Spring has sprung in Raleigh! As the days warm up and the days grow longer, check out this list of flowery events and openings to embrace the season of color and renewal – and get those Insta snaps!
by Kara Adams
As the days warm up and start to get longer, the Triangle is celebrating with flower-themed events for all ages this spring – from mimosa-fueled floral painting workshops to family-friendly garden tours and children’s story times at JC Raulston Arboretum, there’s a way for everyone to appreciate the blooms of the season in the coming months.
Attend a Floral Design Class
Learn how to master ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, with the English Garden of Raleigh. Using colorful spring bulbs from nearby farms, you can create your bouquet either in-person, or on Zoom. The class will focus on implementing a sustainable frog base from Floral Genius into arrangements, rather than floral foam. All materials will be included with the cost of the class, and for those participating via zoom in nearby areas, items will be delivered to your front door on the day of class.
March 16 | 6:30 – 8 p.m.; $90; 6308 Angus Drive, Suite A; eventbrite.com
See Art in Bloom at NCMA
Spring is aflower — and that means the North Carolina Museum of Art is, too! This five-day affair will take a global theme this year, with British floral designer Joseph Massie as a special guest and musical acts like the Peter Lamb Trio, Ed Stephenson, and Smitha Prasad providing a soundtrack that conjures various regions around the world. In addition to enjoying the elaborate floral displays that play off The People’s Collection, you can sign up for lunchtime floral demonstrations with the designers, a garden-themed film screening of Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse, and paper-making classes.
March 16 – 20; from $30; 2110 Blue Ridge Road; ncartmuseum.org
Sip on Art-Inspired Cocktails at the Willard
Head to the Willard rooftop lounge at the AC Hotel Raleigh Downtown after checking out the arrangements at Art in Bloom for craft cocktails inspired by the exhibit. Light of Life, a gin-based drink crafted by Scott McGee, features a dangling LED color-changing light inspired by “Light of Life” by Yayoi Kusama. Bartender Naomi Campbell named her colorful, rum and citrusy creation after You’re Getting in Your Own Way, a painting by Atlanta artist Shara Hughes, and Morning Mist by Jessie Rossabi features citrus-infused vodka and an oak smoke bubble reminiscent of “The Seine at Giverny, Morning Mist” by Claude Monet. All three cocktails will be available while the exhibit is showing, with a percentage of proceeds going towards the North Carolina Museum of Art.
March 16 – 20; prices vary; 9 Glenwood Avenue; thewillardraleigh.com
Go on a Wildflower Walk
If you’re looking for a chance for wildflower sightings, check out this list of hikes across state parks and botanical gardens home to tiny blossoms in a rainbow of color. Snap a picture of the beautiful Lady Slipper orchid at Eno River State Park, or the daylilies at De Hart Botanical Garden to brighten up your feed.
Take the Kids to JC Raulston Arboretum for a Garden Storytime
Bring children ages three to five out to JC Raulston Arboretum for a storytime in the garden! Bring a picnic blanket to spread out in the gardens as you listen to an age-appropriate storybook, and come dressed for a trek through the natural beauty of all JC Raulston afterwards. Check out the children’s favorite Butterfly Garden, the aromatic Finley-Nottingham Rose Garden, or relax in the Japanese Garden.
March 25 | 10 a.m.; $5; 4415 Beryl Road; jcra.ncsu.edu
Paint a Floral Chicken
Join Pinot’s Palette for a Mimosa Saturday paint workshop featuring a unique floral bouquet in the shape of a chicken. No artistic talent is needed to walk out with your flowery chicken, just come ready to follow along step-by-step as you sip on mimosas and listen to music in this upbeat art class inspired by the blooming flowers of spring… and chickens.
March 26 | 3 – 5 p.m.; $37; 10410 Moncreiffe Road Suite 101; pinotspalette.com
Visit Duke Gardens
The Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham brim with the beauty of a new season each Spring as thousands of cherry trees, tulips, daffodils, and poppies burst into bloom. Check out their range of historic gardens, including the Azalea Court, Hanes Iris Garden and the Iris Bridge, or the Sundial and Butterfly Garden. The Terrace Cafe is set to reopen March 21.
Sara P. Duke Gardens, 420 Anderson Street, Durham; gardens.duke.edu
Take a Trip West for Biltmore Blooms
Spring is the perfect time to make the trip to Asheville to see the historic Biltmore Estate surrounded by a sea of flowers. From colorful cornelian-cherry dogwood trees to the orchids in bloom in the Conservatory to the hyacinth-filled Walled Garden, explore all the beauty of Biltmore and its gardens and grounds spanning 8,000 acres. Included in your ticket is a wine tasting at Antler Hill Village & Winery amongst the fragrant winter jasmine, spirea, daffodil, Japanese Pieris, and more.
From $86; April 1 – May 26; One Lodge Street, Asheville; biltmore.com
Grab a Mimosa at Atlantic Gardening
The local beers on tap at Atlantic Gardening’s bar get a fun new twist with garden tool taps, including shovels, rakes, and spades. Check out what’s on the tool taps for today, or opt for a glass of wine or one of their many mimosa flavors like mago, pineapple, peach, and pear nectar before taking a stroll around the greenhouse and nursery.
5217 Atlantic Avenue; atlanticgardening.com
Signup for a Spring Soirée Flower Workshop
Join Élan House for a Spring Soirée and Flower Workshop at their spacious shared workspace in Raleigh Founded’s Gateway Plaza location. This event celebrates the new beginnings of spring and the beauty of nature and friendship with a floral arrangement demonstration led by an in-house florist. Grab a tasty sweet treat to pair with the favorite house-made Sangria as you ring in the new season amongst the flowers.
April 2 | 1 – 2 p.m.; $130; 150 Fayetteville Street; details here
Head over to Campbell Road Nursery for the 41st annual Azalea Sale hosted by the Gardeners of Wake County. Featuring locally grown azaleas in over 120 varieties, colors, and sizes reaching up to 10 feet tall, you won’t want to miss this chance to support your local gardeners and take home a one-of-a-kind flower. Don’t forget to ask how you can help support North Carolina State horticulture students at the sale.
April 7 – 16; 2804 Campbell Road; gardenersofwakecounty.weebly.com
Go on an Oakwood Garden Tour
Join Historic Oakwood for the 33rd annual scenic walking tour spanning over a mile of gardens and grounds, including a stop for a refreshing glass of iced tea to cool down and a goodie bag full of treats from local businesses to take home afterwards. For an extra charge, opt-in for the Fascinator Making Experience, which includes all the perks of the walking tour plus an hour-long Fascinator Making Experience featuring Fascinator supplies for one patron and a signature mocktail.
April 9 & 10; from $25; 418 North Person Street; historicoakwood.org
Modern Floral Landscapes and Vibrant Bouquets
Self-taught professional artist Shalimar is showcasing a 2022 Spring Collection at her downtown Cary studio and gallery, including modern style floral landscape paintings and beautiful bouquets. The event will feature free food from local vendors, drinks, and live music by Ari Pappalardo.
April 16 | 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.; free; 121 E. Chatham Street, Suite B, Cary; RSVP here
Attend a Flower Tea Party
Create a spring-inspired tea cup design at The English Garden’s Time for Tea Flower Design Class, available both in-person and online through Zoom. Enjoy handheld treats and choose from a curated list of teas that will transport you straight to the English countryside as you work on your tea cup. Tools and aprons will be included for in-person attendees, and materials delivered straight to your door for Zoom participants.
April 20 | 6:30 – 8 p.m.; $55; 6308 Angus Drive, Suite A; englishgardenraleigh.com
Explore the Juniper Level Gardens
Celebrate the start of spring with a trip to Juniper Level Botanic Gardens that offers something for casual visitors and experienced gardeners alike. The 28-acre campus is home to multiple perennial greenhouses, exotic plants, a grotto garden, and rare trees and shrubs — many of which are available to purchase. Visit its Plant Delights Nursery on the way out and choose from over 1,600 different perennials and plants for your own garden.
April 29 – May 8; free admission; 9241 Sauls Road; jlbg.org
Try One of These Fresh Recipes
As spring brings a variety of vegetables into season, liven up your dinner table with one of these colorful vegetable forward recipes using produce from your own garden, or one of these Triangle-based CSA’s.
Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival
Bring the whole family to Cary’s Bond Park for one of the most anticipated festivals of the year. Featuring 170 local artists, mouth-watering food, an Earth Day Celebration, and hands-on activities for kids such as paint-by-the-numbers on a collaborative giant canvas, and games at the WakeMed Play Zone, Spring Daze is back in full form this year. Check out the entertainment happening simultaneously on four different stages all day long, including acts such as Boots and Bangs, Imagine Circus, Derek Chase, the Cary Youth Voices, and more unique performers.
April 30 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; free; 801 High House Road, Cary; townofcary.org
Acquaint yourself with Local Garden Centers
After gathering inspiration from this list, visit a local garden center to get started on your own personal garden. Whether you’re in the market for shrubs, delicate blossoms, or just a unique vase to hold a fresh bouquet from the State Farmers Market, this list of garden centers has got you covered.