Gardening & Horticulture

Aug 13th, 2016

Backyard Orchards

Why plant fruit trees in backyard orchards? Store-bought fruit offers advantages: convenience, variety and year-round availability. However, sometimes commercially grown products conjure nagging questions. Where was it grown? When was it picked? Will it ever ripen? Were chemicals used, and if so, how much? And what about nutrition and flavor? Many of these questions can’t be […]

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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 4th, 2016

Philodendrons in Bloom

Philodendrons Bloom in the Conservatory If you want to see a spectacular and interesting bloom, come visit the Conservatory now to visit the majestic philodendron. As you know, plants’ flowers are all about reproduction, and perhaps the most incredible characteristic of split-leaf philodendrons is their unique way of reproducing. A philodendron must be mature before it can begin flowering, which […]

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Jun 3rd, 2016

A Bed is Born

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Garden Design Give a gardener a new bed, full of fresh soil and unlimited possibility, and stand back. Twice a year at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, in early spring and again in early fall, horticulture staff and volunteers pull spent bulbs and weary annuals out of their beds and replace them with […]

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May 25th, 2016

Peace for Pitcher Plants

Pitcher plants are hungry for change. If you venture out to the West Island Garden, chances are that you will run into some spectacular-looking Sarracenia, commonly known as pitcher plants. To me, they are utterly fascinating–from their deeply-folded leaves and colorful veins to perching lids and pinwheel flowers (Yes, they do flower and flower beautifully). Sarracenia look to […]

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May 23rd, 2016

Black Bat Flower Inspiration

The Mysterious Black Bat Flower Inspires Visitors & Artists A few days ago, Conservatory Horticulturist Chelsea Mahaffey sent me an excited email that our Tacca chantrieri or black bat flower was blooming. When I posted the photo of the flower on Facebook  people became really excited.  We had several questions from fans about how to grow them, and sweetly, one […]

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May 17th, 2016

The Scoop on Mulch

Finding the Right Mulch and the Right Application Wheelbarrows, work gloves and sweat: these are the early signs of spring as homeowners dutifully mulch their plants and trees. Mulching has become a seasonal rite, the finishing touch for a well-dressed landscape and a standard for curb appeal. Mulching is an investment in plant health, too. When Richmond […]

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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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