Late Spring and Gardening in the Shenandoah Valley

Late March and April in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley is a constant “will it, or won’t it?” with the weather.

Will it rain?

Will it snow?

Will the wind blow down trees?

Will the sun come out?

Will it stay shady for days?


Seedlings. Snow in March (as shown here on the 21st) isn’t abnormal, but a predicted snow April 2nd is worrisome. Weather changes are part of life, but when you’re growing hundreds of seedlings for a Master Gardener plant sale (actually 500+ seedlings at last count), a quick drop in temperature means rushing the hardening-off seedlings back inside and hoping you made it in time.

Until Mother Nature cooperates and provides warm days, my basement, housing a wire shelving unit and more than a dozen grow-light bulbs, keeps the seedlings growing. My current setup, or a variation of it, has worked for me personally for over 15 years, and now it works for getting pollinator seedlings started for the shoppers at GardenFest. Read about my seed-starting setup. The only upgrade in the last few years is a new, larger light fixture this year.


spring bloomsBloom. Outside, the bloom has begun!

The pink magnolia blossoms (Jane Magnolia, possibly) are shrugging off their overcoats…

the peach blossoms are slowly unfurling…

and a hint of color peeks out of the pear blossoms.

If Mother Nature won’t give me sun in the sky, the forsythia and the daffodils pop out with their cheery yellow.



What’s blooming in your part of the world?


*** This site is comprised solely of the opinions of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She works to promote gardening and tourism in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.***

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