Spring in Virginia is full of surprises. For instance, these strange weather patterns might have you wondering whether to wear a heavy rain jacket or break out your flip flops and swimsuit. Day to day, the climate here can be rather unpredictable. But there are few places where the beauty and breadth of the seasons can be experienced more fully. The large variety of flowering shrubs and trees that thrive in the Blue Ridge Mountains make our springs particularly delightful, despite the chaotic weather. For fellow flower-lovers, we’ve compiled a list of blooming plants to keep your eyes on this May. And, with any luck, it’ll be nice enough outside to actually enjoy them!
- Abelia Shrubs
The glossy Abelia shrub produces trumpet-shaped pink and white flowers. These blooms are pleasantly fragrant and attract bees and butterflies. With enough sunlight and water, Abelia can grow more than eight feet tall, so be sure to prune every season! Capable of withstanding severe cold and blistering heat (and, in Virginia, we sometimes have both!), the Abelia is a beautiful and sturdy addition to any landscape.
- Baptisia (Blue False Indigo)
With a name like false indigo, it’s easy to underestimate this flowering plant. However, Baptisia shrubs can grow up to four feet tall and they produce hundreds of bright, blueish-purple flowers from late spring into early summer. They make a striking addition to lawns and gardens, and their blooms are so bright they were once used to make indigo dyes. If you’re growing Baptisia, remember that these plants do well in direct sunlight and are reasonably drought resistant.
Foxglove flowers are loved for their dramatic tubular shape and speckled throats. These shrubs can grow up to five feet tall in height, and their blooms come in many different colors, from deep red to bright yellow. Luckily for lawn owners who live in heavily deer-populated areas, these plants are known for keeping deer away. Additionally, they require little maintenance and they multiply readily. This makes them a smart (and beautiful) garden flower.
- Crested Iris
The deep blue of the crested iris flower adds spectacular flare to a landscape, whether grown in the wild or carefully cultivated in a garden. These plants have dagger-shaped, dark green leaves that grow five or six inches from the ground. The iris does best in the shade, making it perfect for yards that don’t get a lot of sun.
Though related to catnip, the blooms of catmint are considerably more vibrant and dramatic. These perennials produce flowers varying in shade from dark blue to light pink. Their foliage is greyish-green and looks lovely even without flowers. Like Abelia, these plants are fragrant and attract bees and butterflies. They can grow up to four feet tall and consistently produce heavy blooms that will brighten your garden year after year.
Spring in the Blue Ridge
These are just some of the shrubs you’ll see flowering around Virginia this time of year. Having one or many of these plants in your garden will keep it vibrant and colorful from late spring on into early summer. Though that heavy raincoat may be useful now, these flowers will help you look forward to warmer, brighter spring days!