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 grace the Boston Event Calendars for April and May. Several don't-miss highlights:
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.
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!
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
Mid April - Early May
Early May - Early June
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 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.
Most magnificent in June, with blooms continuing from May through Frost.
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.
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.
For the best views of South End gardens, go on the annual South End Garden Tour.
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.
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