Connecticut in Bloom Last Updated 3/17

The winters in Connecticut are long, but more often than not, spring makes it all worthwhile. It won't be long now until a number of places in the state see spring fully sprung in all its glory – indeed, there are special havens where specific flowers and flowering plants dominate the landscape. If you love life and color, here are some spots to take it all in.

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Wooster Square, New Haven

Named for Revolutionary War hero David Wooster, New Haven’s Wooster square was conceived in the early 1800s and has been refurbished to simulate a turn-of-the-century park. Every spring, the square bursts into color when its border of Yoshino cherry trees come into bloom. 

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Laurel Ridge, Litchfield

Daffodils. One of the season’s early risers, daffodils are a welcome presence in nearly every suburban yard in Connecticut. But if you prefer daffodils by the acre rather than the bunch, we’ve got a little-known sanctuary that will amaze you when it’s at its peak. Back in 1941, Remy and Virginia Morosani began planting daffodil bulbs on their property at Laurel Ridge on Wigwam Road in Litchfield, near the Thomaston line. Today, each spring, the golden blooms cover some 15 acres. Magnificent!

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Bartlett Arboretum, Stamford

Bartlett Arboretum’s Mehlquist Rhododendron Collection covers over 1-1 1/2 acres and a half of land and contains several hundred species, varieties and cultivars of Rhododendron hardy to southwestern Connecticut. 

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Bigelow Hollow State Park, Union

Mountain Laurel. Connecticut’s State Flower is everywhere in the state, as only seems appropriate, but one of the great displays anywhere can be found in Union’s Bigelow Hollow State Park and Nipmuck State Forest. Here you’ll find a mile-long Mountain Laurel Sanctuary where the plants reach heights of 15 to 20 feet. First planted in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Sanctuary offers spots for picnicking and joyful contemplation as well.

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Dogwood Festival, Fairfield

Dogwood. In 1938, after a weekend visit to Fairfield, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt wrote that there “is an avenue of pink and white dogwood on Greenfield Hill such as I have never seen anywhere else in this country.” That’s still true today, and every May Fairfield’s Dogwood Festival not only highlights the glorious blossoms but also includes a barbecue and dance, walking tours, art and crafts shows and concerts in the sanctuary.

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Pachaug State Forest, Voluntown

Rhododendron. This wonderfully generous plant grows in profusion throughout Connecticut, and they are well worth a “stop and see the flowers” moment late every spring/early summer. You can find a half-mile-long sanctuary within Pachaug State Forest in Voluntown. The native rosebay rhodies grow to heights of 10 to 15 feet, with leaves up to 10 inches long – all nestled among hemlock and Atlantic white cedar.