Spring Blooms on display at Newfields

Spring Blooms at Newfields. (WTHR)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Every March, Newfields welcomes 30,000 guests who want to see spring flower displays on the institution's 52 acres of gardens and 100 acres of woods along the White River.

However, right before Spring Blooms 2020 opened, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued a statewide stay-at-home order.

"We were literally putting the signs out that said, 'Welcome to Spring Blooms' when we had to close, so we haven't had any visitors be able to enjoy it," said Jonathan Wright, the deputy director of Horticulture and Natural Resources.

To share the splendor, Newfields is posting virtual visits online and donating cut flowers to long-term care facilities. Wright granted 13News a tour of the grounds during the tulip's peak season to expand the reach even further.

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"It's really devastating to the team because we exist because we want people to come and enjoy the beautiful garden. We are thrilled to get you in, to help us share a little bit of the beauty with the community. We have over half a million bulbs blooming. At the moment, we planted over 125,000 new bulbs alone just last year," Wright said. "We're surrounded by Cherries and Redbuds, and the Dogwoods will be blooming soon. We're very fortunate because this garden has 100 years of history, so the layers of the trees are extraordinary and then the small flowering trees and then what the gardeners do on a seasonal basis in the garden really adds to it."

Each Newfields horticulturist has its own garden bed to design with plants blooming on a rolling schedule, so there is always something beautiful to see.

Wright said the cool spring weather is ideal for the flower and the blooms are lasting longer, but he hastens to predict when the gates will re-open to the general public.

"We're doing everything we can right now to keep the garden. We've got limited staff coming in to take care of things so that you know basic minimum maintenance as per the governor's orders, but we're ready to jump so that as soon as we can welcome people back, it'll be beautiful."

This is the fourth year of Spring Blooms and the second year sponsored by locally owned Wild Birds Unlimited.

A team of horticulturists starts planning the gardens a year in advance. The gardeners also recruit volunteers like the FFA to plant the bulbs. There are so many workers, they can plant 30,000 bulbs in one day.

Bulbs by the numbers:

  • Allium - 11,774
  • Fritillaries - 9,395
  • Hyacinth - 4,075
  • Iris - 4,100
  • Grape-hyacinth - 6,400
  • Daffodil - 23,340
  • Tulip - 56,814
  • Total = 126,455

There is also a virtual visit containing curated content from Newfields staff. Check it out here.