Gardening & Horticulture

May 2nd, 2016

Poeticus Daffodil Inspiration

Poeticus Daffodils: A Tale of Two Women Just when I thought all the daffodils had already bloomed, I was surprised to see some jolly miniature daffodils rising delicately, along a Flagler Garden pathway, not far from historic Bloemendaal House. With white petals and dainty cups a striking blend of lime green, golden yellow, crimson red […]

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Apr 21st, 2016

DIY Veggie-tainers

Move over, begonias. Find a home elsewhere, ferns. Homegrown veggies and herbs are taking over patios, one container at a time. Not everyone has space for an in-ground garden – nor does a busy household have the inclination. So, sowing the family’s produce in patio pots and deck planters is a growing alternative. Not only […]

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Apr 19th, 2016

Amazing Pink Lady’s Slipper

Pink Lady’s Slippers are a native wildflower.  But this fascinating plant attracts quite a bit of attention, more so than most wildflowers. In addition to its striking appearance, it is endangered in some areas of the country.  So this is a special plant indeed.  If the appearance of this beauty doesn’t convince you of nature’s amazing feat, […]

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Apr 13th, 2016

How to Pick a Perfect Tree

Joel Koci knows a good tree when he sees it. He’s a tree guy. A highly respected local arborist and Virginia Forestry Extension Associate at Virginia State University. Koci visited the Garden recently for the Getting to Big Trees: Practices for Life Stages symposium. And, because its springtime when our thoughts turn to planting something […]

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Apr 10th, 2016

A Day of Service

National Volunteer Week is April 10-16, the perfect time to show our gratitude to the volunteers who work hard year round to keep Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden beautiful and thriving. The Garden would not be what it is today, nor could we accomplish so much toward our mission of education, without our volunteers. Last year, […]

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Apr 7th, 2016

Cracking the Code to Nature’s Calendar

Predicting the future can be tricky business. It’s the stuff of tea leaves and tarot cards, Magic 8 Balls and Ouija boards. And yet, for farmers, horticulturists and even home gardeners, it’s helpful to know ahead of time when a weed will go to seed, or a pest will pupate so that we can schedule […]

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Apr 6th, 2016

Azaleas Abloom in Spring

Walking around Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden on this early day of spring is like getting lost in a fantasy world where everything is fair and lovely. One would easily be enchanted by sun-kissed daffodils in bright yellow and white, captured by blushing camellias in robust red and pink, and simply mesmerized by the sight of […]

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Mar 30th, 2016

Virginia Bluebells: Spring’s Gift

If ever there was a plant with a fandom in Virginia, it would be the Virginia bluebell. Mertensia virginica makes fast friends with anyone new she meets. A native wildflower, you are just as likely to find her at Pony Pasture in the James River Park System as you are to find her here at Lewis Ginter Botanical […]

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Mar 28th, 2016

Gardener vs. Deer

A herd of deer in the distance looks innocent and peaceful, but don’t be fooled: they can wreak havoc in residential landscapes. Gardens and ornamental plantings are no more than all-deer-care-to-eat salad bars. They relish munching prized tulips, azaleas and roses, as well as treasured perennials — only the best for them! And when the […]

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Mar 11th, 2016

Horticulture Therapy Benefits

Gardening is more than hobbies and harvests. It is therapeutic horticulture and more. After hours staring at a computer screen or glued to a TV, Dr. Jean Larson recommends heading outdoors to garden or immerse oneself in a natural setting. “Nature is something we all need, a part of who we are,” said Larson, manager of […]

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Mar 6th, 2016

Salt: Necessary Evil

In gardening as in life, the solution to one problem can be the cause of another. It happens when we burn fossil fuels for energy and the byproducts contribute to global warming. It happens with some broad spectrum pesticides, which don’t discriminate between beneficial insects and harmful pests. And so it is with salt. Homeowners, […]

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Mar 4th, 2016

Plant This, Not That

Is your garden in the grip of aggressive invasives? Are you enslaved to fussy dahlias? Do your hydrangea bloom begrudgingly? If you, gentle gardener, have ever thought to yourself, “There’s got to be a better way,” take heart. There is. Just ask Troy Marden. Marden’s new book “Plant This Instead: The Best Plant Choices for […]

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Mar 2nd, 2016

Technology in the Garden

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden welcomed more than 386,000 visitors last year — plus many more who never left home. Virtual visitation continues to grow in remarkable ways, and along with it grows horticulture education and gardening interest. So rather than trying to keep nature separated from technology, we embrace the fusion. Last summer we ramped up technology another […]

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Feb 20th, 2016

5 Provocative Perspectives

What do gardeners do in the winter at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden? They plant themselves at the Winter Symposium! The Winter Symposium appeals to a broad range of interest levels, from horticulture professionals to those who simply love gardens. It’s held each year in early February in conjunction with the Central Virginia Nursery and Landscape […]

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Feb 19th, 2016

Good Bugs in Your Garden

Is the term “good bug” an oxymoron? Mosquitoes bite. Ants invade. Wasps sting. Termites demolish. What’s good about that? You may think of bugs as the enemy in nature’s narrative, the evildoers that some of us love to hate. It seems they’re always, well, bugging us. But not all bugs are bad. According to the […]

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Feb 15th, 2016

10 Tips for Gardening in Winter

If autumn is nature’s grand finale, in winter the curtain falls. The annual performance finished, nature’s theater goes dark. Backstage, costumes are refreshed and actors rest. Players audition for new roles. And you, loyal fan, wait for spring when the drama will resume. But waiting can be the most difficult part when you’re a gardener. […]

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Feb 14th, 2016

Happy Valentine’s Day

Yesterday we told you all about what’s blooming inside the Conservatory. Today, we celebrate the beauty of the blooms outside. Yes, it’s cold, but a walk in the brisk air gives you more of a reason to cuddle up with your love. As you stroll the Garden, see if you can find more treasures like this one — […]

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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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