As if the Dallas Arboretum‘s grounds in full regalia weren’t enough, a press conference was held on Friday, February 28, to reveal that this year’s Dallas Blooms will literally provide “The Sounds Of Spring.” In addition to hundreds of thousands of blossoms and music-oriented topiaries, the Arboretum has been working with the Callier Center for Communication Disorders to assist guests with hearing challenges. Here’s a report from the field:
At the Dallas Blooms press conference on Friday, February 28, the 500,000 spring-blooming flowers bloomed early, thanks to the mild winter weather. The “Sounds of Spring” theme includes music on the weekends and six majestic topiaries, each depicting a different musical instrument, including a harp, bass, guitar and saxophone, as well as two topiary musicians. Guests took selfies and marveled at these topiaries created out of succulents by the talented Horticulture team. Presented by Iberibank, Dallas Blooms runs through Sunday, April 12.
The most exciting news came at the end of the press conference when Dallas Arboretum VP of Gardens Dave Forehand said, “I want to introduce you to Barry Epstein, Dallas Arboretum board member and founder of Hear Us Now, and Dr. Linda Thibodeau, professor at the University of Texas at Dallas’ (UTD) Callier Center for Communications Disorders. With such a wide array of people coming to experience the gardens, the Dallas Arboretum can now be even friendlier to people with hearing abilities. There are trams to help people with mobility issues, and recently, the Dallas Arboretum teamed with Hear Us Now and UTD to help the 15% of visitors who suffer from some form of hearing loss.”
He added, “This technology ties in really well with our Dallas Blooms theme ‘Sounds of Spring.’ It’s the first time this technology has been used in an outdoor garden. So for those taking a tram tour, visiting A Tasteful Place for a cooking demonstration, or conducting experiments at the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, they will have their hearing enhanced. This amazing technology will benefit people from all over the country who visit here. Last year, we had more than a million visitors from all 50 states and 90 countries.”
Those in attendance included Dallas Arboretum Board Chair Alan Walne, who then scooted off to be the token male at the 50th anniversary of Lake Highlands Women’s League Luncheon at Rosine Hall, also at the Dallas Arboretum; City of Dallas Councilmember David Blewett of District 14, who was filling in for Councilmember Paula Blackmon, who was out of town; Dallas Blooms Co-Chairs Marjorie and Trevor Hylton who have volunteered more than 5,100 hours together; and Lisa Armstrong, executive vice president and market president of Iberibank.
Armstrong remarked, “Iberiabank is excited again to partner with the Dallas Arboretum on what we consider one of the premier sponsorships in Dallas. We’re honored to have our name associated with Dallas Blooms, which brings close to 200,000 people to the garden just in the spring to see the most creative displays and designs. Dallas Blooms has put Dallas and Texas on the map with its many awards with the latest being from the Travel Channel naming it one of “the best botanical gardens in the U.S.” I couldn’t agree more. What a festive way to usher in spring with our employees, our clients and our families. Thank you for letting us be a part of this springtime festival.”
Dallas Blooms Highlights:
- Live music. Each week showcases a different genre of music from Texas country to classic rock and roll.
- During spring break week from Saturday, March 14, to Friday, March 20, visitors can take a tour around the world with music and entertainment from a different region of the world each day.
- A Tasteful Place features demonstrations and classes in theme with each music genre.
- Each weekend from 2 to 4 p.m., live bands perform on the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn. Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic basket or purchase food and soak up the lovely spring weather while listening to the music.
- The fourth annual Dallas Arboretum Food and Wine Festival called “A Grand Tasting” takes place Thursday, March 26, with 40 top chefs, wineries and breweries. Tickets are now on sale at https://www.dallasarboretum.org/events-activities/food-and-wine-festival/ VIP tickets have sold out the last four years, so those are a hot ticket!
- The popular Cool Thursdays Concert Series kicks off with Hotter than July, a Stevie Wonder Tribute Band, on Thursday, April 2, and runs through June.
- The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden reopened on Saturday, February 29. Visit dallasarboretum.org/childrensadventuregarden for a full list of activities, specific dates and times for themed weekends.
After the press conference, attendees took tram tours using the new technology as they saw the 500,000 flowers and heard all the sounds of the garden. Soon enough, the Yoshino cherry trees—the same ones that can be found in Washington, D.C.—will be in bloom, along with the 3,000 azaleas.
In addition to Presenting Sponsor Iberibank, others include CC Young Senior Living and DFWChild. More information: dallasarboretum.org.
* Photo provided by Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden