By Ruthie Burst
Dallas Blooms at the Dallas Arboretum provides visitors with an unforgettable experience – a fragrant splash of color to welcome spring. The Arboretum on Garland Road welcomes guests to their 28th anniversary of Dallas Blooms through April 8.
Dallas Blooms features 600,000 bulbs including tulips, daffodils, Dutch Iris, hyacinths, pansies, violas, poppies and more. The beautiful display doesn’t come completely naturally though: it takes a lot of preparation and hard work to pull off this flower fest.
“All the planning goes in over a year ahead of time,” said the Director of Gardens, Dave Forehand.
The Arboretum estimated that nearly 600 volunteers spent 7,829 hours working to prepare for Dallas Blooms of 2012. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. We have a fantastic team of volunteers,” Arboretum volunteer, Juanita Anderson, said.
Along with the volunteers, the festival would not be a hit without the gardeners that spend endless hours planting flowers. Forehand said bulb planting requires 35 gardeners who manage to finish all the plantings in about 20 days.
While it’s a lot of work during that time period, the gardeners believe it is evident that the hard work pays off. Many guests are in awe at the beautiful floral displays. “The Dallas Arboretum means spring. It’s a beautiful view and a wonderful walk,” said visitor Louise McMaken, who strolled the pathways among the blooms one recent morning.
Officials expect nearly 200,000 people to visit the 66-acre Arboretum for Dallas Blooms. Last year, MSN News called the festival one of the top 14 best events in the world to see spring flowers. “It takes quite a team to make something like this happen,” Dallas Arboretum Chairman Brian Shivers said.
The planting of the flowers is a long process. The bulbs are ordered and shipped from Holland to Dallas eight months ahead of time. When they arrive in Dallas, they are put in a cooler and chilled. The flowers are planted by hand in late November. The design and plan for each flower’s location is a key element of the process. The colors, bulbs, and beds are all taken into consideration during the steps of planning.
“We all came together with our ideas and all got on one page and then we were all able to communicate together. With their skills and our skills, we made this great exhibit,” Tiffany Acord, Dallas Arboretum public events manager, said.
The team also includes sponsors who are honored to be a part of the festival.
“Capital One Bank is really pleased to be here. This is a beautiful and magical place. This is our third year in a row that we are the sponsor,” Dallas Market President of Capital One Bank Jorge Calderon said.
Cris Emrich, vice president of marketing for the Arboretum, said that when she thinks of Dallas Blooms, she thinks of tulips, hyacinths, and the amazing smells throughout the gardens.
“It means beautiful flowers. It means wonderful people having a great time. It means an educational experience,” Emrich said.
Ruthie Burst will graduate from Southern Methodist University in 2014 with a major in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in statistics