As spring brings its own beauty into our everyday lives, some citizens have decided to add more color, variety and ideas to their own yards and gardens with the spare time of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The redbuds are in full bloom along Route 311, all the way to Hanging Rock. Many Craig residents have took the drive just to admire the blooming beauties.
The daffodils are pushing out their last buds, but the forsythia bushes are revealing their yellow buds, the Bartlett pear trees are bursting in snow white and the cherry blossom trees have reached a pink hue to adorn many yards. Even the white and pink dogwoods are budding ferociously.
Several creative ideas have been suggested for people to take this “time off” that some have and add more beauty to their back yards.
The Farm Bureau shares that in Virginia, one has to be attentive to what they plant because “Drought-tolerant plants may be the solution to withstanding scorching summers while keeping a flower garden looking good.”
Some may like planting brightly colored flowers that attract little hummingbirds or butterflies.
Ideas of flowers include the colorful phlox that can be a good ground cover, the hardy black-eyed Susans and colorful pansies. Some simply enjoy the fragrances of planting sage, lavender or other herbs.
Craig County has a local business, Craigs Creek Gardens, located at 1693 Little Cuba Lane, which provides locally grown produce and greenhouse plants which are acclimated to the area instead of being shipped in from out of town.
Owners Sam and Donna Old shared that they started the greenhouse in 2004 to grow their own tomato plants for their three-acre truck garden they use to have.
“Sam’s first job out of high school was working for Fallon’s Greenhouse in Roanoke and he loved it,” she said. “As for me, my dad passed down the love of growing. It is awesome to plant all those thousands of little seeds and watch God grow them.”
Donna noted that they grow many local exclusive favorites, including 25 varieties of tomatoes such as peppers, cucumbers, squash, melons and cabbage.
“We also grow a variety of flowers such as petunias, marigolds, snapdragons, vinca, verbena, zinnias and more,” she said. “We have hanging baskets that are very popular for Mother’s Day too.”
Some of their plants are ready now, but the majority will be ready closer to the last week of April and continuing through the beginning of June.
Their hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the growing season. They can be reached at (540) 330-7967.
“Gopher Mart and Carper Quick Mart support our greenhouse as a local business,” Donna said before adding, “We are primarily a wholesale operation that allows the public also to buy at the farm.”
Activities called “nature therapy” and “forest bathing,” where people get outdoors and enjoy walking a trail, are becoming more popular as people are making a smorgasbord of beauty in their own backyards.
During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is scientifically proven that doing these things drastically can reduce blood pressure and relieve stress.
Getting sunshine is an avenue to replenish the Vitamin D which most doctors say many are in lacking today because so many stay indoors.
“Every growing season is different, with different challenges and weather conditions,” Donna said. “Don’t give up on a bad season, because the reward of growing and controlling how your food is grown is well worth it. Enjoy the outdoors, add a little floral sunshine to both the inside and out, and discover the calmness of nature.”