Columbus comes alive during spring with an explosion of colorful flowers in bloom. Whether you prefer your flower spotting to be in the wild or in a more traditional conservatory setting, here are three unique ideas for exploring the Columbus region during spring, and capturing the season’s spirit of renewal.

Franklin Park ConservatoryFranklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, just east of downtown Columbus, is a great stop in any season, but particularly lovely in spring. The Conservatory brings a touch of Holland to Columbus with more than 100,000 tulips, narcissus, and hyacinths, which, as of early May, are in full bloom. Butterflies flutter among tropical plants each spring as part of the annual Blooms and Butterflies exhibit. A new children’s garden is set to open later in May, and will focus on the Ohio landscape, and include fairy gardens, and garden plots where kids can learn how to grow flowers and vegetables.  Also look for a flamingo topiary installation set to debut at the same time as the new children’s garden

Flowers and BreadMulti-purpose spaces such as Flowers & Bread sprouting up all over the city, may be one of the reasons why Columbus keeps popping up on national lists for such things as top cities for hipsters. In this case the Clintonville bakery/flower shop feels as if it was designed for Instagram with cozy nooks, and sunlight streaming in from big picture windows. It’s the perfect place to have a latte and cupcake topped with real flowers while you take one of their floral design classes where you might be creating floral designs in vintage teacups or making an old-fashioned nosegay.

It’s worth a day trip to Hocking Hills south of Columbus to see flowering dogwood trees and more than 300 species of wildflowers including violets, bluebells, phlox, delicate pink and green toothwart (once used to treat toothaches), and several varieties of trillium, Ohio’s state flower. Best bets for wildflower spotting are include Ash Cave and Lake Hope State Park, both of which offer annual spring wildflower hikes.