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Dallas’ Dirtiest Job Turns Into the Southwest’s Largest Floral Festival

Dallas’ Dirtiest Job Turns Into the Southwest’s Largest Floral Festival

40th Anniversary of Dallas Blooms: A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

DALLAS, Texas – December 18, 2023 – The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden’s horticultural staff, with the help of up to 30 additional seasonal gardeners, are laying out and planting more than 500,000 spring-blooming bulbs throughout the 66-acre garden. As one of the city’s dirtiest jobs, these gardeners know that their hard work will result in the most spectacular spring floral festival of the year, Dallas Blooms. The 40th anniversary of Dallas Blooms is themed “A Picture is a Worth a Thousand Words.” The spring event opens February 24 and runs through April 8, 2024.


During the winter, planting bulbs is an integral part of the gardening cycle that results in the beautiful spring floral displays. It takes 65 Arboretum staff members 11,560 hours to plant the bulbs from its supplier. The horticulture team begins by amending the soil and removing existing fall plants and adding compost.


“Bulbs need to be chilled in a paper bag stored in a refrigerator for four to six weeks before planting, and soil temperatures need to be 50 degrees or lower when planting the bulbs to ensure the tulips don’t bloom too early,” said Dave Forehand, Dallas Arboretum’s vice president of gardens.


The Dallas Arboretum horticultural staff plants the bulbs in staggered rows, spaced three to six inches apart, depending on the type of bulb. Other spring-blooming annuals and perennials, such as pansies, are planted four inches down from the bulbs so the beds appear fuller and burst with splashes of different colors. The final step in the process is upkeep.


Forehand added, “We plant a variety of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, in addition to pansies, violas and thousands of other spring-blooming annuals and perennials. For gardeners needing advice, remember that you don’t have to fertilize or water as much in the winter, but you will need to more in spring because as the sun begins to warm and dry, the bulbs will grow more quickly. Watering before a freeze insulates the plant and saves it from freezing, so always water, if a freeze is predicted. Pansies, kale and poppies are used to the cold and will survive a freeze, so you don’t have to cover them.”


The horticulture staff is planting the bulbs now, so when visitors come for Holiday at the Arboretum (now through January 5, 2024), they can watch them work.



Dallas Arboretum

8525 Garland Rd.

Dallas, TX 75218



December 18-January 12, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.


About the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden:

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218. The Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Advanced reserved tickets are required and can be purchased online at or by calling 214-515-6615 during the week.


From January 2-31, general garden admission is $5. (The Dallas Arboretum is closed January 1). The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is closed January 1-February 24 for preventative maintenance. On-site parking is $15, or $11 if purchased in advance online. The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the Dallas Arboretum. The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. WFAA is an official media sponsor for the Dallas Arboretum.

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Dallas Arboretum | 8525 Garland RoadDallas, TX 75218

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