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Orchid evenings and Twilight Tuesdays: How to surround yourself with flowers this spring

Gardens in all five boroughs offer activities to take in the flowers this season. 

The New York Botanical Garden, among other city

The New York Botanical Garden, among other city gardens, is a great place to go if you need some inspiration this spring. Its Orchid Show is on now with Orchid Evenings, pictured. Photo Credit: New York Botanical Garden

This spring, the New York Botanical Garden's Orchid Show is a great way to escape the pavement.

The garden will pay homage to Singapore, which has been named the greenest city in the world, with nights of lights and orchids after dark in its conservatory. "Orchid Evenings," which will happen each Saturday through March and on weekends through April from 7 to 10 p.m., will showcase the talents of choreographer Chua Yun Chun from Singapore and the music of Eli Tyler, who produced a special edition EP called "Lily in an Orchid Garden." Bites include food from C Bao, BBQ on a Stick, Bx Burger Co. and The Fried Kitchen among others. 

The Orchid Show itself, which Orchid Evenings gives access to, features renditions of Singapore's orchids, which is the country's national flower, its famous vertical gardens, arches and its "supertrees" — all of which create a kaleidoscope of color and beauty.

The city is bursting with opportunities to surround yourself with flowers this spring. Below are some of our favorite ways.

New York Botanical Garden

Lilac Weekend
May 4-5, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

When the garden is in full bloom, head to its Burn Family Lilac Collection for a day of plein-air painting, music, guided tours and talks as you smell the sweet smell of the lilacs. Tickets are $15 for city residents to access the grounds or $28 for the All-Garden Pass.

Mother's Day Weekend Garden Party
May 11-12, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Show your mom how much she resembles a beautiful flower with a day at the garden's Daffodil Hill, where she can take part in walks, tours, floral demonstrations or picnic in the grass. 

Spring Uncorked
May 18-19, noon to 4 p.m.

Sip wines from the Hudson Valley, Brooklyn and Long Island within the gardens as live music plays and experts share their knowledge of winemaking. The NYGB Farmers Market will host a spring preview with freshly baked goods. Tickets are $48 and include a souvenir wine tumbler and an All-Garden Pass.

Rose Garden Weekend
June 1-2, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"A rose is a rose is a rose" and so it goes, the garden is hosting a weekend of programs at the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at peak bloom. Surround yourself with their beauty with a tour, live music by the Bronx Arts Ensemble and more. Free.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Sakura Matsuri festival
April 27-28

Famous for its gorgeous spray of cherry blossoms every April, The Brooklyn Botanic Garden's cherry blossom festival is the annual sign that spring is in full swing. A slew of Japanese cultural events, from dance to live music and more are slated with tickets at $30. 

Twilight Tuesdays
Tuesdays, April 16-May 21, until 8 p.m.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden cares that you see its flowers in peak bloom, so it is extending its hours every Tuesday through September. Stroll through the spring blooms, including daffodils, magnolias, peonies, cherry blossoms and azaleas, and sip on specialty cocktails or get a bite to eat at its Yellow Magnolia Cafe, which also remains open later on Tuesdays. Garden admission is $15. 

Frida Kahlo: Plant Inspiration Tour
Sundays, April 14, May 5 & 12, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

If you've seen the "Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving" exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, why not complete your schooling in the artists' life and influences by taking a tour at the garden? On Sundays, staffers show guests the plants that inspired Kahlo's artwork and garden design. It's free with garden admission, which is $15.

The Queens Botanical Garden

Music in the Garden: Quintet of the Americas
April 14, 3 to 4:30 p.m.

After perusing the blooms in the garden, sit down for a program of Gershwin/blues/pop/folk and world tunes by the Quintet of the Americas. Afterward, check out the garden's exhibition, "In Full Bloom," that features artwork inspired by flowers. Tickets include museum admission, which is $6.

Arbor Fest
April 28, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Spend a day celebrating Mother Nature with live music, gardening activities, beer and wine, local food and activities for kids at the garden. Tickets are $10.

Mother's Day brunch in the garden
May 12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The garden is pulling out all the stops for mom with a farm-to-table brunch that includes hot dishes, muffins, scones, tea and coffee that will go well with a walk around the garden. There are two sessions, one at 10 a.m. and another at 1 p.m. Arrive early and you can get a photo with your mom in the Wedding Garden ($10 for two digital photos). Tickets are $55 and include garden admission. 

Fort Tryon Park

Heather Garden History and Billings Mansion Remnants Tour
April 7, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Walk among the heather and tour the Billings Estate in the park with historian Robin Boomer. You'll meet the flowers, shrubs and trees that frame the park and get incredible views of the Palisades and Hudson River. Free, but register on eventbrite.com.

The annual Shearing of the Heather Celebration
April 13, 10:30 a.m. to noon

Fort Tryon Park has a 3-acre heather garden and is the site of its annual rite of spring — the Shearing of the Heather by the Northeast Heather Society and the garden's staff. It may not be what you expect: The community parade marches through the garden with instruments led by NYPD bagpipers and finishes with flower-themed crafts and a lesson about why the park has the largest heath and theater collection in the Northeast and more.

It's My Park Day
May 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you want to get down and dirty for a good cause, Fort Tryon Park is taking volunteers in its spring cleaning. Wear long pants and sturdy shoes for some painting, planting, weeding and more. RSVP on eventbrite.com

Snug Harbor, Staten Island's Botanical Garden

Flowering tree and shrub walk
April 13, 2 to 3 p.m.

Spring isn't spring without magnolias, cherry blossoms and other florals, so check out Snug Harbor's walk that includes these and more. Tickets are $10 and include admission to the New York Chinese Scholars Garden for the rest of the day after the walk.

Peony Walk
May 4, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Breathtakingly beautiful Chinese tree peonies will be on full display at Snug Harbor. Learn why these flowers have inspired artists, poets and gardeners for more than 1,000 years. Tickets are $10 and include admission to the New York Chinese Scholars Garden for the rest of the day after the walk. 

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