March 9, 2011

A New York Spring Calendar 2011: Blooming Times and Seasonal Events


After this past snowy winter, too long and too deep according to many observers, New Yorkers deserve a great spring. Let's get on with it. If you start seeing small yellow flowers on the bare stems of small ornamental trees this coming week, you're likely looking at the Cornelian Cherry Dogwood, an excellent harbinger of spring. Keep your eye out also for the sunny small flowers of yellow jessamine and forsythia.

It's time to take note of our seasonal blooming times, the best locations for witnessing spring's beginnings, and springtime events in the big city. We're just a short time away from parades and opening days. Though we typically will slosh through a few more weeks with chilly days, it's time to play ball.

Blooming Times

• Central Park Conservancy's website lists blooming times within the park. During the month of March we begin to see crocus, daffodils, forsythia, snowdrops, witch-hazel, and hellebores. Species tulips will emerge in several places, but the Shakespeare Garden and Conservatory Garden are particularly good places to catch the beginning of Spring blooms.

• By the first week of April, the callery pears should be in bloom, providing a soft white canopy on many New York streets. See these pictures from last April 2 on the trees in bloom in Greenwich Village.

April is the month when full blooms appear in New York City, and this NYC Parks website provides a handy monthly guide to the specific locations of blooming trees, flowers, shrubs, and buds.

Celebrating the great beautiful flowering crabapples, this page on the NYC Parks site explains why you can't buy and plant a crabapple today and expect it to look as beautiful as those in Central Park.

• Check out The Orchid Show: On Broadway, a special theatrical presentation of a dazzling collection of orchids brought to you by The New York Botanical Garden in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Bronx River Parkway at Fordham Road Bronx. The special show continues through April 25, 2011. The Garden is open year-round, Tuesday-Sunday, 10am - 6pm. Check the website for exceptions.

• Walking Off the Big Apple's favorite spring walk is wandering in the Ramble in Central Park. With the glorious Azalea Pond, it's the closest thing in the city to the back nine at Augusta (just don't try to play golf there). A great place for birdwatching.

• Million TreesNYC. A citywide, public-private program to plant and care for one million new trees across the City's five boroughs over the next decade. Learn how you can volunteer on their spring planting day, April 30, 2011.

• Read the NYC Parks page honoring a Revolutionary-era white oak in Prospect Park that gave its life for its country.

• See the Wikipedia entry on the Oldest Living Thing in New York: Queens Giant, an old Tulip Poplar.

• Visit the Prospect Park Alliance website for interactive guides to the park, seasonal events, and more. When visiting in person, locate the park's Audubon Center for a quick orientation.

• While many of the city's parks sponsor events for the season, Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan offers particularly good walking tours in a spectacular setting. On the first Sunday of every month, now through 12/4/2011, take one of their Garden Walking Tours to learn what's in bloom in this "Park for All Seasons." Consult the Fort Tryon Park Trust website for more information. 

• While in Fort Tryon Park, visit The Cloisters. The Metropolitan Museum of Art's medieval branch is one of the best places to see varieties of plants in bloom. Check out the museum's blog, The Medieval Garden Enclosed.

• For those seeking to understand the ecology of the city's landscapes, explore the Wildlife Conservation Society's Welikia project, the city-wide expansion of their popular Mannahatta.

• According to the Victory Seeds website, the average last frost in New York City is April 13.

• Among local gardeners, Flatbush Gardener knows most everything about growing things in NYC, especially what's happening on the ground in Brooklyn. Check his website for tips, news, and comprehensive links.

Spring Events for March and April 2011

• Thursday, March 17, 2011 St. Patrick's Day Parade. Fifth Avenue, from 44th to 79th Streets. Begins at 11 a.m.

• Sunday, March 27 - Sunday, April 10, 2011. Macy's Flower Show. See related post.

• Thursday, March 31, 2011. Opening Day, Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees. Yankee Stadium, Bronx.

• Friday, April 8, 2011 at 4:10 p.m. Opening Day, Washington Nationals at New York Mets. Citi Field, Flushing, Queens.

• Sunday, April 24, 2011. Easter Parade. Fifth Avenue, beginning near St. Patrick's Cathedral.

• April 20 - May 1, 2011. Tribeca Film Festival. Some of the special events take place outdoors.

• April 30 - May 1, 2011. 10 am - 6 pm, Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival - Sakura Matsuri 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Rain or shine. Free with admission. Celebration of Japanese culture and the blossoming of the garden's cherry trees. The cherry blossom season in the park is from April 2 - May 1. Also, see the garden's Cherry Blossom Status Map.

Religious Holidays

• Passover begins at sunset on Monday, April 18, 2011 and continues for 7 days until Monday, April 25.

• Easter Sunday falls on April 24, 2011. 


• Several good blogs and websites keep track of the city's animal life. Among them -  Urban Hawks is especially observant of the adventures of our red-tailed hawks; Out walking the dog, the work of a playwright living in Morningside Heights, tracks wildlife on her daily walks in the neighborhood but also keeps an eye out for news and events; The City Birder is a good source of information for birdwatching in the big city; and brings us news and images of the borough's colorful flocks of wild Quaker parrots.

• New York City Birding: See the home page of NYC Audubon for events, trips, classes, and programs.

The spring is dawning. Three weeks from now, the city will be transformed.

callery pear trees in Greenwich Village, April 2, 2010. see related post.

Images: Top picture from Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at LaGuardia Community Gardens; others from the archives of Walking Off the Big Apple.

If readers know of other good resources for flora and fauna in the city, please share in the comments section below. Thank you.


outwalkingthedog said...

Thank you, Teri! What a great compilation of links; I will return to it regularly. I'm looking forward to a big bloomy spring, although I've thoroughly enjoyed the winter as well: winter's bare branches offer easy viewing of the river as well as the birds and animals. But we're moving ever on, so happy spring to you & your readers!

conservatory prices said...

The images you used ain't too shabby either. I love the pictures.

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