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

wild butterfly!

Grand Prize winner @sarabeejensen ‘s photo of her son at Butterflies LIVE! He’s a Butterfly charmer — Love it!

Congratulations to @sarabeejensen our Butterflies LIVE! Instagram contest Grand Prize winner. Sara wins a prize package valued at $500 including a night at the Jefferson Hotel Richmond and passes to come back to enjoy Butterflies LIVE! with 11 friends.
Judging this contest was very difficult — there were so many fabulous submissions — 1,829 to be exact! We had a 3-way tie for our 2nd place winner: congratulations to @kathrynmoyers @gucci_gilbert and  @casiesdavis who each win 5 free passes to Butterflies LIVE! You’ll find there photos in the collages below.

Do you follow the Garden on Instagram? Follow along to see what’s in bloom!

Here area a few more favorites from our Butterflies LIVE! #Bflies Instagram contest. Which is your favorite? Pictured from left to right, top to bottom: @cassiesdavis @omjitskaylax3 @filthyrichmond @phillipaberch @themeganm22 @rlasch @harryvdesign @gucci_gilbert @polene Follow us on Instagram: http://instagram.com/lewisginter

Here area a few more favorites from our Butterflies LIVE! #Bflies Instagram contest. Which is your favorite?
Pictured from left to right, top to bottom:
@cassiesdavis
@omjitskaylax3
@filthyrichmond
@phillipaberch
@themeganm22
@rlasch
@harryvdesign
@gucci_gilbert
@polene
Follow us on Instagram: http://instagram.com/lewisginter

collage 2

Pictured from left to right, top to bottom: @leahnewcomb @rlasch @sarabeejensen @pugsrule.12 @amonature @phillipaberch @kathrynmoyers @lauren_lizbeth_ @rlasch

butterfly collage instagram

Bottom photos & center photo are by Stuart Scott. Top photos & center side photos are by David Burkwall.

by Janet Woody, Garden Librarian, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

lakeside zoo cage

Remains of an animal cage at Lakeside Park, now Jefferson-Lakeside Country Club

This is the first in a series of short posts about the history of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. In 2013, our good neighbors at Jefferson Lakeside Country Club reached out to us to see what we knew about the zoo cages on their property. We shared what we know (very little!) and visited the cages and talked about our shared history. We do not have any papers or documents from either Lewis Ginter or Miss Grace Arents so we rely on secondary sources to gather details of their lives and business pursuits. Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Bill Lohmann was kind enough to write about the Lakeside Park Zoo to see if we could recover some of its lost history from newspaper readers.

Detail of ironwork

Detail of the base of the lamp-post or stanchion.

We did learn a bit from Bill’s readers about the history of Lakeside Park, a scene of gaiety and fun that opened in 1896, and is now known as the Jefferson Lakeside Country Club.  I will write more about Lakeside Park in future installments. Staff at the country club offered us this iron stanchion or lamp-post shown here.  We are excited to add this to our collection of Lewis Ginter memorabilia.

lamp post

Iron lamp-post or stanchion.

It may not seem like much, but having something that he very likely commissioned and paid for personally is pretty thrilling. Ginter used the finest materials, architects, and craftsmen when he built his city home at 901 W. Franklin St., the Jefferson Hotel at 101 W. Franklin St, and his country home Westbrook.  It seems likely that he gave the same care to Lakeside Park.  No expense was spared on any of his projects.

 

Many thanks to the staff at Jefferson Lakeside for giving us something new to add to our knowledge of Uncle Lewis and Miss Grace.  Next week I’ll tell the story of how Uncle Lewis became one of the richest men in the South.

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

Lilah holding a bess beetle (photo by Barb Sawyer)

Lilah holding a bess beetle (photo by Barb Sawyer)

One of the great joys of working at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is being able to experience it through the eyes of my children. This summer my daughter, Lilah, participated in Green Adventures Summer Camp for the very first time.

The week-long day camps are held each summer in June, July and August. Each week is geared toward a specific age group. Lilah was in the “Care of Magical Creatures” camp for rising 5th and 6th graders.

The description for “Care of Magical Creatures” stated: “campers will study enchanting garden dwellers including fly-traps, dragons, serpents and more.” The camp was a reminder that all creatures are magical in their own way — the dragon was a bearded dragon lizard and the serpent was a pet corn snake.

Campers took home their own worm farm

Campers took home their very own worm farm

The photo to the left shows Lilah holding a bess beetle (Passalidae) which makes a whispering sound by rubbing its legs together. I found it magical my child was studying nature and playing with insects and reptiles!

 

The group also made crafts, did field studies, played games and whipped up botanical snacks.

Every day Lilah brought home something cool and interesting: a worm farm, a piece of snakeskin, an owl pellet containing the tiny bones of a shrew. I thought it was way cool, but what did she think of the experience? Here’s what she wrote:

“The “Care of Magical Creatures” camp was super fun. One of the coolest things I learned about was jewelweed — it can help make poison ivy not itch. We had the sweetest and kindest teachers, Miss Amy and Ms. Barb. Thank you so much for making this camp wonderful!”

I second that thanks and add that I think our Children’s Educators and volunteers are magical creatures for the work they do in the Garden every day getting children excited about the natural world.

You can see the shimmering quality of a jewelweed leaf when placed in a jar of water. Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) has a reputation for helping alleviate the potential effects of poison. The catch is the jewelweed has to rubbed on the skin within 10 minutes of the exposure to poison ivy.

You can see the shimmering quality of a jewelweed leaf when placed in a jar of water. Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) has a reputation for helping alleviate the potential effects of poison ivy. The catch is the jewelweed has to rubbed on the skin within 10 minutes of the exposure to poison ivy.


 

 

Before and after the ornamental grass plantings.

Before and after the ornamental grass plantings outside the East Wing of the Conservatory.

Between now and September we’ll be building a new Ornamental Grass Garden in front of the Conservatory.
• This garden will replace 9,200 sq. feet of existing traditional turf with attractive, low maintenance ornamental grasses, and will showcase sustainable best-practices in one of the most prominent sites on our property.
• Once established, these grasses will require little-to-no watering, and their deep roots will reduce stormwater runoff by encouraging infiltration of rain water into the local water table.
• These grasses also provide valuable habitat and food for insects, birds and larger animals, encouraging a more robust local ecosystem.
This project was designed by Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden staff: Horticulturists Leah Purdy and Karin Stretchko, and Gardener Chris Brown. Plantings will include prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis), purple muhlygrass (Muhlenbergia capillaris), switchgrass ‘Northwind’ (Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’) and plume grass (Saccharum ravennae) that were tested here at the garden, so we know they will do well in this environment.
The Ornamental Grass Garden has been made possible by the generosity of an anonymous donor.

Before and after East Wing plantings

Before and after the ornamental grass plantings outside the East Wing of the Conservatory.

Drawing of ornamental grass garden design.

Plantings will include Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis), Purple Muhlygrass (Muhlenbergia capillaris), Switchgrass ‘Northwind’ (Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’) and Plume Grass (Saccharum ravennae).

 

 

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

Children's Garden sun

A sunflower in the Children’s Garden. The CWD Kids Tree House is in the background.

Part of my job is going out in the Garden to capture the beauty as it happens. Sometimes, like spring, I can’t keep up with all the blooms and the daily changes. Other times, when I least expect it the Garden changes overnight from lush greens to the red and purple, yellow and brown of fall.  In summer, I never know what to expect. When I think of summer, I think of sunflowers, Echinacea and daylilies. Sometimes I forget all the diversity that comes in summer.  The wildlife thrives.  And the diversity of blooms is rather stunning. Rose plants that bloomed prolifically in spring, continue to bloom in summer (and amazingly will do it again in fall).  I find insects I never know existed. Summer has special moments — like catching a pollinator at work, or watching a hummingbird zoom around you.  These are the experiences that you can’t quite capture in photos, you have to come to the Garden to see them yourself.  But perhaps the photos can act as a reminder for why you should visit. I promise you — it’s far better in person.

chives

Chives, with a visitor.

Double passionflower

Passiflora incarnata; purple passionflower

Ailanthus Webworm Moth (Atteva punctella)  on sea holly or Eryngium maritimum.

Ailanthus Webworm Moth (Atteva punctella) on sea holly or Eryngium maritimum.

hum 2

Hummingbird with blue cardinal flower, Lobelia siphilitica

rosa flutterby

Rosa ‘Flutterby’

brothers grimm fairytale Rose

Rosa ‘Brothers Grimm Fairytale’

Bee party

A bee party on the Japanese windflower or anemone.

crepe myrtle leaf

A crepe myrtle leaf with oranges and yellows on a anemone.

perennial phlox nicky

Perennial phlox ‘Nicky’

 Lycoris squamigera

Some folks call these naked ladies. Some folks call them resurrection lilies. Either way, they are beautiful. The Latin name is Lycoris squamigera.

resurection lily

Lycoris squamigera

rosa pat austin

Rosa ‘Pat Austin’

tasel flower Emilia coccinea

Tasel flower or Emilia coccinea with an insect.

yellow legs

What’s most remarkable to me about this photo is the vibrant color of the bee’s legs.

zinnia butterfly

A butterfly on a zinnia in the Children’s Garden.

Sundial Grace Arents

The white arch with climbing roses is one of the elements that creates a Victorian-style garden.

by Hannah Lindquist, PR & Marketing Intern, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Sunny, breezy, and temperatures in the mid-80s made for a very enjoyable “15 Minutes in the Garden”  last week.  A group of volunteers and staff took a break from our work to gather under a shady tree to listen to Horticulturist, Elizabeth Fogel  teach us a little more about the Grace Arents Garden. I wish it could have been longer to enjoy the beautiful weather and learn more about the Garden’s history.

With the Garden’s mission being education, it’s no surprise that I find myself learning something new here every day.  Fogel explained that the Grace Arents Garden is an elegant, Victorian-style garden.

Gazebo

Gazebo at the end of one-of-four brick paths leading from the center of Grace Arents Garden, giving the garden symmetry, another element adding to its Victorian-style.

What qualities distinguish a Victorian-style garden, exactly?  Well, if you walk through this area outside of Bloemendaal House, you will notice its formal symmetry, arbors covered in climbing roses, and boxwood hedges along the outskirts.  Each of these elements along with “old-fashioned” blooms, like roses and peonies, allow you to feel as if you have gone back in time to the early 1900’s.

The Grace Arents Garden was restored by The Garden Club of Virginia in the early 1990s based on its original design.  With its open lawn space, beautiful structures, and wide variety of vibrant flowers, this area of the Garden is a favorite for weddings and hosts our Flowers After 5 events on Thursday evenings in June, July and August.

Join us this Thursday at 5 p.m. and enjoy live music by The Roger Pouncey Trio on the Grace Arents Garden lawn.  Bring a blanket and enjoy beer, wine and dining al fresco and take a stroll through the Garden.

Thursday, August 14 bring your furry friends with you for our last Fidos After 5 of the summer.  On this special night leashed dogs are allowed and a $2 admissions fee is suggested to help benefit the Richmond SPCA.

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

The Porch Bunch

The Porch Bunch are (from left to right) Libby Jarrett (Lynchburg), Kitty Fitzhugh (Mechanicsville), Diane Rifer (Gainesville, Va.), Robin Perks (Lively, Va.), Jane Kemper (Farnham), Judy Hansen (Fredericksburg), Julie Crews (Glen Allen) and not pictured but there in spirit Judith Trunzo (St. Victor Lacoste, France).

Jane Kemper emailed me last week with a request I had never had. She wanted to SKYPE with a friend from France while here in the Garden Café.  Cool idea!  While we couldn’t make the logistics of that Skype conversation work, I did get to know a pretty neat lady and her friends.  Kemper explained that she gathers each year with classmates from the University of Richmond.  One friend couldn’t make it — she was in France, but hoped to join them anyway — virtually.  I like the way these women think!

“We  call ourselves the PORCH BUNCH — been getting together for years but have now settled on LG as a favorite gathering spot,” Kemper explains. I received the cutest note from her, the day after their visit.  It made my day!

Jonah — we had a lovely day today. We really like the casualness – AND THE FOOD — in the Garden Café*.  And, of course, we had to take a brief tour of the  Butterfly exhibit. When we passed into the garden we asked the lady at the door if she would take our picture for us, the classmates from the Westhampton Class of ’62. We discovered, happily, that the nice volunteer, Betsy Adkins, was also a class member!! (hadn’t seen in years).
So, the gardens are a a wonderful place to visit and see beautiful plants, and learn, and have a lovely meal, and meet old friends!!

*Kemper says, “I hope you will pass along to the staff of the Garden Café – the cold blueberry soup was fantastic!!!”

Veggie Garden Gallery

by Brian Vick, Community Kitchen Garden Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

One day's yield from the Community Kitchen Garden - July 17, 2014. The turnips were grown in the Children's Garden by Heather Veneziano.

One day’s yield from the Community Kitchen Garden. The turnips were grown in the Children’s Garden by Heather Veneziano.

The Lewis Ginter Community Kitchen Garden is nearing the summer peak, and we thought you would enjoy seeing some examples of what we’re growing this year. Current yield: 2,100 lbs. (supporting 8,400 meals for FeedMore). And we couldn’t have done it without the nearly 300 volunteers who have worked in the garden this summer including  individuals, families and corporate teams.

Clockwise from upper left: Slicing tomatoes, King Richard leeks, Red Long of Tropea onions, Crookneck squash (don't they look like ducks?) with Dunja and Gold Rush zucchini.

Clockwise from upper left: Slicing tomatoes, King Richard leeks, Red Long of Tropea onions, Crookneck squash (don’t they look like ducks?) with Dunja and Gold Rush zucchini.

Clockwise from upper left: Granadero Roma tomatoes with Jumbo flat pod and Provider round pod green beans, Giant of Italy parsley, Bright Lights Swiss chard, Carmen sweet Italian pepper.

Clockwise from upper left: Granadero Roma tomatoes with Jumbo flat pod and Provider round pod green beans, Giant of Italy parsley, Bright Lights Swiss chard, Carmen sweet Italian pepper.

Clockwise from upper left: Various cucumbers, Red Pontiac potatoes, Earliglow strawberries, Tango celery.

Clockwise from upper left: Various cucumbers, Red Pontiac potatoes, Earliglow strawberries, Tango celery.

Clockwise from upper left: Windsor Fava beans, eggplant (the variety is in question - was supposed to be "Classic Bell" but has Sicilian characteristics), Red Velvet okra, Sugar sprint peas.

Clockwise from upper left: Windsor Fava beans, eggplant (the variety is in question – was supposed to be “Classic Bell” but has Sicilian characteristics), Red Velvet okra, Sugar sprint peas.

 

 

by Lynn Kirk, Public Relations Writer,  Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, reprinted with permission from the Richmond Times-Dispatch

Summer is a delightful time to be outdoors — until you hear that all-too-familiar, high-pitched whine circling your head. Soon you feel tiny blood-sucking bites, and before you can flee, itchy whelps begin appearing on your neck, arms and legs. The dreaded mosquito has arrived, and, as luck would have it, it seldom travels alone!

marigolds

When used as a garden border, marigolds do double duty by also warding off unwanted insects that can damage vegetables.

Mosquitoes put a damper on outdoor activities, and their disease-carrying potential is a real risk. Commercial repellents have their advantages, but some consumers worry about chemical toxicity from continued use. If you prefer more eco-friendly options in your battle of man vs. mosquito, why not turn to nature? Several of summer’s annuals and perennials can help, especially when strategically planted near your favorite outdoor areas.
Citronella, with its powerful lemony scent, is relatively easy to grow. Look for the Cymbopogon nardus or Citronella winterianus varieties that repel mosquitoes by masking other odors. Be sure to allow lots of vertical space since this grassy annual can grow up to 6 feet tall.
Plants can help keep mosquitoes at bay
Marigolds also deter mosquitoes with their strong scent. When used as a garden border, marigolds do double duty by also warding off unwanted insects that can damage vegetables. Plant marigolds in full sun and enjoy an added bonus of vibrant color throughout the summer season.
Plants can help keep mosquitoes at bay

Geraniums produce geraniol oil, which is a natural alternative for chemical insecticides. Their bright, cheerful blooms are an added bonus.

Geraniums produce geraniol oil, which is a natural alternative for chemical insecticides. Their bright, cheerful blooms are an added bonus.

Geraniums produce geraniol oil, which is a natural alternative for chemical insecticides. Their bright, cheerful blooms are an added bonus.
Catnip deters mosquitoes through production of the oil nepetalactone. Growing catnip in planters may be best for two reasons: Cats love frolicking around this plant, and it can spread with wild abandon.
Plants can help keep mosquitoes at bay
Lavender is a fragrant, flowering herb whose extracted oil helps keep bugs at bay. Its lovely, calming scent is accompanied by lush, purple flowers that enhance any garden setting.

Lavender is a fragrant, flowering herb whose extracted oil helps keep bugs at bay. Its lovely, calming scent is accompanied by lush, purple flowers that enhance any garden setting.

Lavender is a fragrant, flowering herb whose extracted oil helps keep bugs at bay. Its lovely, calming scent is accompanied by lush, purple flowers that enhance any garden setting.

Peppermint, which is a cross between spearmint and watermint, is a less-known hero in the fight for mosquito-free environs. Mosquitoes don’t appreciate the scent of peppermint oil, and its crushed leaves rubbed on the skin can help relieve the itch that often accompanies insect bites.
Horsemint emits a lemony scent similar to citronella. Like many other herbs, it’s easy to grow. As a member of the bee balm family, horsemint also attracts important pollinators, such as bees and hummingbirds.
Plants can help keep mosquitoes at bay
Rosemary is good for more than seasoning and good looks. While the scent of this woody perennial is pleasing to gardeners and chefs, it tends to repel mosquitoes.
In addition to experimenting with these plants, double-check that your yard is free of standing water, where mosquitoes can breed. Watch for dripping hoses, and store toys and items that hold water when not in use. Also avoid scented lotions, soaps and perfumes that lure mosquitoes your way.
Mosquitoes have existed for more than 150 million years, so man’s dislike of the pesky insect is nothing new. However, today’s savvy gardeners know that the war against mosquitoes doesn’t have to be a losing battle.

Rosemary is good for more than seasoning and good looks. While the scent of this woody perennial is pleasing to gardeners and chefs, it tends to repel mosquitoes.

Rosemary is good for more than seasoning and good looks. While the scent of this woody perennial is pleasing to gardeners and chefs, it tends to repel mosquitoes.

Editor’s Note: This article first published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, in July 2014.

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator &  Brian Vick, Community Kitchen Garden Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

The Community Kitchen Garden is thriving in this summer heat, and so are the weeds. That’s why we were so grateful when a team of CarMax associates showed up on Monday to help us with  a variety of  garden tasks including staking and tying tomatoes, harvesting cucumbers, and weeding.

These employees harvested 100 lbs. of vegetables, supporting 400 meals. (4 oz. veggie portion per meal.) The amount of weeding they did … priceless. Be sure to check out the photo below — literally a tractor-load of weeds!

Total donations of fresh local veggies to FeedMore’s Community Kitchen this year so far: over 1,600 lbs!

 

CarMax Tomato Tying 072114

Tying the Roma tomatoes.

CarMax associates and Cukes

Harvesting cucumbers for the Community Kitchen Garden

Weeds pulled by CarMax volunteers

This is how many weeds they pulled! These are in the tractor on their way to the compost pile.

Erica with a Giant Cuke

A giant cucumber shaped like a crescent moon.

CarMax CKG Group 072114

CarMax volunteer associates at the end of the morning after working in the Community Kitchen Garden.

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