By Susan McKee
March gives tantalizing hints of warm weather to come. From maple festivals to daffodil shows, check out events that promise spring is just around the corner.
Maple syrup festivals are probably the first tree-to-table foodie events. At Maple Syrup Days in North Salem, Indiana this month you can see the sap drip into buckets, get collected, and poured into evaporators – and then step into the Nature Center and sample some of that syrup on a plate of pancakes.
Three more places in the Hoosier State to see how sap turns into syrup are the Parke County Maple Syrup Fair in Rockville, Indiana; the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival in Salem, Indiana, and the National Maple Syrup Festival in Nashville, Indiana.
Maine’s Maple Sunday takes place March 31, allowing a look at the state’s maple syrup production statewide.
Flower and garden shows also preview spring, and give breathtaking glimpses of blossoming trees and blooming bulbs.
Dallas Blooms, the largest annual floral festival in the Southwest, is underway through April 7 at the Arboretum and Botanical Garden in Dallas, Texas. Appropriate to the theme, “Life’s A Picnic,” you’ll find a larger-than-life, “picnic scene” topiary comprised of a 40-foot by 40-foot picnic blanket, a vase of flowers, a picnic basket with pie, and a giant picnic ant. Of course, you’ll also find than 500,000 spring-blooming flowers, thousands of azaleas, and hundreds of Japanese cherry trees.
The Philadelphia Flower Show takes place March 2 through 10 in the Pennsylvania Convention Center – said to be the largest and longest-running horticultural event in the United States. A highlight will be the FTD World Cup 2019. Floral designers representing 23 countries will compete to be named Interflora World Cup champion. Over the course of three days, the designers will produce floral creations from both predetermined themes and surprise packages of materials. The results will be on display throughout the week of the show.
A Spring Bulb Show blooms March 2 through 17, in the Lyman Conservatory at The Botanic Garden of Smith College, Northampton Massachusetts. Crocuses, hyacinths, narcissi, irises, lilies, and tulips provide a preview of what’s to come outdoors.
For those who like their flowers with a side of beef, there’s the Daffodil Festival in Camden, Arkansas, March 8 and 9. Millions of daffodils burst into bloom across acres of gardens in and around town – hopefully perfectly timed for the annual festival. Where’s the beef? At the Steak Cook-Off in a downtown parking lot March 9.
You can see 25 gardens created by landscape designers, architects, and builders at Canada Blooms in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 8 through 17, plus two flower shows – one by amateurs and the other for professionals.
In Boston, Massachusetts, the Flower & Garden Show takes place March 13 through 17. In addition to the expected display gardens and floral exhibits, the list of seminars and workshops includes this quirky one: turning whoopie pies into works of edible floral art (it’s from noon to 2 p.m. March 17).
The Chicago Flower & Garden Show will be March 20 through 24 on Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois. Begun in 1847 as an exhibition of prized fruits and flowers, these days it has everything from display gardens to a bustling marketplace. One of its distinctive features is the Garden Gourmet Stage, where chefs create tasty dishes from natural and home-grown ingredients.
At Newfields in Indianapolis, Indiana, Spring Blooms blossoms forth March 22 through May 26. This is an outdoor showcase including more than 500,000 blooms unfolding in a cascade from tulips to peonies – a chance to “watch nature paint the landscape in slow motion”. Hint: Don’t overlook the native wildflowers.
(Two places to check out these spring events and more are Road Trips for Foodies and Road Trips for Gardeners.)