Say goodbye to winter blues and welcome back spring. Landscapes are awakened by warmer temperatures, ushering colorful bulbs, cherry blossoms and flower festivals everywhere. Time to go outdoors and appreciate nature's beauty in its glory. The following flower shows and exhibits will surely refresh senses left cold by the last season. Catch spring blossoms while they are out and about.
Keukenhof in the Netherlands (March to May)
Far from the herbs kitchen garden centuries past, Keukenhof is now the world's ultimate spring garden. The Keukenhof flower exhibition in the Netherlands has more than seven million bulbs coming alive with the most delightful smells and colors. A magical canvas of daffodils, hyacinths and almost five million tulips await visitors. Keukenhof is also home to Art Keukenhof, a selection of around 150 sculptures, which makes the garden Netherlands' largest sculpture park. Look out for the 120-year old Keukenhof Mill, part of the National Heritage list. Keukenhof has attracted over 50 million visitors all over the globe.
Enjoy Keukenhof with its flower shows, parades, workshops and other events. Visitors can take home memories of spring by picturing or even purchasing bulb flowers.
National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. (March to April)
Now on its 100th year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates spring, cherry blossom trees and the friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. The 3,000 cherry blossom trees given in 1912 by Japan to Washington are still the very same trees growing today. They can be found around Tidal Basin, East Potomac Park and the Washington Monument grounds.
More than a rare display of cherry blossoms, the festival organizes the much-awaited festival parade as well as free arts and cultural events.
Cherry Blossom Festivals in Tokyo (Late March-Early April)
Back in Japan, where the practice of hanami or cherry blossom viewing began, cherry blossom festivals are at their multitude. In fact, every prefecture has a cherry blossom spot.
Sumida Park in Tokyo is one such viewing spots that has been around since the Edo Period. There are around 1,000 cherry blossom trees which line both sides of the Sumida River. Visitors can view them along the walkway or by a river cruise for only two weeks. The trees were said to be planted by the order of the eighth shogun, Tokugawa Yoshimune in 1717.
Similarly, Ueno Park is known for its numerous cherry trees, together with the cherry tree-lined streets of Yakata neighborhood.
A riverside park in Arashiyama, Kyoko is also a popular cherry blossom spot.
Bellagio Conservatory Spring Celebration in Las Vegas (March - May)
In the thick of Vegas casinos and neon lights is a touch of spring brought by the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. The Spring Celebration brings together a spectacle of tulips, azaleas, hibiscus and lilies complete with a rotating windmill and topped with live musical performances. Visitors can also get tips about gardening from Mr. & Ms. Green Thumb. Entrance is free to the public.
Spring at the Butchart Gardens in Vancouver (March - June)
Vancouver's Butchart Gardens is known for its seasonal flower display. In springtime, thousands of flowering bulbs combined with blossoming trees and shrubs greet visitors in a 55-acre space rich with history. Visitors also get a special sneak preview of spring as early as January through the Spring Prelude Indoor Garden. The Butchart Gardens is a National Historic Site of Canada and is over 100 years old.
Cherry Blossom Season at Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York (April)
New York also has its own hanami season at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, culminating in a two-day Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival which celebrates Japanese culture through performances, demonstrations, exhibits and more. The garden has 220 trees belonging in 25 varieties of cherries, making it one the most diverse cherry blossom sites in the world outside of Japan. These trees can be enjoyed best in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, Cherry Esplanade, Cherry Walk and the C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum.