Tag Archives: Flower & Garden Festival

Save these Dates: April/May 2017 Flower Shows and Garden Festivals


April and May bring hard choices for gardeners — spend time in your own garden or visit others? It’s tough, but you know you can manage to do both. For some suggestions, here’s a look at some of the top flower shows and garden festivals around the country.


March 20 – April 17, 2017. Washington, DC: National Cherry Blossom Festival 

Each year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Japan to the city of Washington, DC.  Festival activities take place throughout the city, but of course the highlight is the magnificent blossoms of the Yoshino cherry trees surrounding the Tidal Basin.

Exactly when the buds will open is not easy to predict, but the 2017 Peak Bloom Period — when 70% of the blossoms are open—is predicted to be March 14 – 17. Visit the National Park Service‘s website with links to the Blossom Cam, cherry blossom photos for updates.


March 16 – April 27, 2017. Charleston, SC.: Charleston’s Festival of Houses and GardensThe South’s premiere garden festival is a month-long celebration of the “City set in a Garden.” There are walking tours of the City’s magnificent private gardens, with docents stationed at each gate in the Old & Historic District. 


March 20 – May 25, 2017. Biltmore S.C. Biltmore Blooms, Biltmore’s magnificent gardens were the final project of renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.  Weekend “Ask a Gardener” stations in the Walled Garden allow guests to talk with Biltmore’s horticulture experts. Free, daily seminars are held in A Gardener’s Place at the Conservatory on a variety of topics. For an up to date report on what’s currently blooming, check out   Biltmore.com/bloomreport.

March 24 – April 9, 2017. Tyler, TX: Tyler Azalea & Spring Flower Trails 

April 22 – 29, 2017. Virginia: Virginia’s Historic Garden Week, Statewide. 250 of Virginia’s most picturesque gardens and private homes are showcased in 30 tours during “America’s Largest Open House.” Proceeds go toward the restoration and preservation of Virginia’s historic public gardens, with beneficiaries such as Mount Vernon, Monticello and the grounds of the Executive Mansion in Richmond.

May 13 – 14, 2017. Atlanta: Gardens for Connoisseurs 2017. Celebrate Mother’s Day and visit beautiful private home gardens in metro Atlanta.



May 4-6, 2017, Pella, IA: Pella Tulip Time Festival

May 6 – 14, 2017, Holland, MI: Tulip Time

June 1 – 11, 2017, Nebraska: Nebraska Wildflower Week. Nebraska’s prairies and gardens are at their best.



May 21, 2016, Sandwich, Mass: Heritage Rhododendron Festival

May 17-21, 2017 Port Townsend, WA:  Rockin’ Rhody Rhododendron Festival

May 19-21, 2016, Florence OR:  Rhododendron Festival


May 6 – 7, 2017  Texas: Becker Vineyards Lavender Fest, Stonewall, Texas

Clippings: Camellia Gardens and Festivals

Camellia Middleton PlaceCamellias, often referred to as winter’s rose, light up the landscape from November to March. Originally from eastern and southern Asia, the evergreen foliage does best in light shade and a slightly acid, rich, well- drained soil. A soil pH (degree of acidity or alkalinity) of 6.0 – 6.5 is considered best for camellias. The “Camellia Belt” is generally regarded as USDA Hardiness Zone 7 – 9, although some cold-hardy hybrids have been developed.

Gardens Famous for Camellias

  • Middleton Place, Charleston, South Carolina. Centuries-old camellias (Camellia japonicas) bloom throughout the winter gardens in December through March. Located on the Ashley River Road outside of Charleston, S.C.
  • Massee  Lane Gardens,  Fort Valley, GA. Home of the American Camellia Society and over 1000 camellias, Massee Lane Gardens is a 100+ acre botanical garden in Middle Georgia. The Gardens are the historic home of the American Camellia Society and have been designated as “A Garden of Excellence” by the Society.  The cultivars include Camellia japonica, Camellia sasanquasCamellia hybrids and other species. The Festival of Camellias is a month long celebration held in February, with the first Saturday as the kick-off.
  • The Judge Arthur Solomon Camellia Trail is located at the Bamboo Farm & Coastal Gardens in Savannah, Georgia. A project of the Southeastern Camellia Society in cooperation with the University of Georgia and the Friends of Coastal Gardens, the Trail was begun in 2002. With  sasanquas, snow, vernal and common camellias and their hybrids, it is one of the most diverse and unique collections of species camellias in North America. Located roughly 10 miles southwest of downtown Savannah.
  • Descanso Gardens, La Cañada Flintridge, CA. North America’s largest camellia collection—more than 34,000 plants and more than 700 camellia taxa growing on 20 acres. The annual Camellia Festival is held Feb. 8 and 9, where forest sprites lead tours of the camellia collection for all ages. Tours last approximately 20 minutes and are on a first come, first served basis.
  • Huntington Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA. 12 acres of camellias, with sixty species and 1,200 cultivars, the Huntington has one of North America’s most comprehensive collections of camellias. The International Camellia Society has named the Huntington as an International Camellia Garden of Excellence, one of only five in the world.



From the Camellia Society, here are some common terms:

Japonica: one of the most well-known species of Camellias. Originally from mainland China, Taiwan, southern Korea, and southern Japan.
Reticulata: a species of Camellia native to southwestern China, with usually large, loose blooms.
Hybrid: a cross between multiple Camellia species.
Sasanqua: a species of Camellia native to southern Japan, usually shrubby, and with varying petal types.
Miniatures: blooms that are 2 1/2 inches or less in size.
Seedlings: blooms from a non-registered variety of Camellia that is unique from previously registered varieties.
Mutants: blooms from a plant of an established variety of Camellia, that differ from the standard look of that
variety’s blooms.
Unprotected: Camellias grown outside, not in a greenhouse.
Untreated: Camellias grown naturally, without the use of gibberellic acid.
Treated: A bloom that has been treated with gibberellic acid (called gibbing).
Gibbing: The technique of applying gibberellic acid to a bloom to induce growing and size.

Save These Gardening Dates:February/March 2017 Flower Shows & Garden Festivals

What’s not to love about flower shows?

Horticultural societies around the country are getting ready to kick off gardening season 2017 by transforming local convention centers into stunning display gardens and mini-landscapes. Gardening enthusiasts can venture to these wells of inspiration and get a peek at the latest gardening trends without braving rain, sleet or snow. And really, there’s no need for green thumbs — just make sure you’re wearing your walking shoes when you go. Prepared to be dazzled and inspired by fabulous gardens and displays, plus there’s typically demonstrations, lectures and great shopping.


Here’s a look at some of the top flower shows and garden festivals around the country.



The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show. March 11 – 19, 2017. Holland: Flowering the World. This year’s show celebrates Holland’s floriculture at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The Washington Post calls the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show a “perennial pleasure.” The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is the world’s oldest and largest indoor flower show, with 33 acres of inspiration for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. According to conference organizers, “walking the entire 33 indoor acres of the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show at a leisurely pace takes about 3 hours and covers approximately 2 miles.”


Connecticut Flower and Garden Show. Feb. 23 -26, 2017. Connecticut Convention Center. One of the largest and most prestigious flower shows in New England, this year’s theme is “Woodland Enchantment,” with 20 gardens created by landscape professionals displayed over an acre. Twenty gardens fill more than an acre, created by professional landscape designers and nonprofit organizations, and include naturalistic, low maintenance and organic gardens.





Media courtesy of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show

Media courtesy of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show



Garden Traveler’s Calendar: Fall Garden Festivals & Flower Shows 2017

Enjoy the last flower shows and garden festivals of the year with autumn displays from some of the finest venues in the country. Fall is really prime planting time, the soil is warm and rainfall is usually plentiful, so head out for some inspiration!

Kennett Square, PA: Longwood Gardens Chrysanthemum Festival

October 21–November 19, 2017

1,000 bloom mum ondisplay

If you want to see what you can really do with chrysanthemums, Longwood’s horticulturists fashion more than 16,000 blooming chrysanthemums to resemble clouds, pagodas, spirals, fans, and more.

For those who really want a challenge, it’s hard to top the Thousand Bloom Mum. This is the mother of all mums – more than 1,000 blooms grown on a single plant and the largest in North America — on display during Longwood Garden’s Chrysanthemum Festival. The goal is to achieve as many perfectly placed blooms on a single plant as possible and it’s no wonder that this is the most intensive horticultural effort during the entire year at Longwood. The Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum, known in Japan as Ozukuri, is a specialized technique that originated in China before expanding to Japan several hundred years ago.

1001 Longwood Road

Kennett Square, PA 19348




Buffalo: National Garden Festival

Garden Walk BuffaloJune 21-August 4, 2013

Billed at the nation’s largest garden tour, Buffalo’s National Garden Festival is six week garden party featuring nearly 1,000 gardens. There are garden walks, tours, speakers, open gardens and special events. Buffalo even claims its own garden style, where its gardeners mix brash combinations of flowers with art and funky found objects.

  • Garden Walk Buffalo, July 27 and 28. The largest free garden walk in the country, with more than 350 private gardens on view.
  • Open Gardens on Thursdays and Fridays throughout the festival. Some 80 private gardens throughout the Buffalo Niagara region will be open to visitors. To participate, purchase the Open Gardens Guide for locations, dates and times.
  • Garden Walks held every weekend, including Lewiston GardenFest, Parkside Garden Tour, Historic Niagara Falls, Hamburg, Lockport, Snyder-CleveHill,  Amherst, Williamsville, Ken-Ton, Lancaster, South Buffalo and more.

The Festival takes place in gardens throughout Erie and Niagara Counties, including the Delaware Park Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden at the Historical Society, the Botanical Gardens, the Erie Basin Marina Gardens, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks and Parkways, nature preserves, and arboreta.

This year, there’s also a 3-hour bike tour – Go Bike Buffalo — on Sunday, June 23, 2013, beginning at Frederick Law Olmstead’s Front Park, weaving through the Elmwood Village, Allentown and Canalside. Pre-registration required.

The 2012 event drew an estimated 90,000 attendees.

For general information, contact: info@nationalgardenfestival.com

Disney Magic for Gardener Travelers

0306ZX_0244MS-640x426 Floral versions of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck (with Daisy Duck in a cameo) star in a celebratory cookout scene in living topiary color at the Epcot front entrance during the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival,(Matt Stroshane, photographer)

The 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is running March 6 to May 19, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort. For Garden Travelers headed to Orlando, it’s the perfect venue for gardening inspiration – especially if you have any interest in topiaries. Or, even if you haven’t in the past, these marvels by Disney magicians impress.

Did you know that it takes 400 Walt Disney World horticulturists to install the festival’s landscape, topiaries and exhibits, along with 100 Epcot horticulturists to maintain the topiaries and other festival displays? And, more than 500,000 plants, trees and shrubs are planted for the festival.

For gardening enthusiasts, there are 150 hands-on gardening demonstrations and seminars. In addition, here are just a few exhibits that are new this year:


The Land of Oz Garden:(Gregg Newton, photographer)

  • The Land of Oz Garden, based on Disney’s “Oz The Great and Powerful,” is the largest festival garden ever, at nearly one-third acre.  There’s a “yellow brick road” that includes 40 feet of “yellow brick” decal, 40 feet of ForeverLawn yellow turf and an 80-foot-long floral path planted with 1,200 yellow viola plants, (that will be swapped out with tropical duranta plants in April).
  • New Disney character topiaries this year  include  Mike and Sulley, plus Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Cinderella, Belle and Beast, and Phineas and Ferb. At least 25 different plants, grasses and mosses of various colors, including pink and red begonias, dusty miller, palm fiber, palm seeds, ficus and lichen, are used to create festival topiaries.
  • Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House has more than 1,000 native butterflies, representing up to 10 species.  Among the garden’s two dozen nectar plants are Cape Royal plumbago, passion flower, coral honeysuckle, blazing star, butterfly bush, scarlet milkweed and canna lily. There are eight fairy topiaries of Pixie Hollow, including Tinker Bell, Fawn, Vidia and Terrence.  On the Imagination Walkway

Every Friday through Sunday, HGTV design celebrities will host Festival Center seminars. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.


Washington, DC: 2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival

Washington, DC

2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival

The epic 5-week spectacular, from peakbloom marks the 104th celebration of the original gift of the 3,000 cherry trees by the city of Tokyo to the people of Washington, DC in 1912. The cherry blossom trees currently grow in three National Park Services locations: around the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, in East Potomac Park (Haines Point), and on the Washington Monument grounds. Peak bloom date prediction: March 31 – April 3, 2016 [ info ]