Making a Difference in the Community

Sep 15th, 2017

Urban Greening for Youth

Urban Greening for the Future: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden – Groundwork RVA Partnership Empowers Youth to Transform Richmond. Urban greening: “I want to make a difference in the community,” said DarQuan, a rising senior at Huguenot High School, about urban greening. DarQuan is one of the nine students participating in the Sustainable Landscape Management Program, […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
Aug 11th, 2017

A Vision for the Future

David Palma-Carias is like many teenagers. At 19, he loves to listen to music, has a wicked sense of humor, and he’s using his time out of school during the summer to build a foundation for his future. David is thinking about career plans and dreaming big (he wants to be a radio personality).  When […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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” […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
Jun 23rd, 2017

CarMax Free Fourth of July & CarMax Volunteers

When I look back at how Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has changed over the years, I think about some of the physical changes: the new Lotus Bridge, the floating docks and the new gardens we have created thanks to generous donors (the Morton Native Plant Garden, and the Cherry Tree Walk, among others)  I think about […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
Jun 9th, 2017

Gardening From the Heart

My mother was a gardener. She had blackberries and tomatoes in our backyard, and an herb garden near the back door that flavored her thoughtful and delicious meals. In her late 50s, my mom developed early onset Alzheimer’s. When she was ailing, but could still get into the car for occasional excursions, we liked to […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
Apr 27th, 2017

Planting in Hard Places

The first class of Beautiful RVA‘s Ginter Urban Gardeners gathered 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 urban gardening for the benefit of the Richmond community. Earlier this month, they became the first graduates of the program.  Support […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
Oct 31st, 2016

Beautiful RVA: Community Collaboration for Collective Impact

Beautiful RVA — Setting the Stage for Growth One way the Richmond Region is approaching sustainable change is by working collaboratively for greater, collective impact. From food policy, to transportation, to healthy lifestyles, to workspaces, to poverty and to early childhood education, we can see collaboration isn’t a new thing for our region. We even have a regional collaborative created to bring nine […]

Read More
Oct 12th, 2016

Membership Changes Everything

When you join Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, it changes the way you experience this special place. You explore the Garden from a new perspective. You find a deeper connection in nature. You feel a sense of ownership. Now, you can make that experience yours with the exciting new membership options at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Here are my […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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. […]

Read More
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. […]

Read More
Jun 15th, 2016

A Peace Offering

Peace Essays: Seeing Nature’s Lessons about Peace Through the Eyes of a Child This week, maybe more than ever, nature’s lessons about living together in peace seem imperative. The Richmond Peace Education Center asked students to write about “Learning Peacemaking from Nature” for the theme of their annual peace essay contest this year. The essays distilled some powerful lessons from nature’s diversity. The […]

Read More
Mar 17th, 2016

Gratitude

We may be thankful for many things in a garden, but not everything. Under the “thankful for” heading: the blazing color of spring bloom, the annual return of flirty butterflies and the shift of seasons from gentle spring to sultry summer. “Not thankful for”: boxwood blight and periodic drought. Benedictine monk and author David Steindl-Rast […]

Read More
Mar 9th, 2016

Real World Horticulture Education for Youth

Imagine you’re an inner city high school student offered a job working in your neighborhood, learning new skills that you’ll be able to turn into a career. That’s exactly what the Groundwork RVA Green Workforce team is all about — that and more. The objectives are multifaceted:  urban youth holding a real job, walking to work […]

Read More
Dec 16th, 2015

Love + Hard Work = Inspiration

Inspiration: The vital life force that adds meaning to everything we do. It sneaks up on us sometimes in unexpected places. A few weeks ago, I found it in a total stranger. I got an email from a Garden visitor, Ashley Gordon, who was looking for race photos of her group. She explained she and her coworkers had […]

Read More
Nov 18th, 2015

The Top 10 Ways We Practice Sustainability

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. ~”The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss Remember the Lorax? He’s the Dr. Seuss character who warned against letting our own greed lead us into exploiting the natural world. “Now is the time,” he urged,  while “the grass is still […]

Read More
Nov 1st, 2015

Helping Hands of Youth!

One of the fun things about my job is all the people — the people that visit the Garden and the people the help us in the Garden volunteering. Last Saturday, I was lucky to work with a group of teens from HandsOn Greater Richmond Youth Philanthropy Project (a partnership between HandsOn Greater Richmond and The Community Foundation). […]

Read More
Oct 23rd, 2015

Butterfly Kisses

Do you know what a butterfly kiss is? Butterfly kisses are when you gently flutter your eyelids against another person’s check or arm. It tickles, and feels a bit like butterfly wings on your skin.  As you can see, it’s not something you can explain easily to a child. You just have to show them.  And […]

Read More