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20 Aug 2018

Leap into Spring with Blue Mountains Botanic Garden bloom festivals

There’s nothing like a sea of golden daffodils sprouting from the ground to tell you that winter is coming to an end and spring has sprung! The Daffodil Festival marks the start of the spring blooms at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah.

Read on to learn what else will be coming into bloom this spring, what tips we have for growing spring flowers at home and the top things to do around the gardens as the weather starts to warm.

Go on a daffodil discovery walk

Daffodils now cover the Gardens, and it’s a perfect time to discover these little rays of sunshine before the festival ends on the 2 September. Bring a picnic and munch amongst the picturesque bulbs around you. Kids can join in too with the Children’s Self-guided tour of the Gardens, and learn all about the wonderful flowers around them.

It’s impossible to know how many bulbs are currently in the ground, but this year we have added 10,000 new bulbs to the collection, and horticulturalists suspect there are over 35,000 bulbs currently in bloom from previous seasons. These include 300 new African bulbs, endangered species and over 120 new cultivars of daffodil.

Did you know? The Latin name for Daffodils is Narcissus. Narcissus was a boy in Greek mythology, who became so obsessed by his own reflection in a pool of water that he eventually perished and turned into a daffodil. Narcissus poeticus was one of the first daffodils to be cultivated, and is often found by the side of water.

Learn to grow bulbs of your own

Expert horticulturalist Mat Murray recently completed a trip to Turkey, and brought back a wealth of knowledge with him which he wants to share with everyone. He will be sharing his expertise at the Bulbs of the Taurus Mountains and Bulb Growing talks, so you can learn to become bulb experts too.

Here are some starter pointers if you want to create some blooming beauties:

  • Bulbs like fertile well drained soils, the addition of a good all-round fertiliser just before they appear above the soil works well.
  • As a rule of thumb, a bulb should be planted at a depth of three-times the size of the bulb.
  • Narcissus bulbs are naturally adapted to drier climates, so water them well once they have been planted, then only as required. If the weather has been dry, give them a couple of good soaks as they come up and again, before the flowers open.
  • Blubs such as tulips, hyacinths and Muscari benefit from being lifted up, divided and replanted every three years.

See the new cherry blossoms

One of the most famous images of spring is the fabulous Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival. The Gardens have brought in their own piece of Japan and planted new cherry blossoms, creating a total of 20 stunning blossom trees dotted around the garden. Look out for them and the magnificent rhododendron, magnolia and pear trees all in bloom on the Spring Walk.

Spring is always one of the most popular times of year to visit us and see the blooms, and this year is certainly no exception
Greg Bourke, Curator Manager at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah

Go wild for waratahs

At the Daffodil festival comes to an end in September, it makes way for the Waratah festival. The Garden is celebrating these perfect proteas with waratah walks, talks and even a state-wide waratah bloom competition sponsored by Proteaflora.

Waratahs belong to the genus Protea, named after the Greek god Proteus, who could change his appearance at will.  Protea species come in many different forms and colours. Hence, the name is quite appropriate

Be sure to look out for Protea cynaroides, the King Protea, which has the largest flowers of all Proteas. It always commands attention when in flower. It is also one of the easiest of all Proteas to grow.

Discover all these plants on the Spring Walk at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden. Make sure to share your photos on Instagram and Twitter. Make a full day of it at the fabulous Garden restaurant, The Potager.

To learn more about what events, workshops and programs are running at the Garden, visit the website here.

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