We do everything a little differently in Texas, but there are few areas where we veer even further from the norm than we do with our gardening habits and schedules. Calling it a challenge to attain plant success in the Lone Star State is a generous understatement. Here, tomatoes sprint to reproduce before wilting in the summer sun. Our fruiting trees are magnets for boring insects. And our lovely cacti that gravitate toward heat like the grackles? They melt to the root if we get a hard freeze. Still, there’s one glorious window in spring when Dallas feels effortlessly beautiful, when naturalized varieties of daffodils and tulips paint the just-dead landscape back to life in pink, yellow and scarlet. It’s happening now, and there’s no better place to take it all in and appreciate the loveliness of our surroundings than at the Arboretum (8525 Garland Road) during Dallas Blooms
. Oh wait, it gets better. On Wednesdays through April 3, you can exhale in cheapskate unison with a friend thanks to buy one, get one free admission. While there, join a complimentary walking tour at 11 a.m. and take in a piano serenade and two tea servings. (The refreshments cost extra and require reservations. Call 214-515-6511. ) Visit dallasarboretum.org/dallasblooms
. Tickets range from $10 to $15.
Mondays-Sundays. Starts: March 27. Continues through April 7, 2013