming white crab apple in the middle of a sea of white daffodils.

(We went out to a steakhouse after and then came home and sat by our Solo stove outside for a while — I am decorating a patio with cafe lights, but I had underbought and so currently we only have one strand…but the others just arrived so it will get better! We were able to observe our own tulips from here.)

Holland Ridge Farms. I scored tickets during the pre-sale for Sunday at 4 p.m. (like Longwood, Holland Ridge wound up being sold out for the weekend…a reason to plan ahead of time…) We all got in the minivan and drove the hour out to Cream Ridge, NJ. It was a bit of a zoo, but the kids enjoyed picking the tulips (a lot of tulips…that is what happens with five kids…), and an upside of a crowded weekend at the farm is that they had tons of food trucks, including the Cousins Maine Lobster one. I snapped lots of tulip shots with portrait mode and had a Maine Roll.

So, lots of flowers! But soon the tulips will droop and the petals will all drop from the cherries. So, best to enjoy it while even a drive down an average road is a riot of color.

*Fun fact — the cherries ringing the Tidal Basin in DC are mostly Yoshino cherries, which bloom white. The Kwanzan ones bloom pink, and at least in my yard bloom about 1-2 weeks later than their Yoshino cousins.

Photos: Top is Longwood; mid-post is Holland Ridge. Who wore it better?

4 thoughts on “Becoming a floral tourist

  1. I love this! We inherited a garden full of daffodils and yellow and orange tulip bulbs from the previous owners but my gardening vibe is more moody purples, dusky pinks, and blues so I’ve been putting down more bulbs in the purples. They are a few weeks behind the yellow, so it’s such a treat to see things come up. The first fuschia tulips bloomed today. I figure over time, the yellows will stop blooming (google tells me this is a thing) and meanwhile I try and put a packet or two of purples down every year. And snow drops!

    I’d really like Japanese cherry blossoms but I don’t quite have the spot for one at the moment.

    1. @Coree- good luck with the color changing scheme! It sounds like it will be beautiful. Though honestly, I like a good orange and purple combination. Risky, but striking if done right…

  2. Those tulips! *swoon*
    You’ve inspired me to see what’s available near me. I’m heading to Richmond for a conference next week. There is a place called Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens that is supposed to have lovely tulips. Sounds like the perfect little adventure within a big adventure.

    1. @Michelle – absolutely! You should tiptoe through the tulips during your work conference 🙂

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