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Text & photos by Brian Vick, Community Kitchen Garden Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

March 17: Winged (or Flaming) Euonymus branches stand ready to support sugar snap peas.

We started our formal schedule of Saturday and Monday morning volunteer sessions in the Community Kitchen Garden on April 12, and we’ve had a wild ride on the Central Virginia weather roller coaster (snow, heat, then frost).

At this point we’ve planted red potatoes, lettuce, sugar snap peas, leeks, red onions, Swiss chard, turnips and beets, and we’ve done a ton of work preparing beds and pathways. So far this season we’ve had assistance  from 45 volunteers! (six HandsOn Greater Richmond registrants, four Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden volunteers (Catherine Doucette, Sara Buczkowski, Nack Pring and Gary Pantaleo), longtime Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden seasonal gardener Lisa Shiffert and her son Wylie, three Starbucks employees led by Heidi Schlaudt, and 30 Bank of America volunteers. Look for a future blog post on Bank of America visit.

April 10: Sugar snap peas are up!

April 10: Sugar snap peas are up!

We’ve also already made one delivery of fresh produce to FeedMore! But we didn’t grow it… it was fourteen pounds of fresh broccoli raab donated from the garden of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Member Vincent Pustizzi.

Broccoli raab donated to FeedMore's Community Kitchen by LGBG member Vincent Pustizzi.

Broccoli raab donated to FeedMore’s Community Kitchen by Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Member Vincent Pustizzi.

Text & photos by Brian Vick, Community Kitchen Garden Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

eastern redbud buds

“Cauliflorous” or “cauliflory” is the term describing the production of flowers on the trunk and branches of woody plants, as opposed to the ends of the twigs. In this case, we’re looking at the ubiquitous eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) – which happens to be a legume (member of the bean family: Fabaceae). Native Americans consumed redbud flowers raw or boiled, and ate roasted seeds. That’s the green seed pods, not the mature seed pods. The flowers contain anthocyanins. Images abound on the web picturing beautiful salads garnished with redbud blooms, and the blooms visible through the translucent rice wrappers of  spring rolls. How appropriate… spring = redbud blooms = spring rolls.

florescent inflorescence

Florescent flowers!

eastern redbed tree blooms

The joy of watching a butterfly up close. Photo by Scott Elmquist

The joy of watching a butterfly up close. Photo by Scott Elmquist

Can you believe Butterflies LIVE! starts in just 2 short weeks? We can’t wait! And guess what? We receive our first chrysalids today too!  Stay tuned for more info on what’s new this year in the exhibit.

By Nicki, Youth Programs Developer, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

daniel alonso  shrinky dink

Check out Daniel Alonso’s Shrinky Dink portrait at the HandsOn Greater Richmond Power of Good art show!  The art show celebrates local volunteers and portraits were done by Tiffany Glass Ferreira‘s Shrinky Dink Selfie Campaign. We are so proud of Daniel and all that he has done for the Children’s Garden! Of course the Children’s Garden loves crafty artforms like Shrinky Dinks! To see more Shrinky Dink portraits visit HandsOnRVA’s Facebook album: Power of Good.

 

by Megan Compton, Education Assistant,  Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden  
Mother's Day enjoying the flowers with the kids.

Mother's Day 2008 during the concert in the Auditorium.

Mother’s Day 2008 during the concert in the auditorium.

Our first Mother’s Day Celebration at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was actually before I even became a mom. My best friend’s father leads Glennroy and Company and we came to hear him play the Mother’s Day concert down at Bloemendaal House. It was a beautiful spring day and we relaxed and enjoyed  listening to the music.

Mother's Day 2009

Mother’s Day 2009

When my daughter was born, it seemed natural to bring my family to the Garden for my first Mother’s Day as a mom.  We arranged to meet my best friend, whose daughter is just 4 months older than mine.  That day turned out to be a rainy one and the concert was held in the Education and Library Complex auditorium. Despite the torrential downpour, we had a wonderful time and decided to make Mother’s Day at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden a yearly tradition.

2010MothersDay2girlsbyboxwoods

2010 Mother’s Day – Exploring Grace Arents Garden

Every year since, our families have met at the Garden for the Mother’s Day Concert.  The girls love coming to hear “Pop Pop’s Band”  and they spend hours dancing to tunes like “Kansas City” and “Under the Boardwalk.”  Watching them grow up and change each year has been fascinating: from those early years where just the excitement of feeling the texture of the grass was thrilling,  to smelling the peonies as they got a bit older,  and now having deep, big-kid conversations about life.

2011 mothers day 2 girls looking at peonies

Mother’s Day 2011 – Smelling the Peonies in Grace Arents Garden

The photos we have captured each year against such a beautiful backdrop of the Garden tell the story of the girls’ growing friendship and have provided us with such wonderful memories.

2012 Mothers Day Dancing under the tent at Bloemendaal

2012 Mothers Day – Dancing under the tent at Bloemendaal

I am looking forward to spending May 11th at the Garden this year with our families!  We’ll purchase lunch from Meriwether Godsey down under the tent at Bloemendaal.  They have options for the kids as well, and beverages to celebrate mom.   We will eat a lovely lunch while listening to the smooth tunes of Glennroy and Company.  The girls will have a great time dancing, exploring and visiting – what a perfect play-date!  We have new additions to our families and it will be so special to continue this Mother’s Day tradition with them too.

2013 Mother's Day - Having fun listening to the music!

2013 Mother’s Day – Having fun listening to the music!

By Nicki, Youth Programs Developer, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Kylie planting

This weekend Kylie helped plant a wonderful purple kale variety in the Youth Volunteer Display Garden. Kylie is in the Service Learning Program. We will harvest the kale in a couple of months so check in with us to see what recipes we come up with using purple kale!

This weekend we celebrated Global Youth Service Day by planting kale and lettuce transplants that we started in the Children’s Garden greenhouse earlier this year.  Our Service Learning Program volunteers  helped us plant the vegetables  in our newly established Youth Volunteer Display Garden. This garden consists of hollow log containers and straw bales and is located in the Children’s Garden near the Sand Play area.

The young volunteers chose straw bale container gardens because they work well for areas where planting may difficult, like around a tree with a massive root system. They also chose log planters as another resourceful way to reuse trees that have come down at the Garden.  The soil we use in raised-beds comes from the Children’s Garden compost bins  made from scraps from the Garden Café.  And in a full circle, the straw bales and logs will eventually decompose  we will use it as compost for a new Youth Display Garden for next year.

The Youth Volunteer Display Garden was designed and  planted, and is maintained by our dedicated youth volunteers and is a collaborative effort from all of the various youth programs the Garden offers.  In addition to the transplants, we also planted seeds and bulbs, along with a variety of native flowers, as well as fruits and vegetable that will come later in the year. We designed the garden with the intention of having a four-season (year-round) garden. This week we will add lemon balm and we will harvest it in late October in honor of Food Day.

 

By Beth Monroe, Public Relations and Marketing Director, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Dog Tooth Violet Erythronium 'Kondo'

Dog Tooth Violet Erythronium ‘Kondo’

Tulips tend to be the rock stars of the Garden. Colorful and showy, they stand out and we adore them. Tulips are in bloom now at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and people are busy photographing them like paparazzi stalking the latest celebrity.

I was one of those people today, until Garden horticulturist George Cowart asked if I wanted to see something really special. He pointed out flowers I had walked past and never noticed in the Flagler Garden. These beauties were indescribably delicate, dancing in the morning sun like fairy flowers.

Spring ephemeral Epimedium Grandiflorum Album

Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Album’

I had heard of spring ephemerals before, but had never really searched for them in the Garden. They’re called ephemerals because their flowers and leaves do not last long; they’re designed to take advantage of early spring sunlight reaching the forest floor before a thick canopy of leaves develops overhead. Once George began pointing them out, I noticed ephemerals in many places.

Bishops Hat Epimedium myrianthum

Bishops Hat Epimedium myrianthum

If you’re visiting over the next couple of day to see the tulips, I’d encourage you to also look for these spring ephemerals in the Flagler Garden’s Woodland Walk. You may have to search a bit, but it is well worth the effort.

Bishops Hat Epimedium grandiflorum Rose Queen

Bishops Hat Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Rose Queen’

 

Trillium catesbaei

Trillium catesbaei

 

Here’s one reason. Now go find the 999,999 others!

Daisy blooming at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

A bloom at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Photo by Cathy Hoyt

Plus, this is  Heritage Weekend at Historic Bloemendaal — full of music and activities highlighting the Garden’s past, as we celebrate the Garden’s 30th anniversary.

by Phyllis Laslett, Adult Education CoordinatorLewis Ginter Botanical Garden

“Wait—that’s a daffodil?!”

d1

Variations on that remark were heard many times this weekend at the 21st annual Virginia Daffodil Show as Garden visitors wandered through more than 1,264 blooms on view in the Education and Library Complex.

Why were people saying that?

 

We all know that this is a daffodil:

traditional daffodil

 

But this  Narcissis  ‘Acropolis’ is a daffodil too.

Narcissus Acropolis

Narcissus ‘Acropolis’

 

And so is this

Narcissus 'Precocious'

Narcissus ‘Precocious’ blooming in the Children’s Garden

 

Narcissus  ‘Precocious’ blooming in the Children’s Garden

 

Narcissus 'Rip Van Winkle'

Narcissus ‘Rip van Winkle’

 

And this  Narcissus ‘Rip van Winkle’

…and on and on.

 

daffodils in bloom at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

There are great sweeps and clumps of all kinds of daffodils blooming throughout the Garden right now—come out and meet some.

 

If you missed the daffodil show this year, mark the first weekend in April for next year.

 

Other plant shows are coming up where you can also say That’s an African Violet?!’ and  ‘That’s a daylily?!’

 

Thank you to our friends at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs for images of ‘Acropolis’ and ‘Rip van Winkle’

 

Photos and text by Jonah Holland, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator 

national volunteer week  volunteers

Just a handful of the Garden’s dedicated 500+ volunteers.

Happy National Volunteer Week! Here at the Garden, we’re celebrating our volunteers as often as we can. After all, there would be no Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden without them.  Less than 2 weeks ago, you  may have read about our annual volunteer banquet as we celebrated Julie Abbott,  this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Volunteer Achievement award.   This morning and nearly every morning as I walk to my office, I see many, many, volunteers at  gardening side-by-side with our staff working to make this Garden as beautiful as it can be.  So if you see a volunteer as you walk thought the Garden (their lanyard nametag is a good hint that you’ve found one!) be sure to say thank you.
And volunteers, if you are reading along —  please know that we appreciate you, and we are grateful for your help in making this the best Garden it can be. Thank you!

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