"Dallas Blooms" is the largest outdoor floral festival in the Southwest, and it happens every spring at The Dallas Arboretum in East Dallas. The 14th annual "Dallas Blooms" will begin on March 6 and continue through April 11. The theme of this year’s festival is "Birds In Paradise," and will features more than a million flowers, including azaleas, tulips, hyacinths and thousands of other annuals. Topiaries will take the form of peacocks, adorned with elaborate flowerbed tails.

The Arboretum boasts that largest publicly maintained azalea collection in the country, with more than 2,000 varieties. It is one of the largest public garden importer of tulips outside Holland. This ensures a continuous display of floral finery during this annual event.

The theme "Birds in Paradise" is particularly appropriate. The Arboretum and White Rock Lake provide a natural, safe harbor and nesting area for a variety of birds. And March 1999 marks the 100th anniversary of the Texas Audubon Society. So plans include bird watching instructions as well as several bird demonstrations by John Flicker, president of the National Audubon Society. In addition, an exhibit of rare Audubon art will be displayed in the historic DeGolyer House.

The Dallas Arboretum is located at 8525 Garland Road and hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $3 for children.