Spring Flowers in Boston

Garden tours, flower shows, festivals, celebrations

Boston garden tours in June include Open Gardens at the Victory Gardens
Magnolias blooming in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood during April

Boston's spring flowers perfume the air as they burst into bloom in April.

The exuberant display of blossoms intensifies during May and June, and continues in more subdued hues until frost.

Take a look at the photo gallery below to get a preview of what you can see if you visit Boston during late spring and early summer.

Following the flower pictures, you'll find recommendations about the best Boston locations for self-guided spring flower garden tours, along with information about Boston garden shows, tours, festivals, and celebrations.

 

Spring Flower Events in Boston

Spring flower events grace the Boston Event Calendars for April and May.  Several don't-miss highlights:

Art in Bloom - The Museum of Fine Arts transforms its galleries with exuberant flower arrangements based on the museum's masterpieces.  Free museum admission if you have a Boston discount card.

Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill Tour - For one day only, residents of Beacon Hill invite visitors behind their high brick walls, where unique hidden gardens delight their owners.

Lilac Sunday - What better way to spend Mother's Day than inhaling the exquisite perfume created by the Arnold Arboretum's extensive lilac collection, usually at its peak of bloom.

Boston Flower and Garden Show - Filled with magnificent display gardens, the Boston Garden Show held in March reminds us that spring really is right around the corner.

Find more garden tours in Boston and Cambridge

 

Photo gallery of spring flowers pictures

From early the earliest blooms to those heralding the start of summer, this photo gallery gives you a glimpse of flowers that you can see all over Boston. Enjoy!

Roses in Boston's Public Garden - May 25

Roses in Boston's Public Garden - May 25 Magnolias in full bloom in Boston's North End neighborhood - April 9 Buds on yellow magnolia tree on the Rose Kennedy Greenway across from Boston's North End neighborhood - April 9 Yellow tulips blooming in Boston's Public Garden - April 10 Crocus spring flowers in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood - April 18
Magnolia trees blooming in Back Bay, Boston - April 18 Azaleas and daffodils blooming in Back Bay, Boston - April 22 Magnolias along Commonwealth Ave in Back Bay, Boston - April 25 Cherry trees in full bloom on Boston's Esplanade - Back Bay brownstones in the background - April 25 Rhododendrons blooming in Boston's Back Bay - May 25
Giant alliums blooming in Boston's Public Garden - May 25 Early single peonies in bloom in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood - May 25 Clematis in bloom in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood - May 25 Rhododendrons in bloom in Boston's Back Bay - May 25 Rhododendrons with chartreuse new growth on yew in front in Boston's Back Bay - May 26

 

Spring Flowers Boston Bloom Calendar

Each photo in the gallery shows a date and place - but keep in mind that bloom times differ a little each year, and sometimes a lot. 

Want to find out what's blooming in Boston?  Use our Boston Flower Calendar to find out:

Dates Names of Spring Flowers in Bloom

Late March - Mid April

  • Crocus and other small bulbs
  • Daffodils and early tulips
  • Buds on magnolias and other flowering trees

Mid April - Early May

  • Magnolias and cherry trees in full bloom
  • Tulips and late daffodils
  • Azaleas

Early May - Early June
(or whenever hot weather settles in)

  • Rhododendrons
  • Lilacs
  • Peonies
  • Roses - a sure sign that summer has arrived!

 

Where to see Spring Flowers in Boston

Boston garden tours in June include Open Gardens at the Victory Gardens
Tulips ablaze in the Public Garden in early May

Although you can see plenty of blooming flowers throughout Boston during April, May, and early June, several neighborhoods and gardens offer especially gorgeous viewing. 

Here are recommendations for self-guided spring flower tours, based on my own personal favorites:

Back Bay Spring Flower Displays

Back Bay tops my list for spectacular displays of spring flowers for one reason: the dazzling magnolia trees, especially along Commonwealth Ave, Marlborough Street, and Beacon Street.  You'll see huge saucer magnolias in hues ranging from pearly pink to fuchsia to deep purple mixed in with ethereal star magnolias, and probably other types as well. 

Buds start opening in early April, and the display is well underway by Boston Marathon weekend.  When the weather cooperates (no early searing heat, no thunderstorms with driving hail, no tearing winds), you can still see magnolias in bloom through early May.

The front gardens of many Victorian brownstones in Back Bay feature plenty of daffodils, tulips, other spring-flowering bulbs like the giant alliums in the photo gallery, and perennials.  Even more spectacular, though, are the rhododendrons, peonies, and early roses in May and into June.

Kelleher Rose Garden

Most magnificent in June, with blooms continuing from May through Frost. 

More about the Kelleher Rose Garden

Boston's Public Garden

Located next to Back Bay (check the Boston Sightseeing Map to quickly see locations of all these neighborhoods), Boston's Victorian-era Public Garden features winding paths and lots of small but formal planting areas. 

Spring flowers on display vary somewhat each year, but always (as far as I know) include tulips and other spring-flowering bulbs and annuals such as pansies during April and May.  In keeping with the Victorian character, you'll usually see lots of unusual sub-tropical types of plants here as well - apparently these were popular during Victorian times.

In addition to flowers, spring foliage in the Public Garden is also spectacular, especially the chartreuse-colored weeping willows surrounding the lagoon.  My favorite way to enjoy the willow foliage is by taking a swan boat ride.  The swan boats return in mid-April, so the timing is perfect.

South End

Much of the South End is shady, and gardens tend to be tiny - but that doesn't stop South Enders from planting spectacular container gardens.  Walk down Waltham Street and the side streets intersecting with it, and you'll see some wonderful examples.  Combine this stroll with a visit to SoWa Open Markets, opening in early May, for a perfect Sunday afternoon in this trendy Boston neighborhood.

The Southwest Corridor Park, lined with community gardens, is another South End location where you can count on seeing plenty of brilliant spring flower displays.  From Back Bay station, walk down Dartmouth Street going south.  Almost immediately, you'll see the Southwest Corridor to your right. 

Photo of Southwest Corridor in Boston's South End
Southwest Corridor near Dartmouth Street, photographed in summer (sorry, no spring flowers!)

For the best views of South End gardens, go on the annual South End Garden Tour.

Rose Kennedy Greenway

Although the Rose Kennedy Greenway is only a few years old, several areas already overflow with lovely spring flowers.  

Across from the North End, you'll find a broad stretch of daffodils blooming from about mid-April until early May, when daylilies take over.  That's where the gorgeous yellow magnolia trees shown in the photo gallery are located.

As you walk south, you'll pass other areas with tulips and more daffodils.  Most spectacular, though, are the Chinese Gardens near South Station and Chinatown.  Starting in about mid-May, peonies and rhododendrons fill this area with color and fragrance, and contrast wonderfully with the new pale-green bamboo shoots

If you're visiting in late May or early June, the best place to begin your Greenway tour is not on the Greenway itself, but a few steps away at the Rose Kennedy Memorial Garden, located near the southwestern edge of Christopher Columbus Park just north of the Boston Marriott Long Wharf Hotel.  Roses in this lovely oasis bloom from late May through frost, with especially spectacular flowers during June.

 

Photo of roses in Boston's Rose Kennedy Garden near the North End
Roses in the Rose Kennedy Memorial Garden, photographed near the end of May

 

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