Good to Know

Timing is important when planting fall bulbs for spring

Nothing screams “spring” like beautiful blooms from fall-planted bulbs.

According to horticulturalist Mark Viette of Augusta County, late September through November is the ideal time to plant spring-blooming bulbs.

Mix up the look of your yard and blooms by planting in different areas.

peony bud with ant

“Give the garden a natural look by planting en masse under trees and shrubs or even in the grass,” Viette said. “The blooms will be especially beautiful when planted in great drifts in a woodland setting. Steep slopes, rock walls and open meadows become a riot of early spring color with mass plantings of beautiful bulbs.”

Narcissus are deer- and vole-resistant and make great cut flowers too. Viette suggested also planting bulbs as a cluster in containers by the front door or on the porch, or as a border in front of a driveway or foundation shrubs.

Other suggestions for beautiful blooms:

  • Choose varieties that bloom from early- to mid-season to late in the season. This helps guarantee color regardless of late freezes and other weather conditions, Viette said.
  • Plant bulbs in large groups of five, 10, 25 or 50 of each variety for a “Wow!” effect.
  • Amend the soil by adding organic matter such as peat moss, compost or aged pine bark, and adding bulb fertilizer. Good drainage is essential.

How deep do you plant bulbs?

Here's a rule of thumb for how deep to plant your flower bulbs:

  • Large bulbs (2 inches or larger): Plant 8 inches deep and 3 to 10 inches apart.
  • Small bulbs (1 inch or smaller): Plant 5 inches deep and 1 to 2 inches apart.

For a more formal look, plant bulbs in blocks of one or two colors and stick to tulip and hyacinth bulbs, Viette said. For a stunning informal spring landscape, combine spring bulbs with early blooming perennials such as creeping phlox, bleeding heart and other dramatic-looking plants.

“Inter-plant bulbs with daylilies, hosta, ornamental grasses or other taller perennials, which will hide the bulb foliage once they are finished blooming,” Viette said. “Place taller bulbs in the middle portion of the flower bed.”

“Choose varieties that bloom from early- to mid-season to late in the season. This helps guarantee color regardless of late freezes and other weather conditions.” (Click to Tweet)

Charcuterie boards offer delicious displays

Few dishes are as impressive and eye-catching as a charcuterie board. Pronounced shahr-ku-tuh-ree, this French culinary tradition is the art of preparing and arranging cured meats and other meat products, especially pork.

Historically all about meat, modern interpretations have broadened charcuterie to include cheese, bread, fruit, nuts and a variety of other food items.

“The premise behind it is to showcase nice meats,” said Chef Tammy Brawley, owner of The Green Kitchen in Richmond and cooking segment host on Virginia Farm Bureau’s television program, Real Virginia.

From salty to sweet or spicy, charcuterie boards boast an abundance of flavors and textures that complement each other. They’re ideal for entertaining—offering a variety of options that allow guests to choose what they want to eat.

All about presentation, a charcuterie board gives the preparer an opportunity to demonstrate his or her creativity by arranging different ingredients together how they wish, Brawley noted.

She said along with meats like prosciutto, capicola and salami, her charcuterie boards always have a couple of different cheeses, olives, a pickled item, nuts, a sweet jam and a savory spread like mustard. A sliced baguette can be served on the side or on the board.

Preparing a flavorful platter

Try combining some of these items to make a festive and delicious charcuterie board for your next gathering.

Hard & Soft Cheeses

Crackers & Bread/Crostini

Frontier Culture Museum Frontier Culture Museum Frontier Culture Museum

Virginia’s past is preserved in the Shenandoah Valley

Tucked away on 200 acres of land near the intersection of Interstates 64 and 81 in Staunton, the Frontier Culture Museum is a window into Virginia’s past.

Eleven exhibits capture specific moments in history, interpreting the cultural heritage of America’s indigenous inhabitants and early immigrants. The displays include depictions of Old World settlements in England, Germany, Ireland and West Africa, and snapshots of how the cultures blended together in the New World with the inclusion of Native Americans.

Period tools and weapons
Reconstructed wigwams

“Each of the exhibits interprets living history,” said Joe Herget, former director of marketing for the museum. “When you put all of them together, it forms a fantastic picture of the evolution of American culture and how it came into being. The museum provides the opportunity to get an in-depth understanding of this history.”

The museum opened in 1988 with the mission to teach the elements of a culture that developed from westward expansion into the Shenandoah Valley—once America’s final frontier. Today, visitors can wander the grounds and witness the traditions of the prominent cultures that settled in Colonial Virginia.

Museum interpreters paint a portrait of life in the Old and New Worlds and describe the motivation that led populations to immigrate to America. Homesteading for a living upon their arrival, colonists worked tirelessly and adopted cultural practices from neighboring immigrant communities to survive early struggles on the frontier.

“Each of the exhibits interprets living history. When you put all of them together, it forms a fantastic picture of the evolution of American culture and how it came into being.” (Click to Tweet)

With seven functioning farms on display, agriculture is at the forefront of the Frontier Culture Museum.

Museumgoers can relate to the early settlers who farmed to provide for their families and worked to pay off debt to landowners.

The museum is open seven days a week, 360 days a year. Hours change by season. General admission is $12 for adults, $9 for seniors, $11 for students ages 13 and over, $7 for children ages 6-12, and children under 6 are admitted for free.

For more information, visit or call 540-332-7850.