Spring in Bloom: Flower Gardens of Staunton and Beyond
Sadly, Virginia Garden Week has been cancelled for 2020. You might be social distancing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out on your own and enjoy the newly blooming spring bounty. Here are ten Staunton-area spots that promise to be easy on the eyes this spring.
What can you expect to see?
The wonderful thing about flowers in gardens and flowers in nature is that the display changes throughout the year. In early spring, flowering trees like redbuds, magnolias, Bradford pears are budding out. Look for dogwood displays to follow. Early spring flowers include daffodils, tulips, forsythia, lilac, and violets.
Best Gardens in Staunton
Walk along many of the residential streets in Staunton and you’re sure to be wowed by the private gardens of our residents. Gardens in many of our public spaces also shine. Check out some of our favorites.
Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum
The Historic Gardens at Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum are open to the public from dawn to dusk and do not require a ticket to enter. Originally part of a much larger estate, the existing gardens were designed by landscape architect Charles F. Fillette in 1933. Maintained by the Garden Club of Virginia, the gardens include perennials, lilacs, boxwoods, and hostas. Stroll the brick pathways and admire the plants or rest on a quiet bench just steps from the bustle of downtown Staunton.
Flowerbeds at the Staunton Library
The library has several garden beds, including a large one that wraps the corner of Augusta and Churchville Avenues. Make sure to visit the award-winning Brenda L. Papke Memorial Sensory Garden, a small, universally accessible space designed to stimulate all five of the senses. Sensory favorites include: lavender, rosemary, Annabelle Hydrangea, and butterfly bushes. Download a scavenger hunt to use in the library, when open, and the garden.
Mens’ Green Thumb Park and Watering Can
Blink and you might miss this little gem as you drive into Staunton. It’s worth a second pass though: Look for spring blooms spilling out of a giant watering can and larger plants like elephant ears later in the season.
Gypsy Hill & Montgomery Hall Parks
Both Gypsy Hill Park and Montgomery Hall Parks have flower gardens maintained by Staunton Parks and Rec. Look for seasonal blooms and annuals in the landscaping around buildings and park features as well as various types of labeled trees. The dogwood tree is both Virginia’s state flower and tree, and for over 100 years. The Augusta Garden Club’s Project Dogwood has planted over 150 of these springtime beauties in both parks. They’ve also erected signage to identify and provide information about the different types of trees.
Best Gardens Near Staunton
White Oak Lavender Farm
Pretty sights and even better smells will greet you at White Oak Lavender Farm. This lavender destination provides beautiful views, a chance to tour and explore the lavender fields and processing areas. You’ll also find a lavender shop where you can purchase lavender-infused items, a discovery area for kids, and a tasting room for the Purple WOLF Vineyard.
Edith J. Carrier Arboretum
James Madison University’s Edith J. Carrier Arboretum celebrates native Virginia wildflower, tree, and shrub species in a peaceful, wooded environment. The 125-acre sanctuary contains walking paths, water features, play areas for kids, and daffodil, perennial, and pollinator gardens. Other garden areas showcase ferns, daylilies, herbs, and a shale garden of endemic perennials that survive only in the harshest of conditions.
Though the Play Trail has closed for the spring, the 15-acre Woodland Garden at Boxerwood Gardens remains open for visitors to explore. Follow the trails through the woods, around the pond, and along the wildflower meadow. Early spring blooms include magnolia and cherry trees.
Shenandoah National Park
Wildflower season at Shenandoah National Park begins in late March and extends all the way through fall. Springtime blooms to look for are redbuds, trout lilies, bellworts, violets, and wild geraniums. 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.