Spring brings the opportunity to visit great gardens in the weeks and months ahead. Here are four to consider:
1. MAGNOLIA PLANTATION, CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA. See camellias, daffodils, azaleas and scores of other species in bloom within America’s oldest public garden, founded in 1676. Naturalist guides help the kids spot alligators, turtles, egrets and herons on a tram tour of the plantation’s wetlands, marshes, lakes and forests. A 45-minute history tour details Magnolia’s role in moving from slavery to freedom.
2. BLOOMS AND BIKES, FORT COLLINS, COLORADO. Borrow bikes from the “Bike Library” and take a self-guided tour of this Northern Colorado city’s many public gardens. Don’t miss the Annual Trial Garden, a colorful spread of blossoms tended by Colorado State University students. Free and open to the public, it is planted with annuals from late May through October.
3. LONGWOOD GARDENS, KENNETT SQUARE, PENNSYLVANIA. This time of year, more than 20 indoor and 20 outdoor gardens are flaunting their finest colors in more than 1,000 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows and fountains, plus a 4 1/2-acre conservatory. From family story time and scavenger hunts in the Children’s Garden to guided visits to a meadow and invigorating seasonal programs, this Pennsylvania gem offers a wealth of opportunities to learn about the natural world.
4. WEST SEATTLE BEE GARDEN, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON. Discover the busy world of bees during a visit to this intriguing garden. Your family can safely learn about the importance of honeycomb, nectar, honey and pollen and why we need to preserve the bee population. Take time to walk through the adjacent park and talk about plants and their role in the pollination process. An annual festival includes activities for kids, music and enhanced educational programs.