Visit the botanical gardens to improve your gardening skills and experience the beauty of spring
By Elizabeth Scinta
Photos by Andrea Hutchinson
Spring is in the air, which means warm weather, Derby season, beautiful spring colors and blooming flowers throughout the city. Experience the beauty of spring by visiting Yew Dell Botanical Gardens to see the Big Bloom. “Every year we have our annual bulb display. This year it’s our largest annual bulb display to date. We’ve planted just shy of 17,000 tulips and hyacinths around the gardens. This is the first Spring that visitors have been able to come to Yew Dell in two years because last Spring we were closed due to COVID-19; I’d say that makes this Big Bloom pretty special,” said Lindsay Duncan, Yew Dell’s marketing and PR manager.
Yew Dell’s Garden and Arboretum Manager, Sayde Heckman, who is the mastermind behind the Big Bloom’s design, planted bulbs that flower in succession. “Typically when we think of planning a staggered bloom schedule, it’s throughout the entire year. The Big Bloom, on the other hand, is a drama in three acts: early-blooming, mid-blooming and late-blooming. It’s amazing to witness so much change occur in just one season,” explained Duncan. While most of the hyacinths are finished blooming, there are several late-blooming tulips just beginning to emerge. As one visitor put it, “The garden is like a work of art.” So make sure to plan a visit to witness the final act of the Big Bloom!
Yew Dell Botanical Gardens is here to help you become a garden expert and offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. They recently updated their mission statement to “sparking a passion for plants and gardening through accessible science and inspiring beauty.” They offer all kinds of classes, events and workshops for anyone to attend; Yew Dell is currently offering in-person and virtual options. “We’re meeting everyone at their comfort level right now. We have a toe in both the virtual and in-person worlds,” explained Duncan. All of the events they offer can be attended by new gardeners or expert gardeners; they meet everyone where they are.
“If you’re a forever learner, you’re going to find something wonderful about our gardens. The inspiring beauty is unique and a historic treasure. It’s one of the first projects that the Garden Conservancy took on which is a nationwide organization that preserves gardens of historic significance,” explained Duncan. “Yew Dell was a commercial nursery and was started by a family in the 1940s. They built the castle all by themselves; it wasn’t for anyone else’s enjoyment but the family’s and the community, of course. People always ask about our castle and we have such a unique story that it’s fun to talk about. That’s why I love Yew Dell.”
Did you know that Yew Dell also has a plant nursery program? In fact, they just uploaded 150 new plants to shopyewdell.com for you to purchase and start your own garden. There will also be an in-person plant sale at the end of April on Saturday, April 24, if being in-person is more your style. “Everything we do is setting you up for success in your own garden; through workshops, plant sales, coming out to the gardens and seeing all of the plants labeled,” said Duncan. “It’s like a living museum!”
Yew Dell Botanical Gardens
6220 Old LaGrange Road