As California enjoys a wildflower 'super bloom', here are 6 other locations to sate your flower fix8th Mar 19 | Lifestyle
For these herbaceous holiday destinations, ever year is a super bloom.
It’s hard to think of anything – animal, vegetable or mineral – that generates such universally positive feelings as a flower.
The world’s greatest artists have long looked to the flower for inspiration – think Monet’s water lilies or van Gogh’s sunflowers – and in popular culture they usually symbolise beauty, purity and love.
Just as well for residents of California, who are currently enjoying a so-called ‘super bloom’ – a once-in-a-decade burst of colourful petals so vibrant it can be seen from the mountaintops above.
Inevitably, visitors are flocking, but it’s far from the only place plant-loving pilgrims can get their wildflower fix…
1. Namaqualand, South Africa
An arid region near South Africa’s west coast, Namaqualand goes from famine to feast, seemingly in the blink of an eye. From dusty, desert-like landscapes dotted with small shrubs and trees, the region’s residents suddenly wake up to an explosion of verdant colour sometime in late July.
Blessed with an astonishing variety of blooms, the region boasts 1,000 endemic species – including the iconic Namaqualand daisy – among 3,500 different species overall. Namaqualand is perfect for the floral polymath, and for people who can’t quite decide on their favourite colour.
2. Kawachi Fuji Garden, Japan
Not many wisteria gardens are so popular visitors have to book tickets ahead of time, but the Kawachi Fuji Garden attracts such high footfall it’s started causing traffic jams in the surrounding area, as wildflower-watchers flock to wander the garden’s two tunnels cloaked in a thick layer of hanging white, purple and pink petals.
This might be because the wisteria window is short – roughly mid-April to mid-May – and in these gardens it is one of the most beautiful sights in Japan, if not the world.
3. Bluebonnet Trail, Texas
Texas is not a state renowned for being blue, but thankfully, its plant life didn’t get the memo. Later this month hillsides, roadsides and riversides across the state will be blanketed with bluebonnets – large, vibrant, many-petalled flowers that Texas natives have been planting for years. Visitors can enjoy the ‘Bluebonnet Trail’ a designated route through some of the finest patches of flowers, starting a little way south of Dallas.
In Texas, no amount of swallows will suffice to make it spring – only the blooming of the blue bonnets can herald the end of winter.
4. The New Forest, UK
The UK isn’t famous for multicoloured flora and fauna, but visit the New Forest at the right time of year and you’ll find a woodland transformed. Snowdrops in the midst of winter, yellow gorse, the gorgeous rare gladiolus, and a surprising assortment of delicate orchids.
But the headline act is the heather – with a range of hues from lightest pink to deepest mauve, it’s a much more beautiful plant that many give it credit for.
5. Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
According to legend, a local farmer’s wife decided the centre of New Zealand’s South Island was too dreary and colourless, and rectified the problem by planting lupin seeds along roads and rivers every year, naked, while riding a white stallion.
True or not (for the record, definitely not), you’ll be transfixed by the extraordinary colour and quantity of the lupins blanketing the banks of Lake Tekapo. Lupins flower between November and February, but peak relatively early.
6. Western Australia, Australia
The popular image of the outback is of a windswept, barren wasteland populated by cow skulls, tumbleweed, and perhaps the occasional dingo. But every year, large swathes of Western Australia go through a Namaqualand-esque transition, dotting the arid landscape with pink mulla mulla, bright yellow buttercups, and deep red kangaroo paws.
Spanning June to November, Australia has one of the longer seasons in the world of wildflowers, so is ideal for travellers that need flexibility or are short on time. With over 12,000 plant species across countless national parks, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
© Press Association 2019