Lynn Kirk

About Lynn Kirk

Lynn Kirk, a freelance writer and marketing consultant, has collaborated with Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden since 2002. She considers it a joy and privilege to write newspaper articles and member newsletters for such a top-rated (and utterly gorgeous!) public garden.

Apr 28th, 2021

Elizabeth Fogel: Designing for Tomorrow

Senior Horticulturist Elizabeth Fogel studied the latest theories for sustainable and regenerative landscapes by visiting 10 eco-focused botanical gardens over the past two years. Her cross-country travel and hands-on research were made possible by the Frank L. Robinson Endowed Chair in Horticulture. In downtown Chicago, Fogel was awed by the Lurie Garden, 2.5 acres of […]

Read More
Oct 2nd, 2020

Osmanthus: Planting for Fragrance

Some gardeners may call it devilwood, but the fragrance of the osmanthus shrub is nothing less than heavenly. Its tiny, creamy white flowers form clusters that emit a powerfully fragrant scent, similar to the heady fragrances produced by magnolias and gardenias. Originating in East Asia, the osmanthus was cultivated for centuries and offered as aromatic […]

Read More
May 2nd, 2020

May Garden Tips

May is one of the busiest months for working in the garden. But if you prioritize carefully and take advantage of the many devices and tools available, you can get the work done and stop to smell the roses! Weeding By May it is too late to use a pre-emergent herbicide to suppress weeds because […]

Read More
Apr 2nd, 2020

Preparing for Spring Planting

The 90 days of winter can seem like an eternity to gardeners. Fortunately, this season of dormancy and cold is drawing to a close. Nature is preparing for the advent of spring — we are already seeing swelling buds, shooting sprouts and greening grass. So how should the gardener prepare? Step by Step Clean up, […]

Read More
Mar 31st, 2020

Garden Activist Calls for Revolution

Revival, social justice and defiant compassion marked the pleas of Benjamin Vogt, owner of Monarch Gardens, a prairie-inspired garden design firm in Lincoln, NE. During Lewis Ginter’s Winter Symposium in Richmond, Vogt passionately advocated for the voiceless: plants and their extended communities around the globe. “The greatest injustice of our time may be the eradication […]

Read More
Feb 28th, 2020

What Are Natives?

What are natives? What nature intended: Natives are the plants that grow naturally in a region — as in, they generally occurred here before European settlement. They also are the grassroots for co-survival of other native species, including insects, birds and wildlife. More for less: Native plants sometimes are more resistant to drought, insects and […]

Read More
Feb 5th, 2020

Outdoor Recreation May Increase Your Happiness

Long days enjoyed in the great outdoors is history for most Americans. Today, the average adult spends 93 percent of his life inside. He also devotes ten hours a day to screen time on computers, phones and digital games. Is it a coincidence that one in five adults suffers from a major mental illness, and […]

Read More
Jan 28th, 2020

Gardening Trends: Ecosystem Health

The new year’s forecast for gardening and horticulture reveals little that’s new. Trend spotters expect more of the same … but intensified. With a 20/20 view of the past, 2020 is expected to focus once again on environmental stewardship and sustainability. “If we can combine the wisdom of the past with the science and technology […]

Read More
Dec 11th, 2019

WINTER WILDSCAPES: Wonderlands for learning

Winter is in full swing, and nature’s response is a fascinating study for children on school break. Nature knowledge supports Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL) objectives. Outdoor exploration of winter wildscapes also fosters youngsters’ appreciation for the natural world, which can last a lifetime. To help your child or grandchild understand nature’s seasonal changes, talk […]

Read More
Nov 18th, 2019

Insects Take the Heat

Humans aren’t the only ones who feel the heat. Global warming affects insects, too. Their responses vary by species and environs, including creative adaptions over time. “Insects and mites are ectotherms, which means they depend mostly on ambient temperatures to warm their bodies and power their processes of growth, development, reproduction and movement,” explained Dr. […]

Read More
Nov 9th, 2019

Wildlife Needs Habitat, Not Food

“Ideally, we shouldn’t feed wildlife at all,” said Carol Heiser, habitat education coordinator with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF). Nature takes care of her own during winter, and we should let her. Birds, squirrels and deer are fascinating to watch up close as they feed. However, setting out seeds, fruit and […]

Read More
Oct 14th, 2019

Yucca: A Nifty Native

Sea to shining sea: Yucca adapted across diverse climates and soils, from America’s arid deserts of the West to sandy dunes of the East … and nearly every Virginia county along the way. Locally, our native species is Yucca filamentosa, a slow-growing flowering evergreen. C the difference: America’s native plant requires two c’s in “yucca.” […]

Read More
Sep 12th, 2019

Nature’s Vitamin D Helps with Grief

Taryn Davis’ prescription for grief involves a different type of vitamin D: dirt from the garden. She discovered the healing power of nature a few years after the death of her young husband. “I was 21 years old when Michael passed from multiple roadside blasts in Iraq,” the military widow said. “I was a junior […]

Read More
Jun 19th, 2019

Purple Passionflower

Purple passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), both handsome and hardy, is a native that frequents fields and fencerows across our state. A day in the sun The sun-loving perennial vine produces showy, exotic flowers during summer–but look fast! Each lavender bloom lasts less than a day before it shrivels and sets fruit over the course of several […]

Read More