Untold Stories

Zagreb in Bloom

The spring months bring a special joy to the Zagreb locals, thanks to the variety of flowers around the town. It all culminates in May as the parks are most colorful.

Don’t you love the feeling when the cities start to wake up, and the nature within them is most noticeable? Zagreb is full of parks, so don’t be surprised to spot a beautiful flower bed every now and then throughout the city.

Pansies get to be the first to fill up flower beds all around Zagreb parks each spring

It feels like the spring officially comes to Zagreb with the pink treetops of the first blossoming trees. The beelicious cherries, surrounded by the soft buzz of honey bees that have come for a proper feast, and luxurious magnolias. When I was a kid, my mom was always excited about the magnolia buds that were about to open. These days, the excitement is even more tangible - go on and check out the hashtag #Zagreb on Instagram in early spring. You will see it’s flooding with magnolia - tributes. 

Magnolia flower buds are one of the first signs of spring in Zagreb

Zagreb even hosts an international flower exhibition Floraart. The 58th edition takes place at Lake Bundek from 29 May to 2 June. Usually, the whole city visits and they all come back home with loads of flowers for their gardens or balconies. If you’re not here in Zagreb in time for Floraart, don’t worry! The city will welcome you with petals on many occasions. You can even purchase flowers at the iconic spots in the narrow city center. Simply stop by Dolac the market, or at the so-called Cvjetni - Flower square.

Shops at Cvjetni trg/Flower square

May brings another blossoming treat: iris flowers. Iris Croatica is an endemic specie that grows only in some parts of Croatia and Slovenia. It fits so well in gardens, that it’s hard to imagine that the specie grows naturally in the wild. Croatian name for iris is perunika, similar to Perun, the ancient Slavic thunder god. Our ancestors believed that the flower grows where the thunder god hits the ground with his thunderbolt. 

Purple irises and orange lilies made my day when I passed by them at the Strossmayer square some ten days ago

Tulips, irises, lilies are carefully arranged in flower beds around the Zagreb parks. Primrose, clover, and dandelion are all over the meadows. It truly feels like they are all doing their best to help us during our own spring awakening.

I am thrilled with the feeling of fast-approaching spring that overflows me with the first flower buds that I notice during my strolls. Oh, those colorful, short-lived flowers, they turn each spring stroll into a set of new discoveries. They keep enchanting and dazzling us until we completely lose the sense of time! By the time they are all gone, and our minds clear up, the spring is already waving goodbye.

Wildflowers are good for bees. That’s why the city doesn’t rush with mowing the lawns for the first time in spring

And then, the first roses appear. For me, the steady and elegant rose, when she replaces the empty stems of the vivid spring flowers with a promise to keep us company for months to come, is a reminder that the year is entering its mature phase. I love all the seasons, but just one look at Zagreb flower beds in the spring months, and I wish that spring takes over the city and stays here forever.

Many courtyards are already full of blossoming roses that are going to stay with us throughout the summer

Header image credit: Iva Silla

Author: Iva Silla