What To Do: May flowers bloom across the region

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By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times 

Yellow Springs Art Show

Spring weather seems to have really arrived now. That means it’s time for outdoor activities such as visiting horticultural sites, hiking, fishing, going to festivals and celebrating May Day and Arbor Day.

The Yellow Springs Art Show got its start back in 1973 as a free event featuring a variety of artists displaying their work on clotheslines.

It has changed immeasurably since then and has become one of the largest and most prestigious annual art shows in the Delaware Valley.

The Yellow Springs Art Show, which is still free and open to the public, is closing in on its golden anniversary. The popular annual event now features artists working in a variety of genres and styles.

The show is running now through May 23 in Historic Yellow Springs Lincoln Building (Art School Road, Chester Springs, 610-827-7414 or www.yellowsprings.org). Show hours are from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

All proceeds benefit arts education, environmental protection and historic preservation of the 300-year-old village of Historic Yellow Springs.

Admission is free and reservations are not required. All patrons who visit any of the village indoor locations must wear a mask and to follow all HYS safety protocols.

A special attraction – “Art Around the Village” – is scheduled for May 2 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

It featured artists painting “en plein air,” pottery demonstrations, live music, a pottery sale and a silent auction.

Parking is available across the street and in the parking lot located next to the Washington Building.

The Chester County History Center

The Chester County History Center (225 North High Street, West Chester, chestercohistorical.org) had scheduled its “Spring Festival” on May 1 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. to celebrate all things floral and festive.

The festival will bring together local artisans selling a range of unique items, including handmade pottery, vintage jewelry, and much more.

The roster of vendors includes Deidre Healy: Antiques; Tracey Childs: Candles; Sharon Matthias: Pottery; Reece Turner: Handmade Soaps; Christina Wilcomes: Flowers; Adam Parkes: Stickbox Guitars; Jennifer Leibert: Handmade Jewelry; Ron Saltzman: Photo Prints; Rose Campellone: Pottery; Kelly’s Kandy: Candy; Jackie Saddic: Masks and Jewelry; Tony Morton: House Plants; Elena Wiseley: CBD Cosmetics; Tim McAleese: Original Artwork; and Tracey Phillips: Handmade Jewelry.

There will be live workshops including build your own terrarium and tavern sign painting. This event will be a family friendly experience with kids’ activities and crafts.

Visitors will have the opportunity to visit the museum and see significant items from the photo archives and library.

All vendors will be hosted outside of the Center’s building, while workshops will take place in the auditorium. Covid safety guidelines will be enforced throughout the entire event. Masks must be worn at all times and hand sanitizing stations will be available for use.

Another special attraction on Saturday will be “Smitten with Succulents: A Hands-on Terrarium Workshop” at 10 a.m.

Succulents are more popular than ever and beloved for their myriad colors, textures and simple care needs. This is a hands-on workshop where participants will be guided through the design and planting of a succulent terrarium.

Care tips, propagation methods and helpful resources will be shared so participants can feel confident tending to terrariums at home. All materials will be supplied. The course instructor will be Christina Wilcomes of Hackberry Hill Flowers.
If you’re looking to buy some plants and flowers for your garden, this is the weekend to do it.

Tyler Arboretum

A wonderful place for enjoying flowers in bloom is Tyler Arboretum (515 Painter Road, Media, 610-566-9134, www.tylerarboretum.org).

There is an added attraction at Tyler this weekend – the Tyler Arboretum Plant Sale.

This special fundraiser, which will run from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on May 1 and 2 helps care for the precious natural lands, trails, and gardens at Tyler Arboretum.

The event features wide plant choices in an outdoor venue, knowledgeable staff and volunteers, ample parking, and COVID 19 protocols in place.

Additionally, “Weekday Bird Walks: Limited Edition” are scheduled for every Wednesday in May from 8-10 a.m. Participants can join Chuck Root and Sara Boucas-Neto on morning bird walks at Tyler.

With acres of unbroken forest interior and extensive meadows, Tyler is recognized by the Pennsylvania Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area. Participants are asked to bring their own binoculars and be prepared to walk on all types of surfaces. Walks are rain or shine. Tickets are $15 and include admission to Tyler for the day.

Tickets are $15 and include admission to Tyler for the day.

There will be another attractive plant sale this weekend.

Annual Hill-Physick House Spring Plant Sale

On April 30 and May 1, it’s time for the “Annual Hill-Physick House Spring Plant Sale” at the Hill-Physick House (321 South Fourth Street, Philadelphia, www.philalandmarks.org/physick-house)

PhilaLandmarks and the Hill-Physick House Garden Committee have announced the return of the annual Spring Plant Sale.

This year patrons are able to pre-order its famous geraniums and bedding plants for pick-up. Or, they can browse the hand selected annuals, perennials, and hanging baskets in the Hill-Physick garden on Friday and Saturday.

One of the best ways to celebrate the arrival of spring is a visit to Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org) to check out “Spring Blooms”  — but you better hurry because the attraction is running only through May 2.

Thousands of blooming spring bulbs create a lush tapestry of color, fragrance, and warmth across the Gardens’ 1,100 acres throughout April.

Longwood Gardens

Indoors, Longwood’s Main Conservatory is bursting with spectacular color as jasmine, anemones, lilies, and hydrangeas take center stage.

During peak bloom, expected in mid-April, weather permitting, Longwood’s historic 600-foot-long Flower Garden Walk boasts more than 200,000 tulips and other seasonal blooms in a patchwork of color.

In the Idea Garden, a combination of pink, peach, and yellow tulips are complimented by a ribbon of blue flowering bulbs providing a harmonious vista.

In the Ornamental Kitchen Garden, frost-tolerant spring vegetables—peas, broccoli, kale, arugula, cabbage, spinach, carrots, radishes, scallions, cilantro, and lettuce—begin to take form.

Guests will also want to soak in Longwood’s inviting and expansive Meadow Garden as Carolina silverbells, Eastern redbuds, flowering dogwoods, and sweet azaleas spring into beauty. Grand treehouses, whimsical topiaries, and tranquil forests add to the beauty of spring.

In addition to the glorious spring color, Longwood fountains also begin to jet back to life.

The Italian Water Garden and Open Air Theatre fountains have re-opened and Main Fountain Garden daytime and evening performances return May 6.

As always, admission by “Timed Ticket” — tickets issued for specific dates and times. Timed ticketing limits the number of people in the Gardens at any given time and allows guests to enjoy minimal lines and a better viewing experience.

You may enter the Gardens up to 30 minutes prior and 30 minutes after your designated time. Make every effort to arrive at your designated reservation time. Earlier or later arrivals may not be accommodated.

Admission to Longwood Gardens is $25 for adults, $22 for seniors (ages 62 and older) and college students, $18 for active military and veterans and $13 for youth (ages 5-18).

The Morris Arboretum (100 East Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-247-5777, www.morrisarboretum.org) is presenting several tours guaranteed to appeal to all.

The Morris Arboretum

The “Signs of Spring Tour” features a trail through an array of blooming plants and trees including Bodant viburnam (Viburnam x bodnantense), which is a blooming herbaceous perennial with nodding, cup-shaped flowers. There are 20 species in a variety of colors such as white, yellow, pink, maroon, soft green. Five sepals surround a ring cap.

Witchhazels (Hamamelis) are large deciduous shrubs that bloom in late winter/early spring with yellow, orange, and red flowers. Some smell spicy or citrusy, especially on warm, sunny days. The witch hazel collection at the Morris Arboretum is one of the largest in the country.

New blooms at Morris include giant allium (Allium giganteum), which is a perennial that adds height and color to the beds in May, and Rosa ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ (Souvenir de la Malmaison), an antique bourbon rose that is one of many fragrant blooms in the rose garden.

Black bigcatkin willow (Salix gracilistyla var. melanostachys) are different. Catkins, named for their resemblance to cats’ tails, are flowers just before they fully bloom and act as insulation to protect these early bloomers. Willow flowers don’t look like flowers at all. They have no petals, showy colors, or fragrance. Catkins don’t rely on pollinators; instead they release pollen into the wind.

Spicebush (Lindera) blooms with greenish yellow, fragrant, and showy flowers. Female plants have bright red drupes (fruit with fleshy covering of hard shell with seed inside) that mature in fall and attract birds.

Forsythia (Forsythia) is a fast-growing, hardy, deciduous shrub noted for bright yellow, 4-lobed, abundant flowers with many different hybrids.

Morris Arboretum is also offering its annual “Garden Highlights Tour” this month.

Popular spring blooms in April are Cercis canadensis (eastern red bud), which has a brilliant pink bloom in April, and Magnolia “Sayonara” (sayonara magnolia). The giant flowers of the magnolia bloom before its leaves emerge.

Experienced guides will share both the history and current highlights of the Arboretum during a one-hour walking tour.

Tours depart from the Visitor Center at 1 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday in April.

Admission to the Morris Arboretum is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors (65 and older) and $10 for youth (ages 3-17).

Mt. Cuba Center (3120 Barley Mill Road, Hockessin, Delaware, 302-239-4244, www.mtcubacenter.org) is hosting an event that is not your standard horticultural attraction – “Shinrin-yoku: Forest Bathing.”

This program takes place in-person in Section A on May 1 (Rain Date: Sunday, May 2).

Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, is rooted in the traditional Japanese reverence for the natural world and dedicated to promoting health, happiness, and a sense of awe.

Anisa George, a certified forest therapy guide, facilitates a series of interactions with nature that cultivate presence, calm, and profound joy.

Participants can discover how to unlock the door to new connections and intimacy with the environment through this guided meditation. They are instructed to dress for the weather and bring a water bottle and a snack, a light backpack to carry belongings, and something comfortable to sit on in case of wet ground.

Anisa George is a permaculture designer and certified guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides. Her approach to forest therapy grows organically out of her experience with collaborative theater — marrying playful elements of ensemble-created performance with the mindful presence and gentle pace of the forest therapy tradition.

Tickets for this activity are $39.

Brandywine Creek State Park

Brandywine Creek State Park (41 Adams Dam Road, Wilmington, DE, https://sites.google.com/…/bcspvirtualna…/arbor-day-2021) is in celebration mode for Arbor Day this weekend.

The “Arbor Day Tree Scavenger Hunt” is scheduled for April 30 at the scenic park, which is located in Delaware a few miles south of the Pennsylvania/Delaware state line.

Visitors can celebrate Arbor Day with a self-guided scavenger hunt all across the park — searching for the trees during park hours. The trees will be marked with informational tags on Saturday.

Participants should visit the pop-up nature center (right outside of the real nature center) from 9 a.m-4 p.m. to prep themselves for the scavenger hunt and learn more about the trees in question. The park’s naturalists will be giving out clue booklets and answering any questions you might have.

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library (Route 52, Wilmington, Delaware, www.winterthur.orgis hosting a special event on April 30 – “Family Fun Days.”

Visitors are invited to join the Winterthur staff from 6:30-8 p.m. for a night of socially distanced family fun presented by Winterthur and its Delaware Museum of Natural History partners. Guests can participate in trivia, quizzes, and creative activities.

This weekend’s theme is “History Happenings.”

History will come to life for you and your favorite history buffs as you spend you evening learning at Winterthur! Participants will put their heads together to complete quizzes, participate in interactive games based on historical events, and try their hands at some everyday activities from long ago.

Registration required — $25 per family.

Winterthur has another special event scheduled for May 1 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. — “Curiosity Carnival: Flora and Fauna.”

Visitors will be able to celebrate May Day with a variety of floral-themed activities for all ages.

They can explore the exhibition Outside In: Nature-inspired Design at Winterthur, learn about the numerous benefits of essential oils, and meet Animal Ambassadors from the Delaware Museum of Natural History.

There will be a “Enjoy Curious Kids Storytime” at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. featuring Stellaluna by Janell Cannon, and demonstrations with live birds by Animal Behavior & Conservation Connections from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

All through the spring, visitors will be able to enjoy the tapestry of color in the garden at a variety of locations.

Visitors to the site will be able to see the flowering quince and crabapples in the Pinetum and Sundial Garden along with dazzling spireas, early lilacs, and shrub cherries.

Italian windflowers carpet the March Bank and Azalea Woods. Wildflowers are also on view throughout the garden with spring beauties, Virginia bluebells, trilliums, and merrybells.

Almost 60 years ago, collector and horticulturist Henry Francis du Pont (1880–1969) opened his childhood home, Winterthur, to the public. Today, Winterthur is the premier museum of American decorative arts, with an unparalleled collection of nearly 90,000 objects made or used in America between about 1640 and 1860.

The collection is displayed in the magnificent 175-room house, much as it was when the du Pont family lived here, as well as in permanent and changing exhibition galleries.

Winterthur is set amidst a 1,000-acre preserve of rolling meadows and woodlands. Designed by du Pont, its 60-acre naturalistic garden is among America’s best, with magnificent specimen plantings and massed displays of color.

Admission to Winterthur is $20 for adults. $18 for seniors and students (with valid ID), $6 for children (ages 2-11) and free for infants (under 2).

On May 1 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum (8601 Lindbergh Boulevard, Philadelphia, www.fws.gov/refuge/John_Heinz) is hosting an annual event called “Family Fishing Day.”

This is a great opportunity for kids to hook your first fish.

At “Family Fishing Day,” which is free and open to the public, volunteers and staff help anglers – young and old —  get a start on fishing.

Limited rods and bait will be available, or you can bring your own. A Pennsylvania fishing license is notrequired.

Another event this weekend featuring fishing is “Children’s River and Sky Day,” which will be led May 1 at Penn Treaty Park (1199 North Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia,http://penntreatypark.org/) starting at 8 a.m.

The Friends of Penn Treaty Park will be hosting a day of fun, connection, and learning at its free “Children’s River and Sky (Fishing and Bird Watching) Day.”

It is being held in partnership with and as an event as a part of the Philadelphia City Nature Challenge and in collaboration with Philly Nature on May 1 from 8-9:30 a.m. and again during a second session from 10-11:30 a.m.

Participants can choose to join one session for fishing and another for learning to bird watch alongside the incomparable Bernard “Billy” Brown.

Brown is co-host of the Philly-based Urban Wildlife Podcast, urban natural history writer for Grid Magazine, and the Philadelphia coordinator for the Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey, a state-backed citizen science effort to catalog Pennsylvania’s reptiles and amphibians.

As always, the Friends of Penn Treaty Park will be providing free fishing rods and tackle/boxes and a set of binoculars for the children to keep and take home with them when finished.

This day will be an enjoyable celebration of our connection to the Delaware River and the sky above. It will be an opportunity to learn about nature and the wildlife surrounding us and participate in Citizen Science.

Another great activity in Philadelphia for kids this weekend – “Children’s Day” — will take place at Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center (Horticultural and Lansdowne drives, Philadelphia, japanphilly.org).

Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center is a traditional Japanese house and garden located in West Fairmount Park. This archetypal Japanese Garden motif invokes the spirit of the pebble strewn shorelines of Kyoto’s Kamo River and the rocky coasts of Japan by incorporating elegantly designed stretches of pebbled beach along a garden pond’s lowest contours.

“Children’s Day” is a national holiday in Japan celebrating children’s health, happiness, and family unity. In honor of the holiday, Shofuso celebrates “Children’s Day” every year with festive on-site displays of Japanese Samurai Armors (Kabuto) and carp streamers (Koinobori).

The event will take place at Shofuso on May 1 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Adult admission is $12; senior citizens, students with ID and children ages 5-17 admission is $8; ACCESS card holders’ admission is $2; and JASGP members, active-duty military with ID and children under 5 are admitted free.

A popular event in Delaware this weekend is “Train Day” at Auburn Heights Preserve (3000 Creek Road, Yorklyn, Delaware, 302-239-2385, http://auburnheights.org).

“Train Day,” which is scheduled for May 2, celebrates all things train — big and small – with special guests and elaborate model railroad layouts.

Planned activities include rides on the Auburn Valley Railroad featuring the site’s 1/8-size live steam and diesel locomotives along with train-centered activities for kids, including a very special Gauge 1 live steam.

Also included is entry to the newly renovated Marshall Steam Museum, which features the world’s largest operating collection of Stanley steam cars along with a 1930s working Lionel electric train display, a hands-on engine display, kids’ activities and exhibits and the Museum Gift Shop.

The event is scheduled to run from 12:30-4:30 p.m. and admission is $8.

Every Saturday and Sunday through May 23, the Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, http://www.chaddsford.com) will present “Taste of Spring — Reserve Tastings.”

Visitors are invited to join the winery staff for an intimate and educational 60-minute experience in the newly renovated Barrel Room – and be one of the first to taste the highly-anticipated ’20 Sparkling Rosé before it is released to the public.

Chaddsford’s trained staff will guide guests through a pre-selected tasting of five diverse and award-winning wines from across the winery’s portfolio. The selections will be paired with seasonal local cheeses and other accoutrements.

Also featured will be discussions about topics such as grape growing conditions at the winery’s partner vineyards and the onsite winemaking process from production to aging and bottling.

“Reserve Tastings” are $35 per person. There will be three seatings per day – noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Advanced reservations are required and are non-refundable.

Another special event at the winery will be “Mimosas with Mom” on May 1, 2, 8 and 9.

This is an outdoor event subject to capacity restrictions to ensure social distancing.

There are two seating options — Reserved Seating booked in advance on Resy with table service and access to Build-Your-Own Mimosa Packages and Walk-In Seating available on a first-come, first-served basis with walk-up ordering. Mimosas by the glass will be available.

There will be food trucks onsite both weekends with Natalie’s Fine Foods on May 1 and 2 and Mama Mia on May 8 and 9.

Penns Woods Winery (124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, www.pennswoodswinery.com) is hosting a special wine tasting on May 2 with sessions at noon and 3 p.m.

The winery will present a 45-minute educational wine tasting led by one of its wine professionals.

The wine tasting ticket includes a flight of five wines and a Penns Woods souvenir wine glass in addition to the educational session.

The tasting will be held in the indoor patio space and participants will have a reserved outdoor table on the lawn.

Brandywine Zoo (1001 North Park Drive, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-571-7747, www.brandywinezoo.org) is hosting “Sip and Stroll” on May 5 from 5-7 p.m.

The Brandywine Zoo is excited to announce a new happy hour series in which guests “Sip & Stroll” through the Zoo and enjoy an adult beverage from Bellefonte Brewing or Liquid Alchemy Beverages.

During this evening in the zoo, participants can celebrate what the zoo calls “Cinco de Rhino” by searching for hidden rhinos and learning about rhino adaptations and conservation.

Beer purchases will be sold separately. Alcohol and Kona Ice is available for purchase.

Social distancing will be maintained, and masks are required when not eating or drinking. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children.

On May 1, one of Montgomery County’s most popular historic sites will celebrate the arrival of May.

Pottsgrove Manor (100 West King Street, Pottstown, 610- 326-4014, www.historicsites.montcopa.org) is hosting a Colonial May Fair on May 1 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Visitors will be able to stroll the market rows of living history vendors, sutlers, and demonstrators to learn about life in the 18th century and find a perfect souvenir.

They can laugh and clap with the entertainment of the dancing “jig puppets” and find traditional music shows, sleight of hand, and special 18th century inspired performances. The entire family will be delighted as they meet historic interpreters throughout the fair and can play games and join in select demonstrations.

Families can ensure the happy arrival of May with a dance around the Maypole and participating in kids’ take-home crafts.

There is another reason to visit Pottstown on May 1 – or on May 2.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Seventh Annual PowWow on Manatawny Creek (Pottstown Riverfront Park, 140 College Drive, Pottstown, nativeheritagespirit.com) will be staged from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

This is a celebration of the historic heritage and contributions that Native Americans have had in this region. It also intends to help fund the preservation of a Native American Burial site located at the intersection of Franklin St and Industrial Highway.

The event will feature Native American Dance Exhibitions along with Native American crafts and displays.

Admission is free with a “suggested contribution” of $5.

Evans-Mumbower Mill (Swedesford Road and Township Line Road, North Wales, 215-646-8866, www.wvwa.org/evansmill) is presenting a “Blacksmith Demonstration” on May 2 at 1 p.m.

The Evans-Mumbower Mill, which is Montgomery County’s only water-powered mill, is located along the Wissahickon Creek at the junction of Township Line and Swedesford roads in Upper Gwynedd Township. Constructed in 1744, it is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

At Sunday’s event, visitors can learn the art and history of early American blacksmithing and see the smithy forge tools from scrap iron right in front of you at the Evans-Mumbower Mill.

Participants are asked to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Advance registration is required.

The 25th Annual Chestnut Hill Home and Garden Festival (Germantown Avenue from Rex to Willow Grove avenues, Philadelphia, https://chestnuthillpa.com) is a highlight on this weekend’s activity schedule.

On May 2, Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill will be a bustle of activity when the annual street festival returns.

The popular annual event will feature live entertainment, gardening experts, landscape and flower displays, vendors and al fresco dining.

Live music will be performed by Variable Elements from 1 a.m.-2 p.m. and Zydeco-a-Go-Go from 2-5 p.m.

The free event is scheduled to run from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

An event billed as “May Day Meets World Labyrinth Day” will take place on May 1 at The Labyrinth of the Ardens (on the Arden Green near the corner of Millers and Woodland roads, Arden, Delaware, www.facebook.com/ardenlabyrinth).

This April marked the fifth anniversary of the completion of The Labyrinth of the Ardens on the Arden Green. To commemorate the anniversary, the Arden site will be participating in World Labyrinth Day.

World Labyrinth Day is an annual event sponsored by The Labyrinth Society as a worldwide action to “walk as one at 1” (local time) to create a rolling wave of peaceful energy across the globe. Every year on the first Saturday in May, thousands of people around the world participate in this moving meditation for world peace and celebration of the labyrinth experience.

Because of the pandemic, there will be no group gathering at 1 p.m. in Arden but visitors are invited to walk the labyrinth on May 1 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Participants are requested to bring some flowers and/or greenery from their garden and to take a meditative walk to the center. Vases will be set up in the center for guests to place your garden offerings. In exchange, they can take an affirmation card.

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