All gardeners, whether ornamental or vegetable, appreciate nature’s color palette in spring. For 84 years, The Garden Club of Virginia has celebrated the beauty of spring through its Historic Garden Week tours. The Garden Club of Virginia, located in Richmond. was founded in 1920 by eight garden clubs. The major purpose of the organization is to protect and conserve the natural beauty of Virginia, to preserve and restore historic gardens and landscapes in the state, and to provide opportunities for education. Visit their website at www.gcvirginia.org/ to learn more.
This year’s Historic Garden Week tour is April 22-29. The 2017 event has 30 organized tours throughout Virginia that cover nearly 250 private homes, gardens, and historical sites hosted by 47 garden clubs. Tours in our area include Ashland, Petersburg, and Richmond. The prices of the tours vary from $15 to $50. Discounted tickets can be purchased in advance. Full-price tickets may be purchased by cash or check on the day of the tour. Visit www.vagardenweek.org for complete details. Proceeds from the tour fund the restoration and preservation of more than 40 of Virginia’s historic public gardens and landscapes, a research fellowship program, and a new initiative with Virginia State Parks. For the social media gardener, visit www.facebook.com/HistoricGardenWeekinVA/.
The garden tours are just like gardening: planning is necessary. Even though the event is a week long, tours are generally just one day, rain or shine, unless the tour is inaccessible due to weather conditions. Each tour is unique, and each has its own different options and amenities. Some are by shuttle only and begin at a designated area. Some tours are self-guided. Some offer refreshments, and some have lunch that may be purchased. If you decide to take a tour, please remember: these are private homes, and interior photographs are not allowed.
Larry’s timely tip: Yes, you can plant too early. The last killing frost, can be as late as April 30, but generally, it is around April 20.
Remember, even if we don’t have frost, the soil temperatures must be warm enough for the plant to develop and produce the fruit or vegetable we desire. Invest in a soil temperature probe. Most probes will measure the temperature several inches below the surface and cost $20 to $30.
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