Lincoln Parks and Rec showers Sunken Gardens to bring May flowers

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – If you haven’t already seen, the Sunken Gardens have flowers in bloom now, with more to come soon.

And as we near Mother’s Day, the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department is getting its hands dirty.

It’s in the process of spring cleaning, planting and making room for the annuals.

Gardeners, including one who has been working more than seven years at the gardens, have been pleased that the tulips have lasted as long as they have.

Even on some of our colder nights.

“It’s a really busy year,” gardener Zac Halley said. “The tulips are holding on a lot longer than they have before. Usually, we get that hot weather burst where the tulips burn off real fast. This year, they’re holding on longer and giving patrons more of a chance to view them.”

All tulips are special ordered from the Netherlands.

“We plant about 18,000 tulips each year,” Halley said. “We have five different varieties this year. Some of the varieties are getting close to the end, but there’s still time to see them.”

While these tulips come and go, other types of flowers will soon take their place.

One event, when a majority of the bottom of the gardens will be planted, is coming up soon and completely booked.

“We’ll harvest all these tulips as soon as the blooms start dying back,” Halley said. “Then May 13th is our Wake Up the Beds event. We have about 70 preregistered volunteers for that event.”

During that event, just a day before Mother’s Day, a mix of annuals all centered around a theme will be planted.

That theme: Magical Mystery Tour.

“It’s all based off the Beatles and kind of their imaginations and their songs and their album artwork,” Halley said.

Many will come from far and wide to see, hear and smell all that the Sunken Gardens have to offer.

“We have thousands that come through from all over the nation and all over,” Halley said. “We’ve had worldwide tours as well. There’s a lot of photo opportunities. It’s booked almost every weekend for weddings, so it’s always a busy place.”

And one of the smaller goals: turning the waterfall features back on by the end of this week.

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