Spring, glorious spring

Taking in the first signs of the season


Winter’s dreary doldrums are well behind us now. Spring beckons with the first burst of blooms. And there’s no place better to welcome the season than at the always-glorious Old Westbury Gardens, which reopens to visitors on Saturday, April 1.

The renowned Gardens is ready to delight everyone with its glorious gardens and a busy schedule of programs and activities. The first signs of the season have made their presence known.

 “April is so exciting, with so many flowers ready to appear,” says horticulture director Maura Brush.“Every type, size and signs of blooms are so cherished.”

She urges visitors not to miss out on the late-April to early-June period, noting that the landscape is ever-changing and continuously bursting with color.

“Every week there’s a rollout,” she says. From the cascades of cherry blossoms, the delicate fritillaria, daffodils, cheerful viola to, of course, tulips. Also shrubbery and trees — it’s all carefully planned out by Brush and her team.

“We have a really well-curated display of bulbs that you’ll not see elsewhere,” she says. “I’m very excited. So much time and care has been put into curating these bulbs. We utilize them in such a way that the combinations are so interesting. The Walled Garden is particularly exciting.”

Early spring’s brisk weather sets the stage for an invigorating stroll through the many trails on Old Westbury Gardens’s 200 acres. You’ll be able to see the last of the wildflowers and tulips getting ready to open, among other harbingers of the season. The cherry blossoms will soon be visible, along with fruit trees, among other trees and shrubs — all starting to bloom in an array of delicate colors.

Among the many not-to-be-missed spots is the woodland walk. “It’s particularly nice to to walk through the lake trail to the woodland walk,” Brush says. And, certainly the primrose path and walled garden stand out as favorites.

“The primrose path is just loaded with blooms,” she enthuses. “It’s so stunning.”

It’s what Brush describes as “very spring-oriented,” filled with forget-me-nots and other spring ephemerals, along with its namesake — the showy, early blooming primrose. In fact, the primrose is considered the shining star of early spring gardens.

Along with the colorful blooms, the Gardens’ extensive schedule of programming springs forth. Opening weekend begins with the always-popular Story Book Stroll, on April 1, for the youngest visitors (ages 3-5) and a performance by Suzuki on the Island piano students, one of Long Island’s premier music programs for kids 4-18, on April 2.

Looking ahead, the Gardens’ beloved Dog Friendly Weekend, with its Spring Dog Festival, returns April 14-15. Pooches and their pet parents always enjoy exploring the grounds (leashed of course) and meeting up with fellow four-legged visitors.