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

Our mission here at the Garden is education,  so over the past few years, we’ve tried to incorporate more and more botanical education and interest into Dominion GardenFest of Lights.  Hey, just ’cause it’s dark out doesn’t mean you can’t learn about nature, right!?  Last year, we up-lit  one of the Garden’s most beautiful trees — the sycamore across Sydnor Lake — with a super-powered spotlight.  It was incredible! I heard rave reviews from many people about how awesome it looked. The white  bark gleamed in a beautiful glow that was reflected in the lake. The view from the Lotus Bridge was magnificent.
Dominion GardenFest of Lights Map
This year at Dominion GardenFest of Lights — we’ve added  more botanical information.  On our GardenFest Map, you can see what light features are where in the Garden along with native Asian plants we have growing right here in Virginia — to compliment this year’s  “East Meets West” theme.  You can look for and learn facts about:

Crape Myrtle

Silver Willow

Flowering Cherry

Japanese Maple

Sawara Falsecypress

Variegated Himalayan Pine

Camellia ‘Winter’s Joy’

Sawara Cypress

Pygmy Bamboo

Yellow-groove Bamboo

Ginkgo

Katsura Tree

Deodar Cedar

For example, did you know that in the fall, the fading leaves of the  Katsura tree  have a spicy smell that reaches throughout the Garden.  It is dioecious—male and female flowers appear on different plants, and both must be present to set fruit.  So interesting.

So look in between light displays,  for the leaf icon and learn something new!  And if you are  planner, you can look at our map and plan your visit.  Just click on the map to make it larger.

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