The spring season is a beautiful time in the capital city region, with many opportunities to enjoy the soft pinks, rich purples, vivid reds, soft blues and other colors of fragrant, blooming flowers. The same weather, rainfall and soil conditions that make Sacramento the country’s Farm-to-Fork powerhouse make it the perfect environment for lush flowers and foliage.
WPA Rock Garden
William Land Park
15th Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95822

This magical treasure of flowers, trees, plants and rocks in William Land Park meanders down a hillside between the duck pond and Fairytale Town, next to the Sacramento Zoo. The lush garden, built in 1940 through Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA), has raised beds and pathways lined with stones. Although built on under an acre of space, the shade and sun-dappled garden has plenty of beautiful spring flowers, as well as other foliage that makes it gorgeous year round. Many of the plants are California natives, and the garden features perennials, succulents, tucked-away public art pieces and wildflowers, with a lovely little gazebo towards the bottom. A number of the flowers are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, which only add to the ethereal ambience of the garden.

Credit: Valerie Heimerich

Horton Iris Garden
7440 King Rd.
Loomis, CA 95650
(916) 652-4351

Horton is in the small town of Loomis, just north-east of Rocklin, and is a lovely, pastoral setting for acres of iris and other plants. There are around 1,200 different irises, all with different colors, scents, patterns and sizes. It is typically only open to the public during April and May, the prime blooming period for most varietals, and the tiered fields of iris are a glorious sight to see. Many are already in pots and can be purchased right away. Others can be ordered for pickup later in the summer. Horst hosts events for artists who wish to paint and sketch around the farm, and offers a free “open studio art tour” on Mother’s Day weekend. Keep Horton in mind in June, when appointments can be made to pick your own lavender and daylilies in bloom; more than 60 varieties of daylilies are normally available.

Related: Best Places To Go On A Picnic In Sacramento

23rd Annual Spring Garden Tour
(530) 273-7989

Dates: May 21 and May 22, 2016

Spring flowers, water features and landscape design elements are on proud display in this annual event. The Garden Tour is put on by the Soroptimist International of the Sierra Foothills, a nonprofit service organization which helps children and women. The event offers tours of the gorgeous gardens of private homes in the areas of Grass Valley and Nevada City. The full tour takes from 4 to 5 hours, and can be done all on one date or split between Saturday and Sunday. Local beneficiaries of the event include scholarship programs, high school graduation night events, community service awards and the Nevada County Food Bank.

Credit: Valerie Heimerich

McKinley Park Rose Garden
3255 H St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 452-8011

Among the many attractions at McKinley Park, which include a great children’s playground area, a pond full of ducks, tennis courts and paths for biking, dog walking and hiking, lies the park’s historic rose garden. With 1,200 rose bushes, the garden fairly buzzes with beautiful colors and heavenly scents. Visitors can walk through archways of climbing, fragrant roses, relax on a bench to read a book, enjoy the gentle gurgling of water features retains an organic free-flowing feel. The garden is beautiful all year, and is perfect for weddings and for photographs of family get-togethers, graduations and the like.

Capitol Park
Capitol Ave. & 15th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

As the capital of the great state of California, it makes sense that the park around the Capitol building is surrounded by gorgeous native plants, trees and flowers. Included among the many bright flowery blooms is the World Peace Rose Garden, which features the colors and fragrances of 650 rose varietals. Relax on a bench and enjoy the peaceful, uplifting setting; enjoy the park full of scampering squirrels, vast lawns and historic monuments that surround the Capitol.

Related: Best Permanent Exhibits In Sacramento

Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers business, employment, animal rescue, volunteerism and nonprofits. Her work can also be found at