Gardening & Horticulture

Dec 12th, 2017

Celebrate National Poinsettia Day

December 12 is National Poinsettia Day, honoring Euphorbia pulcherrima: the country’s most popular holiday plant, according to retail sales. Purchase one locally, and chances are it originated in Ethiopia or Costa Rica, some 6,000 to 7,000 miles away. Cary Gouldin, one of three Richmond brothers who own Strange’s, shared how poinsettia cuttings (also called slips) are […]

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Nov 24th, 2017

So Berry Beautiful!

Berries boast a full range of hues this time of year, proving Nature’s color obsession isn’t limited to spring blooms, summer sunsets and autumn leaves. During winter, she brightens landscapes through berries, which are color-packed fruits of some ground covers, shrubs and trees. Though typically tiny, they don’t disappoint. Some boast firecracker reds, blistering oranges […]

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Oct 15th, 2017

Pick a Peck of Pumpkins

Carve it. Craft it. Cook it. Pumpkin is so versatile, it deserves the season’s spotlight. Not only are pumpkins inexpensive, readily available and striking as autumnal decor, some varieties are as nutritious as they are delicious. The flesh and seeds of edible pumpkins are packed with fiber, as well as vitamins A and C. With […]

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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 29th, 2017

Crazy About Pawpaws

Something special happens to people when they learn about pawpaws for the first time. Their eyes widen, their brows furrow, and they say things like, “What does it taste like?” or “It grows here? In Virginia?” For many people, this moment turns into an ongoing curiosity, and in some cases even an engrossing obsession. I […]

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Sep 20th, 2017

Beware Invasive Species

Don’t let invasive species fool you. They look innocent, but don’t behave. Nor do they stop growing, spreading and reproducing. The culprits are certain species of aggressive non-native vines, trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants and grasses. Some look exotic, promising to add pizazz to your landscape. Others serve a purpose, such as ground cover, erosion control […]

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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 28th, 2017

Interns Talk Water Quality

On a recent summer afternoon, staff of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden gathered for a very special presentation. Horticulture research interns Devon Scallan and Kaitlyn Paulchell had been preparing for this day all summer, researching the Garden’s water quality and wanted to share their findings in a meaningful way. This meant not just a regular Power Point presentation, but […]

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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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Aug 9th, 2017

Lia Bazemore: Intern Goodbyes

For the past three summers, Lia Bazemore has worked as an intern in the Children’s Garden at Lewis Ginter through a partnership with Partnership for the Future. Bazemore is a recent graduate Henrico High School in the International Baccalaureate Program. In the fall, she will be a freshman at James Madison University.  This summer has been very bittersweet. This is the where everything changes […]

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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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Jul 8th, 2017

Conservation Conversation

A visitor recently asked me about Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s conservation efforts. It made me stop and think. So many of those efforts are simply part of our everyday activities. For instance as I walk through the Garden, I am surrounded by thousands of them – 5,538, in fact! That’s the total number of “taxa” […]

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Jul 5th, 2017

The Joy of Butterfly Host Plants

Have you ever wondered which plants are butterfly host plants? Since it is officially summer, I recently packed up the car for a camping trip with friends to Crabtree Falls to see if I could learn more. The first thing I noticed when we arrived in the George Washington National Forest area was that there were  a spectacular number of butterflies, and all different […]

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Jun 16th, 2017

Gardening as a Career: Taking it to the Next Level

Randy Minor has always had a connection to plants. His mother, Flordeen Cabiness, took him to the James River Park System often when he was a kid.  They lived near Forest Hill Park and it was an easy walk through the park to the 42nd Street entrance. “This is where you can come to get clarity […]

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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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May 26th, 2017

People with Purpose

Making a Difference with Urban Greening The last few months have been a whirlwind, as the Garden launched and wrapped up its first training cohort of Ginter Urban Gardeners.  I think back to conversations in 2014, when wise friends pondered together “what would it take to create a more enabling environment for community urban greening […]

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May 16th, 2017

Save the Trees

“I wish people would put as much emphasis on their trees as their lawns,” said Joel Koci, a certified arborist with the Urban Forestry Extension of Virginia State University. “Trees are much more ecologically advantageous.” According to Koci, man’s actions and lack of knowledge are two of the greatest threats to trees. “People pressure”—such as […]

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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 7th, 2017

Morton Native Plant Garden

First Look at the Marion Morton Native Plant Garden If you peered out the window the last time you visited the Lora M. Robins Library, you may have noticed a new garden. Last year we were busy at work carefully filling the Marion Morton Native Plant Garden with the most beautiful, disease-resistant and interesting native plants we […]

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Feb 27th, 2017

Attracting Wildlife in Winter

Attracting Wildlife to Your Winter Garden Although some animals migrate for the winter, there are many species that remain in the Richmond area over our coldest months.  Non-migratory birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and even insects can benefit from a backyard environment that supports them over the winter. Wildlife needs food, shelter, and water year-round. It […]

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Jan 29th, 2017

Garden Trends for 2017

Gardening basics seldom change — like “right plant, right place”— but preferences can be downright trendy. So before tilling dirt this spring, check out what’s hot and what’s not for 2017. Grow 365. Gardening used to be limited to a few seasons, but not anymore. Today with enhanced technology, gardeners can grow 365 days of […]

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Jan 23rd, 2017

The Verdant Heart

The first class of Beautiful RVA‘s Ginter Urban Gardeners gathers twice a week, for 12 weeks, to do the very important work of making a difference: learning new things, building relationships, getting their hands dirty and transforming themselves into a new crop of urban gardeners dedicated to building up the Richmond community. This very special group of […]

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Jan 12th, 2017

Forest Bathing

Updated 1/17/17 Awash in the Health Benefits of Nature My mother was right. She may not have known why, but she was right. When she sent me outside to play with my brothers and get some fresh air and sunshine, she wasn’t just brokering a bit of peace and quiet for herself. It was good […]

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Dec 13th, 2016

Go Wild With Landscaping

“Look to the wild,” suggested Thomas Rainer, co-author of “Planting in a Post-Wild World.”” His advice is intended for anyone who influences a patch of land, whether a sprawling backyard in suburbia or a micro garden squeezed between row houses downtown. Self-described as “a landscape architect by profession and a gardener by obsession,” Rainer challenges […]

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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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