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Style Magazine

Super Blooms

You don’t have to be a gardener to enjoy beautiful flowers; our region is bursting with blooms—whether you want to admire or pick them—without having to get your hands dirty!


Bees and humans alike love the scent and appearance of lavender, in all its regal purple glory. Often associated with France, it appears in many Impressionist paintings by Claude Monet and Édouard Manet. But their benefits reach far beyond being easy on the eyes; the flower’s oil is known to have calming, antibacterial, and antifungal effects.
SEE THEM LOCALLY: Our region is home to a bounty of lavender farms featuring special events, u-pick days, and products aplenty. Come peak season in late May-June, check out Newcastle Lavender Farms (, Bluestone Meadow Farm (, Sweet Water Lavender Farm (, and Bywater Hollow Lavender (

Newcastle Lavender Farms



Daylilies may be a stalwart of grocery store flower arrangements, but did you know these easy-to-grow, relatively pest-free plants come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors and originated in the Far East? It’s believed they were taken to Europe on the silk routes and that Europeans brought them to North America.
SEE THEM LOCALLY: Amador Flower Farm ( boasts 14 acres of flower gardens—and some primo picnic areas—but it’s their daylilies that steal the show, with over 1,400 varieties for your viewing pleasure.

Amador Flower Farm



Fluffy blooms in punchy colors, edible with antibacterial and antiviral properties, and a fragrance (centered in their leaves, not their blooms) that repels destructive insects, marigolds hold symbolism in Hindu, Buddhist, and Aztec cultures and represent power, strength, and light.
SEE THEM LOCALLY: Serendipity Flower Farm Ranch ( in Lincoln is the place to purchase or pick them come summertime; they even grow the African variety, which can reach heights of three to four feet. The ranch also hosts school field trips and garden tours by appointment.

Serendipity Flower Farm Ranch



Irises, the “grand ladies of the garden,” come in a literal rainbow of colors and varieties and are one of my personal flower favorites. I recently visited the immersive Van Gogh exhibition in Sacramento, and the wraparound “animation” of the artist’s work, Irises, was stunning!
SEE THEM LOCALLY: Horton Iris Garden ( in Loomis includes about 1,300 varieties of irises to see and/or purchase in April and May, while High Sierra Iris & Wedding Gardens ( in Camino greets visitors with over 1,000 varieties of the vibrant blooms, plus hundreds of daylilies, blooming shrubs, and trees.

Horton Iris Garden



Also called bluebonnets, lupines—identified by their pea-like purple flowers arranged on upright spikes—can grow in infertile ground and are good for the soil they inhabit. Did you know the Romans used to eat their seeds? Please don’t try this at home, though, as some are toxic; leave them for the butterflies and moths that love them.
SEE THEM LOCALLY: If the conditions are favorable, you may see field upon field of them at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area ( between April and early May.

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area



Native to North America, zinnias are fantastic for attracting hummingbirds and are literally “out of this world”; the International Space Station has proved that zinnias can grow and blossom in a weightless environment.  
SEE THEM LOCALLY: Admire their stellar qualities and pick them (bloom season typically begins mid-June and runs through September) with your feet firmly on the ground at Heirloom Acres Flower Farm ( in Orangevale. Apple Ridge Farms ( in Camino boasts a nature trail (just under one mile) lined with boldly hued zinnias and plenty of photo ops.

Heirloom Acres Flower Farm


California Poppy

Considering it’s our state flower (fun fact: April 6 is California Poppy Day), I couldn’t forget to include these gorgeous golden blooms. Whether their hue makes you think of California sunshine, orange groves, or the Gold Rush, one thing is certain: They can be seen en masse every spring and into summer.
SEE THEM LOCALLY: Admire a plethora of pretty poppies at Auburn’s Hidden Falls Regional Park (, where there’s even a hike named “Poppy Trail”; and along the 12-mile network of trails inside Pilot Hill’s Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park (

Hidden Falls Regional Park



Tulips might be synonymous with Holland, but they grow in abundance here too. Did you know they’re part of the lily family and therefore akin to onions? They can be used in cooking; in fact, the Dutch did so during times of famine.
SEE THEM LOCALLY: Wander through tons of tulip fields at Nevada City’s Crystal Hermitage Gardens (—a place of peace, meditation, and beauty—and marvel at the many varieties. This year’s season is slated for April 10-May 5 (also open Mother’s Day weekend).

Crystal Hermitage Gardens



William Wordsworth’s poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” is famous for its reference to daffodils and their sunny hue. Thought to symbolize new beginnings, friendship, and cheerfulness, legend says they should always be presented to someone as a bunch.
SEE THEM LOCALLY: To find your own host of joyful daffodils, visit Ironstone Vineyards ( in Murphys. Known for their wine and concert venue, Ironstone is also renowned for their beautiful spring flowers. With over 75 tons of daffodils (nearly 1.25 million!) planted throughout the property, you’ll be surrounded by a sea of them as you approach the property.

Ironstone Vineyards



The official flower of the U.S. and a universal symbol for love and peace, roses are one of the oldest flowers. In addition to smelling them, you can also eat them; their petals are edible and rose water (made from soaking the petals in water) can be used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.
SEE THEM LOCALLY: Sacramento’s State Capitol Park is home to the International World Peace Rose Gardens ( where you’ll find approximately 650 roses of over 150 varieties. Sherwood Demonstration Garden ( in Placerville boasts a classic rose garden arranged by color and intended to provide instruction on correct placement, best growing practices, and pruning techniques.

Sherwood Demonstration Garden


by Caroline Kings
Newcaslte Lavender Farms photo by Steph Gabler Photography. Amador Flower Farm photo by Leslie Sellman-Sant. Serendipity Flower Farm Ranch photo courtesy of Serendipity Flower Farm Ranch. Horton Iris Garden photo courtesy of Horton Iris Garden. Folsom Lake State Recreation photo by Kylee Doyle Photography. Apple Ridge Farms photo by Megan Wiskus. Heirloom Acres Farm photo by Debbie Engle of One Life Images. Hidden Falls Regional Park photo by Erik Bergen, Visit Placer. Crystal Hermitage Gardens photo by Kial James Photography. Sherwood Demonstration Garden photo Audrey Brandt. International World Peace Rose Gardens photo by TJ David. Ironstone Vineyards photo courtesy of Ironstone Vineyards.