ATLANTA BLOOMS! Spring-Bulb Extravaganza to Kick Off at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, March-April 2014

ATLANTA BLOOMS! Spring-Bulb Extravaganza to Kick Off at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, March-April 2014

Milder temperatures and longer days may hint at it, but it's not spring in Georgia until Atlanta Blooms! trumpets its arrival with hundreds of thousands of tulips and daffodils in March and April at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Not to be missed, the Garden's spring-bulb extravaganza has become an Atlanta tradition. Yet with each passing year, the festival grows more exciting - this year featuring many new varieties in the collection of nearly 300,000 bulbs as well as a lot of old favorites.

Among the more than 61,000 new bulbs planted last fall, look for tulips such as electrifying pink 'The Cure', sunshine yellow 'Big Smile', creamy 'Maureen', and sherbet orange 'Daydream', to name a few of the old standbys. The Garden also likes to throw some new cultivars into the mix to see how they stack up. Tequila Sunrise tulip mix has long been a favorite, but 'Tequila Sunrise' tulip promises to wow visitors with a mix of cream, yellow, orange, and red all in the same flower. So does Spring Pink Blend with its beautiful array of long-lasting pinks, while the rousing pink 'Niigata' will make its debut in the Rose Garden and Edible Garden. Blazing across the bridge, 'Banja Luka' is a striking yellow tulip flamed with red. These are just a few new colors popping up, dominated by pinks, purples and oranges, during the fourth annual bulb show.

"Planning for our tulip displays begins one year out while the current year's blooms are in full swing," said Amanda Campbell Bennett, manager of display gardens. "Our overall color schemes for each planting bed rotate annually, and no two years are alike!"

The displays date to 2010 when a "bulb master plan" was created to unify the entire Garden with gorgeous perennial and annual spring bulb displays. Since then, daffodils have been added nearly every year, and other perennial bulbs such as starflowers, camass, and species tulips are periodically planted as well.

The mission of the Atlanta Botanical Garden is to develop and maintain plant collections for display, education, research, conservation and enjoyment. The Garden is located at 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE in Midtown, between 14th Street and Monroe Drive. The Garden is open November - April from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m, and May - October from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (till 10 p.m. Thursdays), Tuesday - Sunday. Admission is $18.95 adults, $12.95 children 3-12, free to children under 3 and Garden members. For more information, visit atlantabotanicalgarden.org.

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