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by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

The post was updated on 7/4/09.

This past week I hosted not just one  but TWO blogger tours at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Not only did I get to meet some new friends, but I also got to meet some folks that I’ve known for a while, but only through social media.  I had a great time showing the bloggers  and their kids around the Garden.  And both days we were blessed with a beautiful mornings.

Here is a round up of the coverage:

Kate Hall from Richmondmom.com brought her sweet, sweet daughter on the tour and wrote a very entertaining report on Lewis Ginter — largely due to the humor and flattery:

“It was a Saturday morning, and that power-packed, triathalete-mom-media guru and blogger Jonah Holland lured me into the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens with the promise of a blogger tour, but sealed the deal by developing a fan.

We were of course late, but caught up with the small crew at the Community Garden, an amazing, feast to be devoured by Richmond’s hungry, sown and nurtured by Richmond’s most caring.

Volunteers were showing up and being given instructions on how to tend to the massive garden, and we likely could’ve spent hours there learning more, but alas it was hot, and we were dying to see the butterflies.

The butterflies. I had no idea what we were in for. My two-year-old snuck in the door in front of me (it’s a very controlled area, only a few individuals are allowed in at once to protect the butterflies) and didn’t seem to notice that she’d left me behind as she strolled into the conservatory and gazed up at the oodles of beautiful winged creatures floating above her little blond head. A few moments later I joined her, and steamy as it was in there we were sucked into the amazing, dream-like room of glass encasing the most unique, precious and lovely creatures we’d ever seen. They dined on cantaloupe, landed on our shoulders, clung to dewy petals and glided through the conservatory as we snapped pictures furiously trying unsuccessfully to capture their true, up-close beauty.

Photo by Kate Hall.  Of course there is more, but you have to go to Richmondmom.com to read the full report.

Scott Burger who runs the Oregon Hill neighborhood news blog (part of the RVAnews Network) & the Sierra Club of Richmond Falls of the James wrote a sweet, photo-packed report for Oregon Hill — focusing primarily on our Community Kitchen Garden. I think he may have been impressed with the 10,000 pounds of food we are growing for the Central Virginia Foodbank and Meals on Wheels. Plus I was so incredibly happy that he featured our upcoming Green Tonic: Urban Gardening for Health & Wholeness symposium, coming up on August 4 &5. That is going to be one great workshop with leaders from Philly, Chicago and NYC talking about how they’ve managed to transform their cities with urban gardening, and also looking at what Richmond is doing and how we can do more with urban greening.

Richard Hayes from  Southside’s Hills and Heights neighborhood news blog (part of the RVAnews Network) wrote a nice summary including a super cool slide show with lots of excellent photos.

Paul Hammond wrote about Lewis Ginter for his blog All things Richmond.

Paul’s report was likely the most comprehensive of the batch kindly featured everything from Fidos After 5 to  Butterflies LIVE! to info on our All American Celebration: Butterflies are FREE! free admission day TOMORROW  on July 4th at the Garden.

Jason Guard, aka RVA Foodie, wrote a really nice piece about re-discovering Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden with his young son and how it reminded him of his own childhood exploring nature.  I think Jason really gets what we are trying to do here. If you get a chance definately check out his post.

Last but not least, Caroline Jackson of WRIR came and recorded the blogger’s tour on a tiny mp3 player, with an equally tine mic.  I’ve never been on the radio before, but I’m a huge fan of Chris Maxwell and WRIR in general– so I can’t wait to hear the piece.  So for all of you who have blogger tour envy, you are in luck — I’m sure she’s going to wrap up all the highlights for you.  I’ll keep you posted on when that will be playing on WRIR.

There were a handful of bloggers who really wanted to come but just couldn’t make it, so stay tuned for future blogger reports from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. And if you are a blogger and would like a tour of the Garden, just leave me a comment — I’d be more than happy to show you around!

All in all, I was completely thrilled with getting to meet so many neighborhood bloggers. These folks love Richmond, and exploring new things and writing about them.  Richmond is so lucky with its treasure trove of bloggers. I really appreciate seeing the Garden through so many different viewpoints, and reading about it in so many passionate voices.  One theme I keep hearing about Lewis Ginter is that it is not necessarily what folks image it will be before they come — it is better. So if you haven’t visited the Garden yet, I hope you will come for a visit and see all of the beauty we have to offer.   There is something very special, almost magical about this place —  you may not be able to pinpoint exactly what it is,  but I bet you will feel it.

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