Outdoor Fun

Now Blooming: ‘Poppy Days' and Free Cherry Blossom Fests

"Poppy Days" arrive in Sun Valley, while Torrance and Santa Ana celebrate fabulous flowering trees.

Michael Reining / 500px / Louis Koo

What to Know

  • The Poppy Days Sale is sprouting at the Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley on April 1 and 2 (advance reservations required)
  • The Torrance Cherry Blossom Festival flowers on April 3
  • The Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival will include several performances at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana on April 3

No fooling: The start of April in Southern California is go time for finding local flower blooms, and to claim that there is a more prime petal time on the calendar is to not be aware of all of the bountiful blossoms opening in all directions.

From the tulips and lilacs of Descanso Gardens, to the flowering fruit trees of The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, to the Giant Tecolote Ranunculuses of The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, things, as they say, are popping as the fourth month begins.

And learning there are more lovely events opening their party petals? It's no surprise that fans of cherry blossoms and California poppies can find upcoming happenings oriented to the splendid specimens they love the best.

The Theodore Payne Foundation, based in Sun Valley, is holding its annual Poppy Days sale on April 1 and 2. You'll need to reserve your spot before you go, and some time slots are sold out.

But if you've longed for your own backyard superbloom, a personal carpet of orange awesomeness, starting at a sale thrown by these poppy pros is an excellent first step.

Oh yes: And the Theodore Payne flower-ologists, true honchos of horticulture and everything to do with growing amazing things, also offer a free Wildflower Hotline during the spring, if you want to ring it and see where to go for the colorful shows.

And if you want to see poppies in action, they're still popping at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve near Lancaster. Important to keep in mind: It isn't a superbloom this year, and the heat that occurred in the third week of March wilted many of the little flowerlings.

But there's still lots to love, and you can check out the reserve's Poppy Cam, to see current photos, before you go.

In Torrance on April 3? It's all about celebrating the gorgeous cherry blossom trees of the area.

The free gathering will include performances, food trucks, arts and crafts to shop, activities (origami lessons are part of the happy day), and other sweet scenes.

And for more performances, joy, and music inspired by the season of cherry blossoms? Head for Santa Ana, and the Bowers Museum, which is presenting the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival on April 3.

It's a free family event, one that will feature "interactive Taiko drum sessions," candy sculpting, a performance by the Irvine Japanese Cheerleading Team, and a number of other festive elements.

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