Friday, March 1, 2013

Totally Texas -- Dallas in bloom at Arboretum

Dallas Arboretum

8525 Garland Road


Easter comes early this year, but not too early for the flowers already primping for the Dallas Arboretum’s annual Dallas Blooms festival. Tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and a host of smaller bloomers carpet the grounds with color. Overhead, cherry blossoms vie with the pink and purple blooms of deciduous magnolias during the festival running Saturday, March 2, through April 7.

While you’re admiring the flower color, take time to appreciate the Arboretum’s other sensory delights. Fountains temporarily stilled to protect last year’s Chihuly glass sculptures are back on full splash. And the perfume of hyacinths, winter honeysuckle, and sweet olive wafts through the gardens.

On my visit yesterday, workers scurried through the grounds, replacing winter flowers in the many large containers with spring blooms, and finishing the Dallas Blooms signature playhouses. This year’s playhouse theme is “Adventures of Great Explorers” -- a child-size Aztec pyramid for Cabeza de Vaca, a Fountain of Youth for Ponce de Leon, and an Asian pagoda for Marco Polo, among others.

Love the Arboretum but can’t afford to go as much as you’d like? Several admission discount options are available during the festival. Visitors age 65 and over get discounts on admission and gift store items on Thursdays. Free garden tours are scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. through April 7. The free offer is limited to 20 guests each day. Wednesdays except during spring break (March 13) are also BOGO days -- buy one admission, get one free. Some limits apply, and you’ll need a coupon for the BOGO discount, available at

You’ll still pay to park, but parking is easier to find, as the Arboretum expands lots adjacent to the garden.

A highlight of the festival is the hanami -- Japanese-style cherry blossom viewing, presented by the Japan-America Society of DFW. Music and family activities are scheduled for Sunday, March 17, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Or come early -- the first trees are already in bloom.

For complete schedule of festival events, discount details and pricing, see


Want more flower power? I blogged last week about Mrs. Lee’s Daffodil Garden near Gladewater, open through March or until the daffodils stop blooming. See “A host of golden daffodils” and the website,

Also in East Texas, Tyler’s Azalea Trail is set for March 15 through April 7. See

(Next Friday -- spring break staycations in North Texas.)

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