This Spring at Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden

By Kristin Hennig

The days are longer and temperatures are warmer, which means spring is just around the corner. Here at Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, we associate spring with new growth, lots of color, and The Spectacular Tulip Bloom.

Beginning in late March and all throughout April, thousands of tulips and daffodils show off a stunning display of color in the garden. This year, 34 varieties and over 15,000 individual bulbs are planted. Daffodils in shades of white, yellows, and oranges, and tulips in shades of reds, yellows, oranges, pinks, and purples will soon blanket the Pattern Garden.

For approximately six weeks, there will be bulbs in bloom. The early season varieties begin blooming in mid to late March, mid-season varieties in early April, and late season varieties in mid to late April. Peak blooming season will typically happen in the second to third week of April. What do we mean by peak blooms? That occurs when there is overlap between early, mid, and late season varieties. Weather always plays a factor as we anticipate blooms, so we post regular updates online about The Spectacular Tulip Bloom.
The tulips and daffodils blooming in the Pattern Garden are just some of the many flowers blooming during March and April. So much of the garden is waking up from winter dormancy. Walk to the Welcome Center and discover five acres of developed gardens awaiting your exploration. Iris, allium, hellebore, dianthus, camelia, and viburnum are just a few of the many flowers you might see this time of year.

The outdoor garden displays are open daily for self-guided tours from sunrise until sunset. Scavenger hunts are available for our youngest visitors, and those young at heart, and are a fun activity to do while exploring the garden at your own pace. Come into the Welcome Center Monday-Friday from
10am-4pm for a paper copy of the scavenger hunt or download a copy from the Knowledge page of our website.

In addition to self-guided tours, there are a number of exciting programs and events scheduled this spring. Be sure to mark your calendars for these upcoming programs and events.

We are excited to welcome Miss Stefanie from Paddison Memorial Library back to the garden on Tuesdays, March 12 and April 9 at 10:00am for Storytime in the Garden. Children 6 and under are invited to join us for this FREE program outside on the Patio Terrace for stories, songs, and special garden themed activity.

On Mondays, March 25 and April 22 at 10:30am, a Kindermusik Playdate with Carol Penney is happening inside the ballroom. This is a FREE program for families with children 5 and under. Space is limited and advance registration is required.

The first Lunch & Learn of the year will be held on Thursday, March 14 at 12:00pm. Jimmy Speas, President of the Central Carolina Dahlia Society, will give a presentation about growing dahlias. We invite you to bring and enjoy your lunch while you learn all about how to grow and care for beautiful dahlias.

Learn how to take better photos using your smartphone with Elizabeth Larson of Elizabeth Larson Photography this spring. Elizabeth will once again be teaching a smartphone photography class on Thursday, April 4 from 5:30pm-8:30pm. The subject matter of this class? Spring blooms of course! The class is limited to 10 students, benefits both iPhone and Android photographers, and all levels are welcome.

If you are planning any outdoor landscaping this spring, put the Spring Plant Sale on your calendar and set a reminder now. It will be held on Saturday, April 13 from 8:00am-12:00pm. Shop a selection of shrubs and herbaceous perennials for sun and shade, all while supporting the garden. The list of available plants will be announced two weeks before the sale. Come early for the best selection; we frequently sell out of many plants before 10am on the day of the Plant Sale.

There is so much to see and do at the garden this spring.
Plan your visit and register for programs by visiting our website,

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