The best places to see flowers blossom this season.
A field of bluebonnets in Texas, USA
Bluebell wood, Oxfordshire, England
As spring takes hold, these fairytale woodlands deep in the Oxfordshire countryside assume a carpet of blue and purple. Clusters of indigo flowers give way to vast open glades, perfect for a family picnic.
Not only does this ostentatious breed of poppy bear the title of “California State Flower”, it also has an entire day dedicated to it each year (6 April). When spring has sprung the hills of rural California become ablaze with this orange bloom, also nicknamed the “Flame Flower”.
Tulips, between Haarlem and Leiden, the Netherlands
Row after row of kaleidoscopic buds line the low-lying fields of the Netherlands’ “bulb district” (Bollenstreek) come spring. Alongside world-famous Dutch tulips, flamboyant lilies, daffodils and hyacinths vie for attention. Biking the official trail through the fields is a fantastic way to see the blooms up-close.
Hardy bluebonnets can flower as early as mid-winter, and by the time spring arrives pockets of the Texan countryside have become a sea of indigo and white. Bluebonnet trails run across the state, with routes catering for those on foot or on the road.
As the bracing cold and snowfall of winter peters out, a blanket of yellow lifts the Kashmir valley, as mustard season arrives in spring. Admirers of the crop have but a few months to take in its brilliant golden hues before it is harvested towards the end of May.
Tourists regularly throng the Spanish Steps to relax on the elegant cascade of stairs or take in the grand Trinità dei Monti church at the top. With spring comes an extra reason to visit; April sees the addition of hundreds of deep-pink azaleas – a tradition dating back to the 1950s.
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC celebrates the arrival of spring in style. An opening ceremony kicks off the festivities, and a packed timetable of events follows, including a kite show, firework displays and the signature Pink Tie party. The peak bloom date is in early April, during which time the city erupts in delicate pink blossoms; Jefferson Memorial is a prime viewing spot.
Cherry blossom, Chureito Pagoda, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
The ephemeral cherry blossom, or sakura, which graces Japan between March and May has become a national symbol for spring. Collecting around temples, in parks and along streets, it draws in locals and tourists alike. The Chureito Pagoda is made all the more enchanting by the addition of these dainty blooms.
Though you may be lucky enough to glimpse some lavender in late spring, you’ll need to schedule your visit for summertime to see this French perennial in its full glory. The manicured rows of purple come June are well worth the wait.
Wild Lupin Flowers, Lake Tekapo, Canterbury, New Zealand
Surfacing in New Zealand’s springtime (September–November), but flourishing in summer, the elegant Lupin flower can grow to a height of 1.5 m (almost 5 ft). Despite their technical status as a weed, these pastel-coloured plants make views across Lake Tekapo all the more picturesque.
Wildflowers “superbloom”, Death Valley, Nevada, USA
The Death Valley “superbloom” is a rare but sublime occurrence. While spring will always bring with it a blossom or two, the right conditions can mean an explosion of yellow, violet, white, and fuschia across the usually sparse grassland scrub.
Wildflowers, Namaqualand, South Africa
Around 5 hours from Cape Town lies the Namaqualand region which boasts dazzling displays of flora in springtime (beginning early September). Upwards of 4,000 different plant species bloom during this time, though they are soon overcome by the onset of an arid summer.