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Love in Bloom: Southern Spring Getaways for Couples

by Barbara Rogers

Apr 27, 2018

© Stillman Rogers

Listicles

No season is more romantic than spring, with its first splashes of color as trees and spring bulbs burst into bloom. It’s a perfect season for couples to get away for a little “us” time, just as tulips, daffodils and flowering trees begin to paint the scenery. Here are some of our favorite gardens and flowering landscapes in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states to visit for a romantic spring getaway.

 

Callaway Gardens

In Pine Mountain, Ga., southwest of Atlanta, Callaway Gardens are the largest display gardens in the Southeast, and during April’s Azalea season more than 700 varieties of azaleas are in full bloom along a five-mile trail beneath flowering dogwood, magnolia and crabapple trees.

 

Atlanta Botanic Garden

The spring bulb displays at Atlanta Botanical Garden began in 2010 with a spectacular display, and each year more daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses and other bulbs such as starflowers and rare tulip species are planted. Hundreds of thousands of flowering bulbs now fill the gardens and parterre beds surrounding the magnificent blue-and-white glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly. The bulbs bloom for several weeks in a continuing display.

 

Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, Georgia,

© Stillman Rogers

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

Extending from North Carolina into Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway runs for more than 400 miles through the forests of the Appalachian Range from Shenandoah to the Smokies. All along the parkway, spring flowers bloom from April well into May. The roadsides and viewpoints are colored by redbud, mountain laurel, dogwoods, flame azaleas, rhododendrons and many other blooming shrubs and wild flowers.

 

Skyline Drive

Much the same varieties of flowering trees and shrubs decorate the roadsides along Skyline Drive, the 105-mile scenic parkway that follows the narrow spine of the Blue Ridge through Shenandoah National Park from Front Royal to Rockfish Gap, Va. The trees frame a succession of views across the Shenandoah Valley and rolling hills of Virginia, close to Washington, D.C.

 

Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, Georgia,

© Stillman Rogers

 

National Arboretum

The 444-acre National Arboretum, in Washington, D.C., is known for its large collection of magnolias, but its many dogwoods, azaleas and hundreds of varieties of flowering crabapple trees also reach their peak at the end of April. Hillside trails wind through the woods on the slope of Mt Hamilton, where thousands of blooming azaleas represent hundreds of different hybrids for a variety of color and shape. A more formal arrangement is in the walled garden, where individual varieties are showcased against boxwood hedges. Flowering dogwoods bloom in mid-spring, and the Chinese dogwoods bloom into early June.

 

Longwood Gardens

One of America’s best-known show gardens is Longwood Gardens, in the Brandywine Valley just north of Wilmington, Del. The gardens cover 1,077 acres and spring to life in April, when more than 240,000 tulips bloom in the Idea Garden and along the Flower Garden Walk. They are at their height through all of April and into the first week of May. Peirce’s Woods is filled with native azaleas and flowering trees color the Meadow Garden. And if it happens to be a rainy day, head for the huge Conservatory, an indoor garden filled with magnificent blooms at any time of year.

 

USA, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.Longwood Gardens, Christmas time, holiday decorations,

Longwood Gardens. Photo: Stillman Rogers

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