Blooms and Beyond: Exploring Waynesboro, Virginia's Awesome Floral Displays
In the charming town of Waynesboro, Virginia, prepare to be swept off your feet by the breathtaking landscapes that aren't just there by chance – they're the result of some serious green-thumb wizardry by horticulturist extraordinaire, Stephen Black. Clocking an impressive 24 years as the city's plant whisperer, Stephen has transformed Waynesboro into a living, blooming masterpiece.
Since 1999, Stephen has been the guardian of Waynesboro's natural beauty, giving life to downtown streets and parks that look like they jumped straight out of a fairytale. But Stephen's annual gardening journey doesn't start with the first chirp of spring birds; it begins way before that. In the late days of December to early January, he's already busy placing orders through Milmont Garden Center for what may look like innocent 'plugs' – those tiny seedlings snuggled in trays of soil, just waiting for their cue to burst into floral fireworks.
The real magic starts popping in the first week of April. Armed with determination and a whole lot of soil, Stephen and his green team get to work, planting these 'plugs' like they're orchestrating a botanical symphony. Springtime also means it's hanging basket season. In the first week of the season, these floral masterpieces grace the city's light posts, turning the streets into an explosion of colors. But hold up, before these blooms steal the spotlight, there's the matter of post-winter bed preparation. Right around the last frost date (May 15th, if you're keeping score), Stephen and his squad roll up their sleeves to give the beds a good makeover, getting them ready to rock the summer show.
Speaking of summer, that's when the flower hydration extravaganza begins! A water truck – that's right, a truck dedicated solely to hydrating flowers – as well as special light poles downtown that house irrigation systems go into action to make sure those blossoms stay as cheerful as ever, even under the sizzling summer sun. But all good things must come to an end, even summer. As September whispers its way in, Stephen's team switches gears. The beds get a thorough cleaning to prepare for the imminent winter. And come October, it's time for a floral changing of the guard. Violas take center stage alongside Tulips and Pansies – a well-calculated move to ensure that these hardy plants hunker down for winter, only to burst back with vibrant energy when spring calls their name again.
Stephen Black isn't just a horticulturist; he's a nature magician, and Waynesboro's landscapes are his stage. With his guidance, the town's identity blooms just like his flowers, reflecting each season's beauty and the heartwarming spirit of the community.
Check out Stephen and his crew's YouTube videos below!