Monday, May 2, 2016

April Flowers in Northern Virginia

Gardens awaken a bit more slowly in northern Virginia than they do in south/central Texas. That makes me sad. I didn't realize until we moved here how dependent I was on green leaves and colorful flowers. However I must admit there is a special beauty in the land of the longer winter...spring bulbs! A whole new world has opened to me with spring flowers that are perfect for a Virginia spring yet are too timid to endure a San Antonio spring.

Here is a type of phlox that I purchased when we first moved here at Mount Vernon. In San Antonio, I was used to two types of phlox. There was a lovely summer type that grows a few feet tall. I had lots of those in my Texas garden! I also knew of a low spreading kind that bloomed in the spring that never grew more than a few inches tall. When I purchased this phlox at a plant sale at Mount Vernon, I assumed it was the low spreading type. Surprise! Well, I was half right! It does spread, but it is of a medium height! I love the lavender color!

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Tulips and daffodils are difficult to grow in San Antonio where the winters are too short for the bulb to prepare themselves for a spring bloom. A patient deep southern gardener can store the bulbs in the fridge to make up the difference, then plant them at the perfect time for a spring bloom. Then they need to be dug up after the bloom and have the process repeated. Here in the upper latitude I leave them in the ground. Hmmm, or not. Actually that is my goal. We keep digging them up and playing around with placement, but we are committed to setting them in place by autumn for a lovely winter rest in the long deep freeze of Virginia.

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It's usually cold out while they are blooming, so I don't have the endurance to take a great close-up shot. Also it's become increasingly difficult for me to take close-up photos of my flowers. However, I think that problem will soon be remediated! Stay tuned!



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