Daffodils at Gibbs Gardens. (Photos by Amy Wenk)

I’m anxious for spring!

There’s nothing like seeing our communities in full bloom. The purple pops of the redbud trees. The cute little snouts of the daffodils. The ruffles of the bearded iris. And perhaps my favorite, the flowers of the tulip poplar with their vibrant orange rings.

The flower of the tulip poplar.

In honor of the season, I thought I’d round up some of my favorite spots for flowers.

The daffodils are already blooming at Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park. The plantings are part of The Daffodil Project, which aspires to build a worldwide living Holocaust Memorial in memory of the children who perished. There are also plantings at Brookhaven Park, Ashford Park and Blackburn Park in Brookhaven. What a beautiful symbol of remembrance. 

As of late February, the first stems of tulips were starting to emerge from the ground at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. This is the place to go if you love tulips as there are literally thousands!

A tulip at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Also near home is the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. While it’s not a traditional garden, it’s fun to find native blooms along the trails. You can see trout lilies, serviceberry and redbuds bloom in early spring, followed by azaleas, trillium and coreopsis.

If you don’t mind driving a little, I recommend the Wylde Center in Oakhurst, near Agnes Scott College. It is such a cute, whimsical garden that’s great for young children. Plus, they typically have plant sales, and I’ve picked up some real gems there, such as Japanese anemone and anise hyssop (a favorite of pollinators).

The diamorpha at Arabia Mountain.

Also worth the drive is Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, opening in early March. They have millions of daffodils, covering 50 acres of hillsides. It’s a magical experience!

And I love the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens. Admission is free, making it an excellent option for a day trip.

And lastly, consider a spring trip to Arabia Mountain in Lithonia to see the diamorpha bloom (typically in late March or April). It’s a type of stonecrop that turns a beautiful crimson color with tiny white flowers. When it blankets the granite like a red carpet, it’s otherworldly!

Amy Wenk was editor of Reporter Newspapers in 2021-22.