Calendar of blossoms and flowers in Ottawa

The best thing about spring is that everything fills up with colour! Passing from a white landscape to a multicolour one does wonders in one’s spirits! Undoubtedly, the stars of this amazing season are the blossoms and the flowers.

When I was a newcomer to Ottawa I just waited for the tulips to appear! That was my idea of spring, just tulips and more tulips. I swear I had not noticed the other flowers that bloom in spring here.

I didn’t put a foot in the Arboretum until my third year living in Ottawa. I didn’t even know that it existed before. What a discovery it was!

It was just last year that I paid attention to the blossoms and other flowers that bloom in spring and summer. I noticed for the first time that there was a calendar for the flowers to bloom, and this post is about that.

So the next time you go out pay attention, look around and you’ll spot beautiful magnolia trees, or fragrant lilacs, or the famous tulips, roses, peonies, etc. Spring is a carnival of colours!


These are the first blossoms in spring. They usually appear at the end of April or early May and they last for about two to three weeks. You can see magnolias walking down the street, but if you want to see a collection of them head to the Arboretum. To find them, go to the Friends of Central Experimental Farm building, and walk down from there towards Dow`s Lake. You’ll see white and pink Magnolias.

Cherry Blossoms

These famous blooms appear around the same time as the magnolias, at the end of April or early May. The Arboretum has a collection of five cherry blossom trees, pink and white, next to the Friends of Central Experimental Farm building. You can also see cherry blossoms at Major’s Hill Park downtown.

Apple blossoms

These blossoms are very much like cherry blossoms. They appear in early May to mid May. The best location to see them is the Arboretum, which has many apple trees of light pink flowers to red flowers. They are next to the Friends of Central Experimental Farm building parking lot. Another beautiful spot for apple trees is the Glebe below Bronson bridge.

Apple blossoms


The tulips are the stars during the famous Tulip Festival in Ottawa, which takes place as a commemoration of the friendship between the Netherlands and Canada. The tulips usually bloom in time for the opening of the festival around mid May, and last for two or three weeks. The festival takes place in Commissioners Park where there are more than 300,000 tulips. Other spots to see tulips are Major’s Hill Park, Rideau Canal, Confederation Park, Parliament Hill, and Lansdowne Park.


These blossoms have an awesome fragrance that fills the air around them. They bloom between mid May and mid June. The Ornamental Gardens have a garden of light purple and pink lilacs. Find them next to the parking lot.


These iconic flowers are June flowers. They bloom during the month of June. The Ornamental Gardens have a big garden of roses from a wide diversity of species, colours and sizes.

Garden of roses at Ornamental Gardens


These flowers bloom between early May to early July. The best location to admire them is the Ornamental Gardens, which have a beautiful garden dedicated to peonies.

Garden of peonies at Ornamental Gardens


They bloom between late July to mid August. The best places to see them are farms near Ottawa, such as the Sultan Farm Sanctuary. The entrance is by donation.

Adresses: Dominion Arboretum and Ornamental Gardens: Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Ave. K1A 0C6.
Sultan Farm Sanctuary: 8520 Flewellyn Rd, Ashton, ON. K0A 1B0

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