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By Jasmine Kent, PR and Marketing Intern, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

gourds Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Gourds and a persimmon in the Children’s Garden.

With all the rain and cold weather we’ve experienced this fall, I’m glad I soaked up the last bit of summer at the Garden’s first October Oddities event of the year. I took a break from my regularly scheduled Saturday morning programming of cereal and television reruns to do something fun and educational. I’m into herbal remedies and holistic medicine, so when I heard about Weird Plant Lore, I had to venture to the Children’s Garden to see what this was all about.

Educator working with girl.

Ms. Dawn, Children’s Garden Educator, helping children make sachets.

Children created garden sachets by grinding plants such as, lavender and rosemary the traditional way (using mortar and pestle) to produce a fragrant concoction that is recognized for many medicinal benefits.

Our Children’s Garden educators had plenty of books available to show how traditional humans have used these plants to heal.  I knew that lavender helps with relaxation, but who knew that it has been used to aid wound healing and help fight infections? I usually use rosemary to flavor food, but didn’t know it can elevate your mood and is naturally rich in antioxidants, improves digestion, and is good for brain health.

Umami Tea owner Sabrina Walters, brewed up some of her special tea to share with the children. She made concoctions with playful names: Dancing Mango, Turkish Apple, Birds of a Feather, Lavender Lemonade, and Ginger Limeade. I tried Lavender Lemonade and Ginger Limeade, both tasty but I really enjoyed the spiciness of the Ginger Limeade.

Umami Tea and Coffee Richmond Virginia

Sabrina of Umami: Gourmet Coffee and Exotic Tea Shop.

 

Before I escaped the heat and headed home, I stopped by the Rose Garden to see the Capitol Opera Richmond perform amid hundreds of roses during the Garden’s Rose Fest event.  A perfect way to end a perfect day, and way better for my health than Saturday morning cartoons and cereal.

Capitol Opera Richmond in The Rose Garden at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Capitol Opera Richmond performing in the Rose Garden during Rose Fest.

If you thought you missed the October Oddities fun at Lewis Ginter, don’t worry, we’ve got more planned:

October 19: Wildcrafting

10 – 2 pm; Discover the art of “wildcrafting” a practice of harvesting plants from the “wild” for food, medicine and plant dyes.
October 26: Tree Traits
10 – 2 pm; Tree knees, witches broom and galls – find out more about these tree oddities.
October 27: Goblins & Gourds
1 – 4 pm; Concert by the Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra, pumpkin painting, seasonal food tasting, hoop dancing and more!
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