Gardening & Horticulture

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 17th, 2016

Luffa: Plant Then Exfoliate

Getting the Lowdown on Luffa Luffa sponges don’t come from the ocean. And they’re not from manmade materials. Rough-textured exfoliators originate from luffa: dried fiber from the vegetable of the same name. Luffa or loofah (botanically Luffa aegyptiaca) is a vine-grown member of the pumpkin, squash and gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. Centuries ago, the luffa plant was brought […]

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Oct 20th, 2016

Nature’s Oddities

Discover the Weird and Wacky in Nature Oddities of nature surround us. The great outdoors is where curiosity is not disappointed, it finds discovery. Quirky findings aren’t rare, they abound. Strangeness is not manmade, it comes naturally. A bizarre-shaped veggie intrigues passersby to pause and ponder its form. A seed head resembling a face brings a […]

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Sep 18th, 2016

Plant Hunters Adventures

“An estimated 15 to 30 percent of the world’s flowering plants have yet to be discovered.” —Missouri Botanical Garden  Plant hunters dabble in science, adventure, horticulture and research — whether working in the eighteenth century or today. Typically, his calling is to travel the world, or sometimes just across the country, in search of undiscovered plant specimens […]

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Sep 9th, 2016

Fast Boats & Ancarrow Wildflowers

  Newton Ancarrow had a passion for his hometown river, the James. He’d always loved boating, and took up boat-building as an adult. With two 300-horsepower Cadillac engines and fins to match, his luxury crafts were designed for the world’s richest speed boating enthusiasts. Customers included King Paul of Greece, the sheik of Qatar, the […]

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Sep 7th, 2016

RVA Urban Forest Branches Out

An Urban Forest Growing in Your City Urban forests are thriving in Richmond. For 25 consecutive years, RVA has been designated a “Tree City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation. RVA’s urban forest is spreading its canopy. It comprises every tree in the city limits, whether planted in medians, or residential districts and parks. Each […]

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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 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

Mulching: 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 […]

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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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