Gardening & Horticulture

Feb 3rd, 2016

California Dreaming

Last September, I started a 3 year term as a Director at Large for the American Public Gardens Association.  Every 3 months, the 14 members of the Board, who are from gardens all over the country, travel to a different city for our quarterly meetings.  I am honored to be able to represent Lewis Ginter […]

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Jan 27th, 2016

Volcanoes vs. Doughnuts

There may be volcanoes in your yard. Don’t worry, they’re not active. They’re mulch volcanoes. But beware. They may be endangering your trees! Those of us who are guilty of over-nurturing when we garden will sometimes pile mulch into deep pyramid-shaped hills that push up against the base of a tree. Although they are commonly found, […]

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Jan 21st, 2016

Preparing Plants for Snow

Got your bread and milk? Now it’s time to prepare your plants for the snow storm. Here are some tips from our horticulturists: If you have a tree or plant that is prone to breaking under the snow, you can gently knock snow off the branches with a broom as the snow accumulates. It’s not […]

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Jan 11th, 2016

Gardening Trends for 2016

Some things never change, but gardening trends certainly do. Following are predictions for the New Year’s trends, according to retailers and the “2016 Garden Trends Report.” Synced to nature. With mobile devices bridging the gap between indoor technologies and outdoor opportunities, people can stay “plugged in” while venturing outside to work, garden or play. Newly […]

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Dec 19th, 2015

Living Gifts Keep on Giving

Weary of giving (and receiving!) the same holiday gifts year after year? One solution is living gifts! With a few supplies, a couple hours and a dose of creativity, you can craft unique, yet practical presents that keep on giving because they keep on living. Terrariums, container plantings and DIY soil-and-seed kits are not only […]

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Nov 30th, 2015

Recycle Nature’s Bounty by Making Distinctive Papers

Homemade paper: the ancient Egyptians and Chinese made it, and now you can, too! Using a few household items and nature’s treasures — dried leaves, spent flowers, pine tags, even plant seeds and berries — you can create specialty papers that are unique and usable. “Homemade paper is not for production, but for art,” said […]

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Nov 22nd, 2015

Ruler of the Ginkgo

In front of Bloemendaal House, a botanical oddity grows on the grounds of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Our Ginkgo biloba happens to be the one female, besides Grace Arents, that seems to get all the attention at our Garden. This specimen was believed to have been planted by our founder herself. The Ginkgo biloba species has […]

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Oct 19th, 2015

Trees with Knees?

Last month I uncovered something mysterious growing around the rim of the West Island Garden. Our swamp cypress trees have knees. It’s not that we didn’t know they had knees. We did. We just don’t know why. No one does. The cypress trees are keeping it a secret. Swamp cypress tree (Taxodium distichum) knees are woody projections that […]

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Oct 17th, 2015

Tricks & Treats

Pumpkins on a stick, bumpy gourds and alien-looking plants – you never know what you’ll find in the Children’s Garden at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in October. Last Sunday I came as a visitor with my 11-year-old daughter and her friends and we discovered a whole world of weird and wacky. The Children’s Garden plans […]

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Oct 16th, 2015

Vines by Design

Vines are not only easy to grow, they’re fascinating. Some varieties twist and twine, while others climb upward or creep outward. Many are easily trained, others mischievously meander. Natives typically grow without consequence, while non-natives sometimes wreak havoc. Regardless of the intended use, vines provide several key garden elements: color, texture, form and interest. Beth […]

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Sep 28th, 2015

Wildflowers: Heralds of Spring

Fall is the time to plan and plant spring wildflowers  “You anticipate them all winter long, but when you finally find them, they don’t last very long,” said Nancy Vehrs, Prince William County resident and president of the Virginia Native Plant Society. “They just bloom, pollinate and disappear, but it’s their fleeting moments of glory that […]

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Sep 26th, 2015

Top 5 Summer Plant Displays

Fall is here and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is preparing to change out annual beds this coming week. I like to take photos of the displays for my own inspiration for next summer, but often forget until it’s too late. You may like to do the same thing but (like me) don’t always get around […]

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Aug 27th, 2015

Pollinators: Bee Friendly

The status of pollinators is sad, but true: America is losing pollinators at a remarkable rate. Pollinators are honeybees, wild bees, beetles, wasps, butterflies and moths, as well as birds and bats that transfer pollen in and between flowers of the same species. The efforts typically lead to fertilization for seed and fruit production, which directly […]

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Aug 19th, 2015

A Rare Tree Blooms at Ginter

Emmenopterys henryi is a tree made famous by the legendary botanist, Ernest Wilson, who described the tree as “one of the most strikingly beautiful trees of Chinese forests.” The first time this species bloomed in North America was in 1994! Lucky for you, this beauty blooms early every August Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. You’ll notice the funnel-shaped […]

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Aug 13th, 2015

Meet Children’s Garden Intern Kittie Storey

Meet Children’s Garden Summer Intern Kittie Storey.  Kittie works with our Youth Volunteer Summer Program on Tuesdays and Thursdays, helping with supervision, horticulture knowledge, and by being a positive role model. She also leads our “Food Production” chat.  Kittie holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University and has interned at Tricycle Gardens as […]

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Aug 12th, 2015

A Beautiful, Edible Garden

Have you seen our Edible Display Garden  along Lake Sydnor? It’s newly planted, and we’re continuing to add more specimen as we go.  So far, we’ve planted everything from strawberries to hazelnuts (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’) to mulberries (Morus alba), but there’s so much more to come!  Did you know daylilies are edible? You’ll see them there, and we’ll […]

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Aug 10th, 2015

Craft Beer Craze

For those you out there that consider yourselves lovers of craft beer and beautiful gardens, you might already be aware of a fun new partnership that started in 2015. The craft beer industry is quickly becoming an integral part of the local  and tourist economies in Richmond, and across the state of Virginia. So the […]

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Aug 7th, 2015

The Original Marshmallow

Ever wonder where marshmallows came from?  Here’s the plant that started it all: Althaea officinalis.  It grows right here at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in our new Edible Display Garden!  Egyptians first discovered its healing properties over 2,000 years ago. Most commonly the plant sap was combined with honey and  it was used to treat sore […]

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Aug 6th, 2015

Water Gardens Just for Fun

Just add water! A water garden or water feature is more than a landscape decoration. It’s a palette for artistic expression and, when well planned, an uplifting intersection with nature. “Something about water attracts people,” said George Cowart, horticulture manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. “Water and the sound [of moving water] are relaxing and […]

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Jul 14th, 2015

Garden Times Online

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s mission is education and our passion is bringing people and plants together to improve our community. We hope that Garden Times does just that — teaching you something, connecting you to plants, and inspiring you to visit us. As a non-profit working toward more sustainable practices — we’ve uploaded a digital […]

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Jul 8th, 2015

Meet Horticulturist Chelsea Mahaffey

One of the best things about working at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is our staff. Recently we  hired several new horticulturists and interns, and as we are getting to know them, we thought you’d enjoy getting to know them too.  Today, meet Chelsea Mahaffey, our new Conservatory Horticulturist.  I’ve known Chelsea for a few weeks now. She […]

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Jul 5th, 2015

Rose Rosette Disease

Rose rosette disease is a funny thing.  At first it doesn’t look like there’s a problem with your roses, it just looks like there is alot of new growth, and the foliage is more pliant, more red, and almost furry, instead of prickley.  (Did you know that roses have prickles, not thorns? Botanically speaking, thorns […]

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Jun 26th, 2015

Found Objects & Gardens

Gather found objects, add infinite imagination and create whimsical gardens like none other. That is the premise that inspires Jason Reeves, horticulturist and research associate at the University of Tennessee in Jackson, where he strives to get people outdoors and into the garden. “I was a collector as a child — things like shells, bottles, […]

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Jun 26th, 2015

Southern Icon’s Ancient Secret

A southern summer wouldn’t be complete without the sweet smell of the southern magnolia blossom. Magnolia grandiflora, an icon of the South, is such a marvelous tree. Its large shiny evergreen leaves and large, showy, fragrant blossoms are a splendid addition to any southern garden. Here at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden we have several wonderful […]

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Jun 24th, 2015

From the Executive Director

My favorite moment from the Spring at Lewis Ginter: A young mother and three little girls are walking through the Central Garden. Mom is telling a fairytale in a breathless voice. Daughters are bounding about her like butterflies around a bloom, listening attentively while dancing in their own orbits. Mom finishes the story. All three children are looking down […]

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