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Gerry Donnelly Picks the top three havens.

"Of all the wonders of nature," Woody Allen once said, "a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable - with the possible exception of a moose singing Embraceable You in spats."  Be that as it may, we'll take the tree.  Gerry Donnelly, president and CEO of Chicago's Morton Arboretum points out a few favorites where dogwoods, redbuds, and citrus trees put on a show.

Dallas Arboretum, Dallas

By early April, daffodils and tulips bloom in this garden-like arboretum with an exquisite range of colors. The gorgeous old magnolia trees alos peak, in addition to the dogwoods, flowering peaches, and crab apples. But the key spring plants here are the azaleas.  The Color Garden shows them off, a spectacular display especially when splashed against the surrounding dark-green foliage. 

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami, FL

Despite the name, this wonderful spot has all the characteristics of an arboretum, namely in its magnificent treed landscapes. Several different kinds of plam trees and primitive shrubby plants called cycads are prominent here. You also get the organdes, lemons, limes, and those intoxicating spring aromas from flowering citrus trees. The Garden offers a real feast for the senses, especially in the spring when many trees and shrubs in south Florida bloom their best.

Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL

I've included the Morton, where I work, because it's one of the world's leading arboretums - and because I'm biased. April's high-lights include the native redbud trees, blooming wildflowers, and breath-taking acres of daffodils that roll as far as the eye can see. Don't miss the new 4-acre Children's Garden which includes some unusual trees and shrubs, like the contorted Lauder's Walking Stick.

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