Big Thaw Has People Thinking ‘Spring Flowers’

The Dallas Arboretum holds the annual ‘Dallas Blooms’ show

Thursday’s snow nearly disappeared in North Texas Friday, turning thoughts to spring flowers and how to revive winter beaten yards.

The Dallas Arboretum survived the snow just fine with the annual ‘Dallas Blooms’ show in full swing.

“That’s kind of the silver lining, if we’re going to have it,” Arboretum Vice President of Gardens Dave Forehand said. “It’s the greatest insulator and it’s slowed everything down.”

Forehand said the key is using cold-hardy plants like tulips, which actually benefited from the bed of snow, just before the Arboretum’s busy spring break season.

“It’s kind of stopped them from growing any further. They’ve been frozen here waiting for the warm days to come back so they can continue growing and blooming and opening up,” Forehand said.

The Arboretum plants 500,000 bulbs for Dallas Blooms along with 75,000 pansies. Flowering shrubs in the gardens like Azaleas are soon to bloom.

Customers anxious to revive their own yards were already looking forward to spring at Calloway’s Nursery on Greenville Avenue in Dallas Friday.

“We certainly are, after all the snow and ice,” customer Lisa Katz said. She purchased several plants for herself and her family. “It’s supposed to get warmer every day,” she said.

Calloway’s Manager Bryan Hutson said workers scrambled before this freeze to move sensitive plants indoors.

“It has been a challenge to take this much product and protect it and have it pristine and ready for our customers,” he said.

Aisles inside the business were still crowded Friday with plants that will be moved outside Saturday after one more chilly night to make room for customers.

“We did everything we could to store it and keep it protected under heaters and inside the green house ready to put back out,” Hutson said.

Customer Jeff Harrell left Calloway’s with a cart full of ground cover plants and supplies. He said the thaw came at the perfect time for his gardening plans.

“I actually took the day off already to get ready for spring,” he said. “So, some of this is going down today. The rest of it will be planted tomorrow. It will be a little nicer out tomorrow I think.”
Experts say some sturdy things can go in now but it’s a bit too soon for other spring plants.

“I’d hold off on planting tender plants just yet. I’d wait and honor that last freeze or frost average which is Mid-March,” Forehand said.  “After that you’re safe to plant but you may have to cover a few times.”

Forehand said this is the time to clean out beds and prune Crape Myrtles, but too soon to prune flowering shrubs like Azaleas. Trim Azaleas and Hawthorns after they bloom later in the spring.

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