If you rose at 3:28 on the morning of Monday, March 20, to well and truly welcome springtime, with a chipper, bluebird-light heart, we bow before your commitment to honoring important passages.
But most spring lovers around Southern California were a-snooze, heads on pillows, and not too worried about not properly saying hello to the season.
For they know that our region is lush with lovely gardens in bloom, as lush as a soil-rich bed covered in bright impatiens and petunias. And there'd be time to do the whole "hello spring" thing properly during daylight hours.
The upshot for sleeper-inners? You may not have awoken at 3:28 but you can make for a spot where spring is in full swing. That those spots also reveal what is currently blooming is an excellent resource, too, if you're on the lookout for a particular petal-type or tree.
What to do, where to go and what to see
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is as stalwart-y as stalwarts get, and one of its symbols, the wisteria, is in full bloom at the moment. These are the purple, drape-tastic flowers found around the Japanese and Chinese Gardens, so seek out this wowza of a sight there.
The San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas offers up a robust roster of Marchtime bloomers, including calendula, forest lilies, and pink dombeya. The emphasis of the 37-acre spread is on native plants, so keep an eye out for those bloomers that might be in your own neighborhood.
Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge is very much about tulips in March, as well as its famous cherry blossom trees. If you love lilacs and daffodils, those are also putting on a show as well. And as for visiting on a weekday? Like the wildflower spots, weekends do bustle with flower lovers, so a Monday is prime visiting time.
The Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden at UCLA has those California poppies, if you're looking for them, as well as fan aloe and Japanese blossoming cherry. A whimsical Westwood escape, over a lunch hour or late afternoon, is an excellent way for making up for the fact that you slept through the official start of spring 2017 (as most people around the region likely did).