April Showers Bring May Flowers

The weather has been absolutely lovely, at least where I live and I hope where you live also, with just enough sunshine and plenty of flowers and birds and those other nice outdoorsy things the poets have been talking about for ages. I was thinking that since Mother's Day is this weekend it might be nice to take your mother, or your sister, or your aunt, or your daughter, or your cousin, or possibly yourself to the arboretum to celebrate. Luckily for me several arboretums also thought this was an excellent idea and have various programs and brunches already planned.

Although it's too late to register for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum's brunch, you can still make plans to attend the free Mother’s Day Walk, called the Arboretum Sampler. The walk starts at one p.m. on May 11th, takes about an hour, and will encompass a wetland, a woodland and a prairie. Afterwards you can take Mom to the Longenecker Gardens to enjoy magnolias, lilacs, crabapples and other flowering trees. A naturalist will be on hand answering questions until three. Directions and more information can be found here.

The Dallas Arboretum is having a fancy shindig which includes a smoked salmon display, but make sure Mom is dressed for the occasion before you leave the house because their hard to navigate website specifically outlaws changing your clothes in the restrooms. (Why do they need this rule? I'm afraid to ask.) You're also not allowed to bring any noise making devices so leave those tambourines and maracas at home. The brunch is also serving mimosas and bloody marys however, so maybe that makes up for it. For seating times and other information see aforementioned hard to navigate website.

The Arboretum at Flagstaff has a rather terrifying proposition. Their website states that Mother Nature herself will be in attendance on Mother's Day, from nine a.m. to one p.m., "greeting all mothers with a flower and special welcome." (Emphasis mine.) I'm not sure that meeting Mother Nature is a good idea. Recent headlines indicate that she would be in a very grumpy mood indeed. What if she wants your mom to explain why the Pacific sardine is on the verge of extinction? That could be a very awkward conversation. But if your mom is brave you'll be pleased to know that admission is free.

The Dyck Arboretum of the Plains offers quite a nice weekend getaway that includes a Mother's Day luncheon with a special guest, Duncan Hines, someone who I hadn't realized was a) a real person or b) still alive*. If you have a traditional sort of mother who likes cooking, flowers and overnight stays in a whirlpool suite, this could be the perfect gift. You also get to attend a Planting a Monarch Waystation class. I'm just wondering if they mean the butterfly or actual royalty…

Willowwood at Morris County in New Jersey is having a Mother's Day bash from one to four p.m. on May 11th. You and Mom can explore on your own or you can take a tour with a member of the staff. I would probably opt for that one just so I could learn the names of some of the spring flowers that will be rioting everywhere. (Rioting in a totally safe way of course.) This event is free and you're welcome to bring a picnic. Directions and more information can be found here.

The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is hosting several events, including a Mother's Day hike on the tenth in the Celebration Garden. (Doesn't that sound like something out of Dr. Seuss, or perhaps Alice in Wonderland? I think everyone should have a celebration garden.) There will be a two day Mother's Day geranium show, running from the tenth through the eleventh, in Ayres Hall and Gate. And finally there will be a Mother's Day hike and tea on Monday the nineteenth, in the Celebration Garden, possibly for all the Moms who were too busy to come to the on the tenth. More information can be found here.

While not specifically a Mother's Day event, Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University does take place on Mother's Day, so you can kind of fake it. This year is the one hundredth anniversary of the event so the celebration should be even more spectacular than usual. Be sure to pack a lunch as this is the only day of the year you're allowed to picnic in the gardens. There are lots of events planned; several kinds of dancing including belly and morris, and things like a fragrance guessing game. That one sounds a bit dangerous, I can think of plenty of outdoor smells I would prefer to avoid. More information can be found here.

And finally if you and Mom would like to do something a little different, try the Mother's Day tour of the ScharffenBerger Chocolate Factory sponsored by the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society. The website states that no golden tickets are required, this is not the ordinary tour, this is a very special fancy one-of-a-kind tour and there will be a master chocolatier in attendance. (Golly, just think how much chocolate you'd have to eat to become a master. I don't think I've ever managed to get out of the apprentice class.) The event takes place on Sun, May 11, at 1:30 p.m.

One-Paragraph Review
This week's one-paragraph review is from ZBOWL, who wrote in to tell us about a movie that is now out on DVD. "If you have the chance to watch "CLOVERFIELD"…..DON'T!!!!! Life is too short and you can't get that time back. If you liked Blair Witch you might like this, if you don't like first person, handheld cameras, DON'T!" Have you got a one-paragraph (or smaller) review you'd like to share? Send it in to me and I'll run the most interesting ones. You can reach me at feedback@qualitytimeweekly.com.

This website says that Mr. Hines is in fact deceased. Does the arboretum plan to host an actor playing the part? Is there another Mr. Hines? Or will there be a séance? If anyone attends this event I would love to know the details. As long as they aren't so scary they keep me up at night.