Big Bloom

Big Bloom at Yew Dell

History of the Big Bloom

  • Started in 2019 with 13,580 spring blooming bulbs
    • 2020: 14,772 bulbs
    • 2021: 16,832 bulbs
    • 2022: 20,398 bulbs & introduced Self-Guided Big Bloom QR Code Tour
    • 2023: 15,863 bulbs
    • 2024: 18,901 bulbs
      • Estimated Bloom Peaks: Late-March and Mid-April
  • Designed to spark a passion for plants and get guests excited about the new season
  • Provide inspiration for our guests and encourage others to experiment with their gardens
  • Introduce a new range of community events and workshops 
  • Experiment and trial a variety of spring blooming bulbs
  • Provide a unique opportunity for our volunteers and staff  
  • Make people happy!

The Big Bloom 2021

Past Plantings

A learning process...

Examples of fungus (Fusarium) in 2022 

During my undergraduate studies we always heard, but didn’t quite understand, “Horticulture! The ART and SCIENCE of growing plants!” And as we all know, both art and science involve learning a whole lot through trial and error. As gardeners, sometimes our designs don’t work out as intended and we have a tendency to kill an awful lot of plants. But we learn a great deal along the way.  Where I’m going with this is that at Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, we have learned a lot from gardening mistakes, — and we love to share our mistakes so we can save you the hassle of learning the same, hard way!

Over the years, we’ve struggled off and on with some challenges with our Big Bloom displays. Disease challenges have led us to reinvent the Big Bloom designs and create more sustainable displays.

Here are a few takeaways you can use in your garden to make growing bulbs much easier!

  • Avoid Monoculture: Planting greater diversity insures that the occasional disease problem won’t wipe out your whole display all at once. If you plant 10% each of 10 different types of bulbs, you’re not likely to lose them all to a single disease or insect problem.
  • Crop Rotation: The same practice used in vegetable/crop production can be utilized in annual/tropical plants. It keeps pests at bay naturally — whether that’s insects, fungi, or viruses. Rather than planting the same variety in the same place year after year after year, changing up your plantings each year can reduce the buildup of crop-specific insect or disease pests.
  • Tulip Hybrids: The large flowering cultivars that we typically think of during spring are among the most susceptible to disease problems and don’t love our heavy Kentucky soils and widely variable spring weather.

-Garden & Arboretum Manager, Sayde Heckman

Learn More

Staff Planting
Every year, staff from across all of Yew Dell's departments join our horticulture team to plant the display at the front gates.
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Volunteers play a huge part in helping our small-but-mighty garden staff with the annual planting (and removal) of bulbs.
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Sunday Plant Walks
Explore the grounds each Sunday from 1:00 to 2:00pm with Yew Dell's Horticulturists to learn about what's in bloom and all things planty. Included with regular admission.
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Bulbs at Home
Interested in where we get our bulbs? Click the button below for a list of our favorite bulb sources.
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Group Volunteer Form

To set up a group volunteering opportunity, please complete the form below. We will be in touch soon to help get you scheduled!

Contact Us

We’d love to hear from you whether it’s regarding your visit, gardening questions, or sharing a horticultural fun fact!

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