Iowa in Bloom! Spring has arrived in Iowa. The scent of green grass and flower buds fills the air. In the spirit of all things fresh and flowering, the Iowa Tourism Office suggests ways you can get out and smell the roses—or any other plant you love.
Pick Your Own Take a stroll through locally cultivated gardens and pluck up your favorite flowers for a bouquet of your own creation. Miss Effie’s Flowers in Donahue has a wide variety of flowers, as well as a small shop with hand-spun yarn, homemade jams and other local goods. For a seriously fragrant experience pick lavender at the Loess Hills Lavender Farm in Missouri Valley.
Gardens & Botanical Centers The non-profit organizations that operate local botanical centers typically focus on plant preservation and education. Reiman Gardens in Ames has several rose gardens including an antique rose collection and the hardy Buck Roses (bred by a former Iowa State professor). From May 7-10 the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden will have more than 500 limited edition varieties available for purchase plus educational sessions to help you with your own garden.
Parks & Arboretums Flowers at the Garden Sanctuary for Butterflies in Bellevue State Park are carefully planted and cultivated to attract nearly 60 species of migrating butterflies (late May and early June is peak season). Tree lovers should visit the Heritage Tree Museum in Storm Lake which is dedicated to planting seedlings and cuttings of trees associated with famous people and events. Learn more from the informational plaques on display or download an audio tour for a guided visit.