Mar 28th, 2018

Virginia Bluebells Bloom at Ginter

In April 1776, Thomas Jefferson noted  “a bluish colored, funnel-formed flower in lowgrounds in bloom,” in one of the earliest entries of his garden book. Jefferson certainly wasn’t the first person to become enthralled by the unusual beauty of Mertensia virginica and he wasn’t the last either. Mertensia virginica, more commonly called Virginia Bluebells have captured […]

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Mar 27th, 2018

How to Control Aphids Without Pesticides

Using Beneficial Bugs Here at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, we rely heavily on beneficial insects and sustainable practices, especially in our 11,000 square-foot Conservatory. Since the Conservatory is a tropical climate, we know that we will always have some insects that enjoy feeding on plants there. When it becomes problematic, we introduce beneficial insects to […]

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Mar 22nd, 2018

Connecting People Through Plants

Although they’ve only known each other for two days, 16-year-olds Honoka Sato and Olivia Appelrouth have become fast friends. Sato, a Japanese exchange student from Municipal Urawa High School (Saitama, Japan) and Appelrouth, her host student, and a sophomore at Clover Hill High School, say they have learned much from each other already. Appelrouth explains […]

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Mar 12th, 2018

Foodscaping

About a decade ago, Brie Arthur won a Yard of the Year award for her home landscape. That’s not unusual since she’s a professional horticulturist. What was surprising was the design. Apparently, her North Carolina homeowners’ association hadn’t noticed her “foodscaping” — planting various vegetables and herbs planted in plain sight, alongside ornamental shrubs and […]

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Mar 4th, 2018

Therapeutic Horticulture: Soothing the Heart, Mind & Soul

Social workers are unique: we operate from the knowledge that a person’s overall well-being depends greatly on the conditions of his or her environment. The impact of nature and experiences out-of-doors are often under-valued in my field and many others.  Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden— where nurturing the mind, body, and spirit is a constant, enduring […]

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Mar 2nd, 2018

Quiet Greetings from the Hellebores

It was maybe two weeks ago when a couple of visitors stopped by the Admissions desk on their way out of the Garden to show us all pictures they had taken of the first couple of daffodils they saw blooming. Sitting behind the desk on that late winter day, a wave of excitement rushed over […]

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Feb 21st, 2018

Winter Symposium: Gardening With Purpose & Passion

During this year’s Winter Symposium and CVNLA short course, we dug deeper into what it means to garden with purpose and passion through perennial gardens. Perennials offer a different gardening experience than annuals because they come back year after year and require less maintenance. The New Perennial Movement focuses on establishing a link with nature through […]

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Feb 15th, 2018

The Art of a Nature Journal

Q & A with Botanical Illustrator Lara Call Gastinger Lara Call Gastinger is a botanical artist and illustrator from Charlottesville, VA.  Gastinger is the lead illustrator for the Flora of Virginia project.  She has over 50,000 followers on Instagram where she posts samples from her own nature journal.  Gastinger’s art focuses on the minute details […]

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Feb 12th, 2018

Gardens Grow Community and More

10 steps for making your own urban garden in Richmond A vacant lot, neighborhood square and school courtyard have something in common. All have potential to be transformed into vibrant community gardens. Duron Chavis readily recognizes the possibility, having launched 12 community gardens in urban areas of Richmond and Petersburg. “None of this is new, […]

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Jan 30th, 2018

Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights Instagram Contest

Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights has come to a close for the season and that means its time to announce the winner of the GardenFest Instagram Contest! Looking through your submissions, we couldn’t help but smile.   This year’s submissions were vibrant, beautiful and full of energy. Some of you showed off this year’s theme, Naturally Ever […]

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Jan 25th, 2018

Century Plant: Worth the Wait

In its native desert, Century Plant endures tough conditions. The result? It can take a long time to flower. Although the common name suggests a bloom once every 100 years, the plant typically blooms between its 10th and 25th year.  And when it blooms, it really makes a statement! See the 110-inch spike on our […]

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Jan 17th, 2018

2018 Gardening Trends

Society’s 24/7 connectedness, public unrest and hectic schedules are taking their toll. In fact, the World Health Organization predicted anxiety will oust obesity as the No. 1 health issue by 2030. So, if stress relief and wellness are your New Year’s resolutions, consider a return to nature. 2018 gardening trends point in this direction. “Being […]

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Jan 3rd, 2018

Digging Deep with Urban Gardening

I entered into the Ginter Urban Gardeners program with a deep affection for the term urban and wanting to learn more about sustainable gardening practices.  Ultimately, I was seeking to make a difference in my community. I have certainly gained much knowledge in the ways of growing plants with respect for the earth and its […]

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Dec 31st, 2017

Gardening with Ginter Urban Gardeners

Making a Difference One Garden at Time The day I decided to browse the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden website beyond the home page felt very serendipitous. Inspired by the recent Garden Times newsletter that arrived in my mailbox, I decided to reacquaint myself with the Garden. As I browsed, I stumbled across information on the Urban […]

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Dec 28th, 2017

New Year, New Name, New Books

The Botanical Book club at Lewis Ginter decided it needed a new name, a broader descriptor of our eclectic reading tastes. We are now the Nature Study Reading Society. Looking back at the titles we’ve read since 2001 (PDF), it’s obvious we have wide-ranging tastes covering plants and gardening, botany, birds, hiking, observational powers, history, […]

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