The Traveling Adjunct–March 23, 2018

6 Awesome Places in the U.S. to See “Spring” Flowers!
Welcome back to another edition of the Traveling Adjunct! With the recent storms in our area, we’re all probably ready for spring to be here and to see flowers instead of snow!  And while spring will be here soon enough (we hope!), did you know that starting as early as February and going through August, there are so many places to see flowers in bloom throughout the States? Here are just six! Enjoy!

Washington, D.C.

flowers in bouquets

This year, the 2018 National Cherry Blossom Festival will be held March 20 through April 15.  The website even has a “watch page” dedicated to tracking the progress of the cherry blossoms! The festival includes the Blossom Kite Festival, a parade and a party known as “PetalPalooza.”  For all the festival details, including where to stay, and even how climate change is affecting cherry blossoms, go to the link!



Carlsbad:  What began as horticulturalist Luther Gage ’s simple flower plantings nearly 100 years ago, has developed into the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. Located in San Diego County, the Flower Fields is a working ranch and as well as a tourist attraction. This year, it will be open from March 1 through May 13, 2018. So, what types of flowers grow here?  The ranunculus – it’s in the buttercup family and is actually native to Asia Minor.

Death Valley: Yup, even in Death Valley, spring flowers bloom! And like Washington, D.C., Death Valley provides wildflower reports! Really!  Since Death Valley is part of the National Park Service, it offers updates on what’s blooming where. Depending on where you are, wildflowers are in bloom from February through July!

Mojave Desert: Like Death Valley, the Mojave Desert is part of the National Park Service.  The NPS has updates on the various flora and when they’ll be in peak bloom so you can plan your visit! Besides wildflowers, yucca, Joshua trees and cacti are in bloom from February to May!  Here’s a website with a list of all the wildflowers that grow in the Mojave!


Tucson: The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has a cactus garden with native wildflowers and even a butterfly garden!   Who knew there were butterflies in the desert? Although peak flowering times are in April and in August, you can see other cool stuff, like prickly pears (which I tried in Malta – surprisingly good.)

Phoenix:  The Desert Botanical Gardens is all about succulents!  Okay, okay, so  it’s not strictly flowers, but the Southwest’s largest botanical garden is dedicated to studying, protecting and preserving the desert’s natural beauty.  You can hike a trail, learn about sustainable gardening practices, browse the 9,000 book library, and more!  And admit it, desert plants are pretty fascinating, aren’t they?


Each July, Crested Butte holds the week-long Wildflower Festival  where you can see, well, wildflowers! The festival has been held each year since 1986 and this year it takes place from July 6-15, where you can participate in everything from hikes and walks to art workshops!


If you’re lucky to be on the Island of Kauai, try a hike in the McBryde Garden Biodiversity Trail  where you’ll find all sorts of beautiful flora. Part of the Trail is along the ocean, so keep an eye out as you hike for whales, dolphins and other marine life.


Portland’s nickname is the “Rose City” and the Portland Rose Festival  is just one example of how Portland carries on its rose themed tradition.  In 1907, the Festival started as a way to promote Portland as the “summer capital of the world.  While the main festival  – the Rose Festival CityFair (nope,  not a typo, it’s one word) – takes place over several weekends between the end of May til about mid June, events are scheduled from  April to September, and include a “sing-off”, the Starlight Run, the Grand Floral Walk, and even a milk carton boat race!




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