By Shannon Dortch

May 13 kicks off National Public Gardens Week, at Cornell Botanic Gardens, with a celebration unique to Cornell—a flower-themed concert by the Cornell Chimes. The chimes will ring forth at 12 p.m. on Monday, May 13, in honor of Cornell Botanic Gardens, the university’s living museum.

The concert is the first in a series of events for National Public Gardens Week, a nationwide celebration of public gardens across North America. It can be heard from most outdoor locations near McGraw Tower. In addition, guests may climb the 161 steps to the top of the tower to watch the chimes master in action.

Garden, arboretum, and natural areas tours and activities are planned throughout National Public Gardens week. It’s the best time of year to learn about wildflowers in the Mundy Wildflower Garden, take in spring on a Spring Gardens Highlights Tour, or explore on your own. On Saturday, May 18, you can visit with a roaming Garden Guide or make a botanical gift with our friends from Wine & Blooms.

Here is the full schedule for National Public Gardens Week:


12 p.m. Cornell Chimes Flower-Themed Concert – McGraw Tower


12 p.m.  Spring Garden Highlights Tour – Nevin Welcome Center

4:30 p.m. Tuesday Evening Hike: Slaterville 600 Preserve. In partnership with Cayuga Trails Club

Trailhead location: Parking lot at the end of Hammond Hill Rd, southeast of Irish Settlement Rd. Note: This is a strenuous, 4.5 mile hike over difficult terrain. For more information, please contact Jules Ginenthal at

6 p.m.  Evening Wildflower Walk – Mundy Wildflower Garden Caldwell Rd. entrance


12 p.m.  Spring Garden Highlights Tour Nevin Welcome Center


8 a.m. Birds and Blooms: Bird Walk in the Arboretum – Sculpture Garden. In partnership with Cornell Lab of Ornithology


10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Garden and Arboretum Hike – Nevin Welcome Center

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Make a Botanical Craft with Wine & Blooms – Nevin Welcome Center

12 p.m.Spring Garden Highlights Tour – Nevin Welcome Center


1 p.m. Birds and Blossoms: Wildflower Walk at Sapsucker Woods – Lab of Ornithology Visitor Center. In partnership with Cornell Lab of Ornithology

2 p.m. Arboretum Tour – Sculpture Garden, F.R. Newman Arboretum

Cornell Botanic Gardens is a proud member of the American Public Gardens Association, sponsor of National Public Gardens Week.