Gardening & Horticulture

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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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, […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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. […]

Read More
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 — […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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, […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More