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

Anthurium 'Miami Beauty' photo by Jonah Holland

Heart-shaped Anthurium ‘Miami Beauty’ photo by Jonah Holland

Thinking about what to get your true love for Valentine’s Day? Instead of a bouquet of flowers, why not get her a whole garden of flowers!
A gift-box membership will give your sweetie a whole year of blooms, activities and special exhibits like Butterflies LIVE!, Mother’s Day weekend events, Flowers After 5, RoseFest,  free Member Nights at Dominion GardenFest of Lights and many more. Not sure if she likes roses, orchids, tulips, lilies or daffodils best? Give them all to her! Here’s what’s in bloom by month at the Garden.

Did you know that  for $20 you can add an unlimited guest pass to your Membership that allows you a free guest every visit?!  Don’t forget Grandma!

by guest blogger Amanda Godbold Payne, Blue Sky Fund 

Editor’s Note:  Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden  was honored to be a part of Blue Sky’s pilot program for 7th grade Explorers program, the students participated as part of the Grow Works program that includes education and service. The volunteer component allow the Garden to waive the admission fee for these participants.

7th grade students from Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School  explore the Conservatory.

7th grade students from Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School explore the Conservatory.

In December, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden partnered with Blue Sky Fund to bring 7th grade students from Franklin Military Academy and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School to the botanical garden as part of Blue Sky’s Explorers program.  The Explorers program works with 11 different  Richmond City Public Schools to provide hands-on, experiential learning field trips at various parks, farms, and other open spaces in the Richmond area.  The Blue Sky participants attended the Garden via the Grow Works program, an opportunity that involves education and service; the volunteer component allows the educational program’s fees to be compensated. This is a great opportunity for middle schools and high schools who might be lacking funds for field trips.

exp_dec1

Kids from Richmond’s MLK Jr. Middle School work on tree identification and classification as they explore the botanical garden.

Blue Sky’s Explorers program aims to support teachers by providing SOL-relevant experiences and lessons that augment their classroom teaching.  Last school year, the Explorers program reached over 600 students at nine schools and saw a significant increase in the average science grades of the participants. This school year, the Explorers program expanded from only 3rd grades to adding 5th and 7th grade field trips as well.  During their visit, the students focused on tree identification and classification as they explored Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.  Nicki, the Garden’s Youth Programs Developer explains: “I think horticulture is an especially great volunteer opportunity — it creates social interaction, team-building, connects community, offers physical fitness, and can be meditative as well as therapeutic….Movement stimulates memory so volunteering paired with an educational program is a great match.”

Blue Sky seeks to invest in young lives through on-going outdoor programming. These 7th grade Explorer students will be given the opportunity to continue their learning in a pilot summer program focused on STEM job training, or to join a weekly Outdoor Adventure Club, or eventually to go on wilderness trips in our leadership training program.

Blue Sky is on a mission to provide transformational experiences for urban youth through outdoor education. We will give every young person the opportunity to discover themselves by actively engaging the natural world. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s passion is connecting people and plants to improve communities.  Like-minded organizations working together to make Richmond a better place — it doesn’t get any better.

 

 

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

Tyler Darden photo of bee & blossoms

Bee and cherry blossoms. Photo by Tyler Darden.

Did you know that you can sign up for Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s enews to get updates on what’s happening at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden?  In our enewsletter, we highlight what’s in bloom,  special events like A Million Blooms, Mother’s Day, Flowers After 5 and more. We’ll send you reminders about opportunities like our FREE admission day on July 4th.  Plus, you’ll be the first to know when class and course registration opens online, and you’ll be able to sign up for our Spring Break Garden Adventures Camp and  Green Adventures Summer Camp before they fill.

Sign up now if you’d like to get these updates!

 

Photos by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, & Beth Monroe, Director of PR & Marketing,  Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden 

snowy conservatory

snow in the Asian Valley.

Asian Valley reflections.

snowy fern.

Fern in snow.

Snow drops (Galanthus elwesii)

Snow drops (Galanthus elwesii) in snow.

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

Dendrobium Tanida Two-Tone in the Conservatory.

Dendrobium Tanida Two-Tone in the Conservatory.

Laeliocattleya Gold Digger 'Orchid Jungle'

Laeliocattleya Gold Digger ‘Orchid Jungle’

Camellia. Photo by Don Williamson Photography.

Camellia. Photo by Don Williamson Photography.

Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation'

Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ spotted in early January 2014 in Flagler Garden.

Have we got a treat for you! Starting today, and running through the end of the weekend, admission to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is completely FREE! If you’ve never been to the Garden before, this is a perfect chance to come see what we are all about.  We have friendly staff ready to answer your botanical questions and our Visitor Services Staff  would love to tell you some highlights of things to see on your visit. If you are the do-it-yourself type, you can see what’s in bloom by month  on our website.  Yes, we have a few blooms outside even in January! Some of the blooms you may see in winter include Hellebore, Camellia, Parrotia, snow drops (Galanthus elwesii) and edgeworthia.

You might even see a few early-blooming daffodils!

Orchids, cyclamen, paperwhites, amaryllis and many more blooms await you in the cozy Conservatory.  Or go on a hunt for interesting bark, dried seed pods and berries all over the Garden.  Our garden paths are wonderful place to walk and think.  If you are a birder look for our birding trail brochure too.  Don’t forget  to take a break by the fireplace in the Library Reading Room where it’s warm and cozy. bird trail brochure

witch hazel

Witch hazel

Tree bark

Tree bark — interesting any time of year. Photo by Tyler Darden

snow drops!

Snow drops!

If you can’t make it this week, don’t worry! We’re running a winter special — January 20 – February 28. Adults and seniors are $5 / children are $4.
Also, plan on eating before or after your trip to the Garden. The Garden Cafe is closed this week (January 14-19) for routine maintenance. The Robins Tea House is also temporarily closed during this time, the Tea House will re-open in spring, date to be announced.  Please note that the Garden Shop is closed for inventory January 14-23, 2014. 

 

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

Welcome to another year, another opportunity for gardening! Whatever your gardening interests and goals, perhaps you’ll discover inspiration from these 2014 trends, shared by Eva Monheim, a published writer and horticulture professor at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Fruits and nuts

 The American filbert tree provides tasty hazelnuts that are prized by people and wildlife. photo by Eva Monheim.

The American filbert tree provides tasty hazelnuts that are prized by people and wildlife. photo by Eva Monheim.


A tasty trend topping the list is homegrown fruits and nuts. Backyard gardeners are trying their luck with traditional and hybrid varieties of strawberries, blueberries and grapes. While some experiment with exotics, such as China’s hardy kiwi, others focus on yesteryear’s elderberries, mulberries, pawpaws and persimmons. Garden centers and nurseries also face increased demand for trees that produce hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans.
Active education

A medicinal herb garden at Temple University in Philadelphia engages the community as it teaches medical students about healing plants. Photo by Eva Monheim.

A medicinal herb garden at Temple University in Philadelphia engages the community as it teaches medical students about healing plants. Photo by Eva Monheim.

With new advocates comes their desire to learn. There’s a growing tendency for working alongside garden mentors and gleaning tips from horticulture classes, online blogs and mobile apps. Today’s gardeners are passionate about knowing and doing what’s best for the crops and environment.
Livestock labor

Goats and sheep are welcomed by some cities and suburbs to help control invasive plants. Photo by Eva Monheim.

Goats and sheep are welcomed by some cities and suburbs to help control invasive plants. Photo by Eva Monheim.

Forget chemicals and extra manpower. When local codes allow, try sheep and goats for removal of invasive plants. Savvy neighborhood co-ops also pool their resources for chickens that lay fresh eggs and eat pests, such as ticks, mosquitoes, and larvae of mosquitoes and other insects.
New advocates

Janet Rasmussen of Madison, WI photographs some of the orchids at the "Orchids Galore" exhibit in the Conservatory at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, March 29, 2013.She is in Richmond visiting a relative. On the left is a "Golden Treasure" moth orchid. Lewis Ginter has been recognized as one of the "Top 10 American Gardens Worth Traveling For." Photo by P. Kevin Morely.

Janet Rasmussen of Madison, WI photographs orchids, including ‘Golden Treasure’ moth orchid in the Conservatory at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in March 2013. Lewis Ginter has been recognized as one of the “Top 10 American Gardens Worth Traveling For.” Photo by P. Kevin Morely.

Visitation continues to grow at botanical gardens and arboretums. “More people are being hooked into gardening — not directly by the plants, but by another part of the venue that attracts them in an indirect way,” Monheim said. When people attend a botanical garden’s outdoor concert or third-party event with family and friends, they may sense something bigger and become more mindful of the world around them. “They shift from ‘me, me, me’ to ‘how can I change things for a better environment in a larger context?’ ”
Repurposed land

harvesting basil

Youth volunteer workers harvesting basil from an area behind the Conservatory at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden that used to be planted with grass. Photo by Jonah Holland.

In Richmond and beyond, urbanites are transforming vacant lots into sustainable community gardens. Local volunteers and neighborhood residents work together to reap fresh vegetables and herbs, as well as hands-on training and newfound relationships. “There’s cross-generational education with the young teaching the old and the middle-aged teaching the young,” Monheim said. “It’s really fascinating — there’s no age limit when you go into a garden.”
Food foraging

stir fried bamboo

One way of reducing invasive bamboo is to cut and eat it. Photo by Eva Monheim

“It’s very chic to not have to pay for food,” Monheim said, so more individuals and special-interest groups are scouring the wild for edibles. From mushrooms and blackberries to bamboo and goutweed, they harvest nature’s bounty for their next meal. “Foragers want to see how much they can save, but they need to be careful and know what they’re doing,” Monheim cautioned.
Health and Income

Leonard Morrow, left, shows Thomas Jefferson high school students Yasmin Nolan, 16, center, and Deonte' Terry, 17, some of the plants in the garden across for the school, in Richmond, Va.  (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Alexa Welch Edlund)

Leonard Morrow, left, shows Thomas Jefferson high school students Yasmin Nolan, 16, center, and Deonte’ Terry, 17, some of the plants in the garden across for the school, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Alexa Welch Edlund)

“It’s a healthy-eating scene now,” Monheim said, and urban gardens offer informal tastings of nutritious produce for neighbors who don’t necessarily have healthful eating as a focus. “They taste new things and like them, then they tell others.” Some urban gardeners take the trend one step further by creating garden co-ops for revenue production. “It’s an entrepreneur opportunity at a basic level,” Monheim said.

Pat Carrier's woodland garden in Goochland County. Photographed Tues. May 9, 2006. Photo by Mark Gormus.

Pat Carrier’s woodland garden in Goochland County. Photographed Tues. May 9, 2006. Photo by Mark Gormus.

Gardening: Growing trends
Inactive woodland gardens welcome visitors to pause and rest, while active woodlands encourage exploration. They also perform double duty when providing flood control, havens for wildlife and reductions in high-maintenance lawns. “The goal with woodland gardens is a good mix of plants and a very healthy growth from ceiling to floor.” Monheim recommends blending evergreens with mosses and woodland bulbs for seasonal interest.
Editor’s Note: This article first published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, in January 2014.

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

This has to be my favorite Twitter photo ever! What a way to create a memory. Congratulations to the happy couple. We are honored to be a part of your special day.  Hashtag #SheSaidYes #TrueLOVE  She said yes!

 

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

Announcing the winners of our first ever #GardenFest Instagram contest!   We were thrilled with the participation of the Instagram community — we had over 700 entries in the contest, and there were so many fabulous and creative photos that told the story of Dominion GardenFest of Lights, it was truly difficult to choose our winners.

The winning image of our #GardenFest Instagram contest.  Photo by Meg Pickeral aka @MPickeral on Instagram.

The winning image of our #GardenFest Instagram contest. Photo by Meg Pickeral aka @MPickeral on Instagram.

The Grand Prize winning photo is by Meg Pickeral aka @MPickeral on Instagram. She snapped this photo of her daughter, Addie, awestruck by the lighted unicorn figure.  Meg won some great prizes (valued at over $850) including tickets for 4 to the Richmond Ballet’s performance of Cinderella, a night at the Jefferson Hotel, and tickets for 12 to come back with  and enjoy Dominion GardenFest of Lights with friends.  A huge thank you to our partners, the Richmond Ballet & the Jefferson Hotel for helping to provide the prize package.

Second prize winner Bill Farrar took this photos of his son taking in all the lights.

Second prize winner Bill Farrar took this photos of his son taking in all the lights.

Second prize winner was Bill Farrar, aka @KillerPR on Instagram. Bill won a family 4-pack of tickets to come back and see Dominion GardenFest of Lights again.

So what do you all think? Did you enjoy seeing these photos? Should we have another Instagram contest? Personally, I was thinking I’d like to see an A Million Blooms Instagram contest and a Butterflies LIVE! (#Bflies) contest too.  Would you participate? What ideas to you have?

The 16 finalists in the #GardenFest Instagram contest.  Photos are by (left to right, top row) @mpickeral @Jenwilkers @maraccat @cre8tivphoto (2nd row) @ciao_erin @jmaugle @1wanderer @KillerPR (3rd row) @hollywooz @Murph2sk @tinydebbiejane @spike_brewster (last row) @shdwrider1 @tiffanychan @jeannieboisineau @enigma_web

The 16 finalists in the #GardenFest Instagram contest. Photos are by (left to right, top row) @mpickeral @Jenwilkers @maraccat @cre8tivphoto (2nd row) @ciao_erin @jmaugle @1wanderer @KillerPR (3rd row) @hollywooz @Murph2sk @tinydebbiejane @spike_brewster (last row) @shdwrider1 @tiffanychan @jeannieboisineau @enigma_web

by Beth Monroe, Public Relations & Marketing Director, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Coneflower of lights

Dominion GardenFest of Lights

As we reflect on the many highlights of 2013, the Splendor Under Glass gala is certainly one of them. Held on November 23, the event kicked off the annual holiday Dominion GardenFest of Lights. More than 400 guests attended and were “Entwined” with Nature to support the Garden’s educational mission and passion for connecting people and plants to improve the community. They came also to honor Ann Lee Saunders Brown (Mrs. Charles L. Brown), for her love of nature and her life-long commitment to education.

Ann Lee Brown

Mrs. Ann Lee Brown

Ann Lee is a true visionary who supported and encouraged Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Colonial Williamsburg, UVA, Collegiate School, VMI and many others. She lives with unfettered joy and it is not coincidence she and her sister Jane Quinn Saunders chose our entryway Four Seasons Garden to honor their parents. It’s a place that evokes passionate beauty and interest for the natural world in all generations through all seasons of the year.

Lora (left) and Lenna (middle) Chandler with Ann Lee Brown

Sisters Lora (left) and Lenna (middle) Chandler presented Mrs. Ann Lee Brown with a basket of good wishes from the Garden

The evening’s highlight came when two sisters, 9-year-old Lora and 6-year-old Lenna Chandler, expressed their love of the Children’s Garden at Lewis Ginter and presented Brown with a basket of gratitude and good wishes on the Garden’s behalf. Inside the basket were a pomegranate for the plenty of life, a rose for the beauty in life, honey for the sweetness in life, and a fairy wand for the magic in life, also reminiscent of Brown’s childhood delight of dressing as a garden fairy with her sister Jane Quinn Saunders.

Birdhouses

Birdhouses made by Garden volunteers and painted by committee members

Local talent and items were celebrated throughout the evening. Attendees purchased one-of-a-kind items at a “Lush and Local Marketplace” offering delicacies and treasures ranging from house-made chutney to over-the-top creative wreaths to birdhouses hand-crafted by Garden volunteers and decorated by Gala committee members and friends.

An art auction featured works by some of the area’s most celebrated talent, including a signature piece by Tenley Beazley aptly titled “Entwined.” Proceeds from the event support the non-profit Garden’s educational mission.

Art Auction_edited-1

An art auction was one of the evening’s highlights

 

 

Farm to Table

The Farm-To-Table dinner featured locally sourced items

 

 

 

 

 

The sumptuous farm-to-table style dinner was prepared by caterer Meriwether Godsey incorporating locally sourced items. Guests were greeted by Georgine Muc playing the bandura, a Ukrainian folk instrument, and musical entertainment throughout dinner was by Mitch Seekins and his band performing jazz standards.

Committee Chair for this year’s Splendor Under Glass was Madeline Hutcheson Mayood and co-chairs were Peyton Wells and Jennifer Rector. A team of Garden staff and volunteers also made the event possible.

Peter Bernard

Peter Bernard, CEO, Bon Secours Virginia Health System, welcomes guests

The presenting sponsor for this year’s Splendor Under Glass was Bon Secours Virginia Health System. Contributing sponsors were Capital One Bank, CapTech and MeadWestvaco.

All photos by SJ Collins Photography. Some material for this blog were taken from the Splendor Under Glass program.

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
holiday sale  in the Garden Shop

Starting today, select holiday items (including these shown) are 20% off in the Garden Shop. Hurry in now for best selection, quantities are limited. Sale ends Jan 13th, 2014.

The Garden Shop is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and on Sundays noon – 10 p.m. through Jan. 13.

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