Blooms & Gardens

Oct 9th, 2017

Southern Blight & a Natural Solution

How We are Using Mustard Greens to Fight Southern Blight Soil is vital and essential because it sustains life. You cannot have a healthy garden without healthy soil. The rear portion of the Kroger Community Kitchen Garden (KCKG) was hit last year with southern blight, a common soil-borne, plant disease. Southern blight affects all parts of the plant and […]

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Sep 5th, 2017

Gardening Advice for Late Summer

 (Gardeners, don’t quit now!) It’s this time of the year that gardeners August gardens’ towering tomato plants eke out their final harvests. Yellowing cucumber vines wildly wander. Herbs go to seed, while tuckered flowers fade from glory. And all is accompanied by Richmond’s incessant heat, haze, and humidity. No wonder folks want to run from […]

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Aug 25th, 2017

Butterfly Garden Pro!

For this month’s blog I’d like to demonstrate how simple, straight-forward, and fun creating a butterfly garden is. I asked around the horticulturist’s lunch table to find out who among them ranks as a butterfly gardening expert. I’m glad I did, because Senior Horticulturist Shannon Smith is a butterfly gardening pro and plants specifically to support our native pollinators both here at Lewis Ginter […]

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Jul 14th, 2017

Success with Succulents

“Succulents are not really beautiful. They’re weird. ” Mike Wallace’s candor about succulent plants stems from 40 years of studying and collecting them. A self-taught succulent guru and certified horticulturist, he became fascinated with the ornamentals while living in Tucson, Ariz., where they thrive. The word “succulent” comes from the Latin word “sucus,” which means […]

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Jun 13th, 2017

Container Plantings

Landscape need a punch of color? Front entry desperate for a bit of cheer? Or perhaps your spring annuals are withering in the heat? Beth Burrell, garden designer and consultant, suggests a simple solution: DIY container plantings filled with summer annuals and perennials. Not only will they brim with color, texture and interest. They will […]

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Jun 11th, 2017

Mother’s Day Ideas & Reflections

Where does the time go? Nine years ago, I started bringing my family to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden on Mother’s Day, several years before beginning work in Ginter’s education department. My best friend and I were new moms and we wanted to spend our first Mother’s Day in the Garden enjoying the concert with Glennroy […]

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Jun 9th, 2017

Gardening From the Heart

My mother was a gardener. She had blackberries and tomatoes in our backyard, and an herb garden near the back door that flavored her thoughtful and delicious meals. In her late 50s, my mom developed early onset Alzheimer’s. When she was ailing, but could still get into the car for occasional excursions, we liked to […]

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Apr 30th, 2017

Birdscaping Your Yard

You check off the first step in birdscaping when you look at your yard from a bird’s point of view. More than bird baths and feeders staged here and there, birdscaping is planning and planting to not only attract, but nurture wild birds. Megan Lacey, a horticulturist at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, is a birdscaper […]

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Mar 14th, 2017

Cutting Gardens: Inspiration

Vases and jars brimming with fresh-cut flowers make a house “home.” It can create a dilemma, though –  where to find flowers? Florists can be pricey, and commercial growers leave a carbon footprint. You can raid your own yard, but that leaves gaps in the landscape. Plus there’s guilt from robbing outdoor pretties for the […]

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Mar 11th, 2017

Flower Shows are a Rite of Spring at Lewis Ginter

I still remember my first flower show.  It was in 1997, and my husband pointed out that the newly opened Robins Visitor Center at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was featuring a daffodil show.  He wanted to see the new building, and I was curious, so off we went. The show was a revelation! Rows and rows […]

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Feb 16th, 2017

Witch Hazel: Winter Wisdom

Witch hazel always rings a mystical note. Blooming in the middle of the winter, those delicate bits of yellow, copper, or red ribbon blow outward from bare branches like sparks of fire, as if an invisible sorceress were working her spells and enlivening the winter slumber. Seasoned gardeners understand the quiet delight of walking outside […]

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Feb 9th, 2017

Beneficial Bugs: Facebook Live!

In case you missed it, here’s a recap of our Facebook Live post with Director of Horticulture Grace Elton and Conservatory Horticulturist Chelsea Mahaffey. In this video, we take you on a brief virtual tour of the Conservatory, then  show how we use beneficial insects to control other bug problems in our botanical displays. Did you know that […]

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Dec 8th, 2016

Safeguarding Boxwoods

Editor’s note: This is a timely post on an important topic. We are reprinting it with permission from the authors, noted below.  Mind Your Holiday Decorations: Safeguarding Your Boxwoods from Boxwood Blight Guest blog post by Chuan Hong, Ping Kong and Xiao Yang, Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center Mike Likins, Adria Bordas, Kate […]

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Nov 3rd, 2016

Instagram Contest Winners

Each year, it becomes more and more difficult to choose our Bflies Instagram winner. Is it possible that you guys get better and better each year? Indeed,  I think it is.  Of all our Instagram contests, our #Bflies Instagram contest always has the most entries and interest. I don’t know if it’s the great prize […]

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Sep 13th, 2016

Fall PlantFest Features Natives

Plant fans in Richmond have been looking forward to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s plant sale since 1987, the year of our first plant sale. This year they are just as excited as ever, 29 years later we are still one of the most popular plant sales in Central Virginia.  Our plant sale is still volunteer-run with […]

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Aug 29th, 2016

Through the Eye of a Pinhole

James Draper Shares Pinhole Photos of Nature Connects Exhibit Our Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks  exhibit has been wildly popular, not just with kids and millennials, but with adults of all ages.  Each age group seems just as excited about it as the next. For young children, often it’s the enormity of the sculpture or […]

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Aug 26th, 2016

Instagram Highlights

Are we friends on Instagram? We should be! As one of the readers of our blog, you are likely one of our biggest fans. You deserve to be among the first to see new blooms at the Garden too! We also post highlights of the day, sweet moments, videos and even Instagram Stories, all in real time. Plus you […]

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Aug 12th, 2016

Southern Blight in the Garden

Sadly, we recently discovered southern blight on some of the tomatoes and peppers in our Community Kitchen Garden.  Since our mission is education, we wanted to take this opportunity to talk about the causes and symptoms of southern blight and what can be done about it.  Also, it’s a chance to show that everyone — even […]

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Jul 31st, 2016

Folklore in the Healing Garden

Every plant has a story. Long before any humans roamed the planet, the earth was covered with a magnificent variety of plant life. Fields grew wild with flowers and grasses in their native lands and climates. Only natural processes, such as wind or animals were around to help them spread to new places. Now, many […]

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Jul 1st, 2016

Summer is for Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a favorite summer vegetable for many, and for good reason. There is nothing like a sweet juicy tomato fresh off the vine in the middle of July! Tomatoes are a perfect vegetable for beginner gardeners because they are so easy to grow, and there are so many types and varieties to choose from. […]

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Jun 25th, 2016

CarMax Cares for Our Garden

CarMax Cares about our Garden What would you do with 295 hours? You could sleep for 16 days straight, or brush your teeth 8,850 times. Or you could help with community-improving projects by volunteering all of those hours with Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. That’s exactly what the CarMax Foundation is doing during the month of June. […]

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Jun 25th, 2016

Heritage Plants Are Live History

As heirlooms are cherished, so are heirloom vegetables and heritage herbs of yesteryear. Virginia’s rich lineage of historic perennials, annuals, herbs, shrubs and trees are still available for planting today, including some that grew under the watch-care of President Thomas Jefferson. Seeds from plant varieties grown or documented by Jefferson are collected and preserved by the […]

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Jun 20th, 2016

National Pollinator Week

Let us tell you about a few of our favorite pollinators! Since National Pollinators Week (June 20-26, 2016) starts today, we thought it would be a great time to raise awareness of and appreciation for those “behind-the-scenes workers” that do so much to maintain our environment, provide us with natural beauty, and put food on our tables. […]

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Jun 19th, 2016

Our Apiary is for Beelovers

A new apiary is open for visitors to learn about bees. The Bob Stapleton & Keith Tignor Apiary, adjacent to the Community Kitchen Garden, will definitely add some sweetness to your visit at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden this summer. The apiary will feature a 10-frame observation hive, traditional Langstroth-style hives, and a top-bar hive, which, by its design, is wheelchair […]

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Jun 16th, 2016

Million Blooms Contest Winner

And the 2016 A Million Blooms Winner is … I am delighted to announce that the 2016 Million Blooms Instagram Contest winner is Meg Sneed.  Sneed drove all the way from Fredericksburg, Va. to visit our Garden for the first time the day she took this photo. It was a field trip for her home-school kids […]

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