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April Showers bring May Flowers In Staunton

(Published 05/04/2023)

Looking at flower gardens and wildflowers is a magical experience. The colors, scents, textures, and changing displays can occupy your senses all season long. May blooms include dogwood, bleeding heart, rhododendron, Virginia bluebell, iris, sweetbay magnolia, and more. Here are some local gardens to inspire you as well as some places where you can buy cut flowers.

Staunton Gardens

Stroll Staunton’s quiet neighborhoods to catch glimpses of residential gardens. Our public spaces are also in bloom!

  • Explore the Historic Gardens at Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum for free from dawn to dusk. Landscape architect Charles F. Gillette designed the gardens in 1933. The Garden Club of Virginia maintains them now. Blooms and shrubs showcased in the gardens include perennials, lilacs, boxwoods, and hostas. 
  • Visit the award-winning Brenda L. Papke Memorial Sensory Garden at the Staunton Library. This small space “promotes interactions with the garden and nature.” A scavenger hunt can help the kids engage. A second beautiful display, the Caroline E. Roberts Memorial Flower Garden, borders the library, honoring Ms. Roberts’s memory and her significant contributions to Staunton’s public flowerbeds.
  • The dogwood tree is both Virginia’s state flower and tree, and the Augusta Garden Club’s Project Dogwood has planted over 150 of these springtime beauties around town. They’ve also erected signage to identify and provide information about the different types of trees.
  • Look for blooms as you drive into Staunton along Coalter Avenue. The Men’s Green Thumb Park and Watering Can boast beautiful displays all season. Look for tulips in the spring and larger plants like elephant ears later in the season.
  • The Mevluda Tahirovic Memorial Garden nestles behind the R R Smith Center. It’s a shaded and hidden space where plants like hostas and climbing hydrangeas thrive. Relax at a table and chairs with your coffee and enjoy the flowers and the sculpture. Access the urban space from the Smith Center or Barrister’s Row.
  • Gypsy Hill Park and Montgomery Hall Parks pair natural areas with formal flower gardens. You’ll see labeled trees as well as displays of seasonal blooms and annuals around buildings and park features. Be on the lookout for wildflowers on the trails in Montgomery Hall Park.

Nearby Flowers

Beautiful flowers are worth the extra drive, right? Here are some of our favorite farther-afield flowers.

  • Wildflower season at Shenandoah National Park starts in the spring and extends all the way through fall. Over 850 different species grow here, including many specimens from the aster, pea, lily, mint, and mustard families. Check here for a calendar of what’s in bloom.
  • Find some inspiration in the extensive gardens at Andre Viette Farm & Nursery. The farm is known best for daylilies, but both the sun and shade gardens are impressive, and you’ll be able to purchase favorites at the garden center.
  • White Oak Lavender Farm (Harrisonburg) looks and smells so good. Visitors can tour the lavender fields and pick some lavender during lavender season. There’s also a shop selling lavender products, a discovery area for kids, and a tasting room for the onsite Purple WOLF Vineyard.
  • JMU’s 125-acre Edith J. Carrier Arboretum (Harrisonburg) emphasizes the use of native plants in a variety of different ecosystems. Along with native Virginia flowers, trees, and shrubs, visitors will find a network of trails, water features, artwork, play areas for kids, and more, nestled in the wooded environment.
  • Visitors to Boxerwood Gardens (Lexington) can follow trails through five different ecosystems: the pioneer forest, the field, the established forest, the hedgerow, and the wetland. Look for “dogwood, magnolia, Japanese maples…thriving alongside native plant neighbors.” Enjoy fun, natural sculptures, a fairy garden, and a natural playground.

Flowers for Sale

Here’s where to shop for arrangements, bouquets, or plants.

  • Each Saturday morning from April through Thanksgiving, the Staunton Farmers’ Market fills the Wharf parking lot with local goodness. Along with produce, meat, and baked goods, you’ll find herbs, plants, and cut flowers from Malcolms Market Garden, Calixto Farm, Double O Farm, Pettijohns’ Orchard Etc., Tantivy Farm, and Windrunner Farm. 
  • Family-owned Harmony Harvest Farm (Weyers Cave) grows over 400 types of flowers and provides customers with deliveries of mixed bouquets and fresh-cut flowers. You can also visit the 20-acre farm to shop at the farm shop, take a tour, attend an event or workshop, or cut your own flowers in the Victory Garden.
  • Buy a seasonal bouquet subscription from Farrish Farm (Weyers Cave). Each week, you’ll get a vase arrangement or a wrapped market bouquet of grower’s choice flowers. The farm, which specializes in organically grown heirloom flowers, also runs a self-serve flower stand on select weekends.
  • Make your flowerbeds the ones that everyone oohs and ahhs over when you beautify your home landscaping with plants from JMD Farm Market & Garden Center. The center sells garden plants, vegetable plants, wildflower seeds, pottery, and seasonal produce.

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