Petal Peek: National Public Gardens Day

Stunning spots around the Bay Area, and beyond, will be in full bloom for the May happening.

DO AN ONLINE SEARCH... for "benefits of nature" and "pluses of getting outdoors" and "how a walk can invigorate" and you're bound to experience the sense that being among flowers and trees is just about the best place to be for both body and spirit. But finding an opportunity to do so, beyond walking from the garage to the office then back again, can be slightly trickier, if we don't set our minds to the task. It's exceedingly helpful that, each spring, National Public Gardens Day goes into full bloom, reminding us that a peaceful spot, one that's carefully tended and beautifully planned, is not too far from where we are. The 2016 event opens its petals, tulip-like, on Friday, May 6, and several pathway-lined, bud-bedecked bastions of beauty will join the joyful doings of the day.

THOSE JOYFUL DOINGS... might include special talks, or kid-themed activities, or floral demonstrations, depending on where you land. The Gardens at Heather Farm, near Walnut Creek, will be part of the American Public Gardens Association event, and Quarryhill Botanical Garden in Glen Ellen, the University of California Botanical Garden in Berkeley, and Filoli Center in Woodside are joining, too. The annual to-do, which is all about "raising awareness for America's public gardens," is about the leafy, stem-stunning, big-of-branch sights within the garden and special happenings of an art-nice, craft-cute, info-laden sort. One lovely asterisk? This always falls right before Mother's Day, if you and your mom would like to get the holiday weekend going on Friday. And, truly, who wouldn't, when there is nature to enjoy? Every searchable study regarding the topic says that time spent among growing green things is time incredibly well spent.

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