With the weather warming up and Spring just a few weeks away, wildflowers are only a few weeks away from starting to bloom. The beautiful state of North Carolina is less than 3 hours away, and offers beautiful gardens and stunning natural landscapes that give you views of spring flowers in full bloom. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to Arboretums, these are 5 places to see flowers in full bloom when springtime season starts, and all less than 5 hours away from Richmond.
This year at Airlie Gardens, the Spring Blooms are taking place from March 1st to April 15th. The gardens’ Spring Bloom hold over 75,000 azaleas and 60,000 spring blooms which are expected to bloom mid-March through mid-April. This photo is from 2021 during the peak of tulip season and give a glimpse of what you can see at Airlie. All general admission has to be purchased in advance and the gardens are open from 9am to 5pm daily (with last entree at 4:30). Tickets costs $9 and can be purchased online.
Where: 300 Airlie Rd, Wilmington, NC 28403
The Chapel Hill Garden Club will be hosting garden tours called The Chapel Hill Garden Tour: Vision & View, that’ll tour six different gardens that range from historic to modern, mountaintop to lakeside. They all offer unique landscaping, historic-style houses, and flowers and plants to take in. There’ll be two dates includes, Saturday 23rd 10am-4pm and and Sunday 24th, 11am-4pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance through their website or at the Garden Shop between April 1st and 22nd.
Where: 100 Old Mason Farm Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Just south of Asheville is the North Carolina Arboretum, which offers acres of beautifully cultivated gardens and trails. Check out one of their many exhibits from their Wildflower exhibit that offers views of azaleas, wildflowers, and many many more. The gardens open up for their full bloom starting on April 1st. Don’t forget to check out their Plant Sale and Vendor Market on May 27th and 28th for a last hurrah before summer starts.
Where: 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28806
From April 4th to May 26th, you can see Spring Blooms take place at Biltmore Estate’s ‘Biltmore Blooms’ event that takes place in multiple areas of their estate. The buds start to bloom in mid-March but they’re usually at full bloom in April and May. With your ticket, you get access to, not only the gardens, but the Biltmore House, the Antler Hill Winery, wine tasting, and complimentary parking.
Where: 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803
5. Linville Gorge
Springtime in the Blue Ridge Mountains is nothing short of spectacular and each months boasts their own particular type of flower. In March, you can get spectacular views of beauties like daffodils and iris and in April, you get to see tulips, redbud, and pinkshell azaleas. (Hint: one of the most popular bloom is the rhododendron bloom which takes place in June). Some of the best wildflower bloom hikes are Craggy Gardens Trail, Pinnacle Trail at Craggy Gardens, and Graveyard Field Loop trails. For frequent sightings of violets, trillium, and azaleas, you can try hiking down Craven Gap Trail to Bull Gap.