Nursery day trip: Corona del Mar, CA

Bold botanical displays and a nursery stocked for spring are at the heart of this Newport Beach neighborhood’s best attractions.
Sharon Cohoon

Why go no in spring: Bold botanical displays and a nursery stocked for spring are at the heart of this Newport Beach neighborhood’s best attractions.

Local mascots: Dolphin-shaped topiaries on Coast Highway medians.

Stop and smell the roses: Roger’s Gardens (pictured) has the biggest selection of roses in Southern California―more than 250 varieties.

Design your own bouquet: At Blooms cut-flowers kiosk (3601 E. Coast Hwy.; 949/673-6964).

Coolest spot for succulents: The Cactus and Succulent Garden at Sherman Library & Gardens ($3; 2647 E. Coast Hwy.; 949/673-2261).

Fave Sunday brunch in a garden: Champagne brunch at Café Jardin ($35; Sun-only brunch begins Apr 5; in Sherman Gardens; 949/263-9400).

Eat your greens: Shop at the Corona del Mar Certified Farmers Market (9–1 Sat; Marguerite Ave. at E. Coast Hwy.; 949/361-0735).

Best botanical street names: Acacia, Dahlia, and Goldenrod (the prettiest walk to the beach, with a geranium covered pedestrian bridge).

GARDEN FEVER AND BEYOND

  • Shop for a Statue:
    Add a little classical glamour to your garden by heading to the Phoenician Stone showroom in Corona del Mar Village. You’ll find fountains, statues, stonework, even architectural antiques and relics like limestone slabs from Cyprus, which make great outdoor tables. Prices can get steep, but these are items worth a splurge. Closed Sun; 3034 E. Coast Hwy.; phoenicianstone.com
  • Refuel with greens:
    Dig into a salad from Zinc Cafe & Market ($; 3222 E. Coast Hwy.; 949/719-9462), or take a grilled gruyère sandwich to go and head to nearby Corona del Mar State Beach ($8 parking fee Fri, $10 Sat–Sun; Iris St. at Ocean Blvd.; parks.ca.gov) to picnic with an ocean view. Or get your feet wet in the surf and gaze into the tidepools at Little Corona del Mar Beach (Poppy Ave. at Ocean; park in state beach lot).
  • Find artistic inspiration:
    For colors as bright as those at a nursery, head to the Orange County Museum of Art, where you can immerse yourself in a field of poppies in Diana Thater’s Wicked Witch or take a meditative plunge into Bill Viola’s Reflecting Pool. Both videos are on display in The Moving Image (exhibit opens Apr 12). $12; 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach; ocma.net