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.

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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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.” […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Jun 5th, 2019

Special Events Are Going GREEN!

Weddings aren’t always white. Sometimes they’re green. Rehearsal dinners, baby showers and other celebrations are trending green, too. Going green has little to do with color. It’s the concept of planning events that are special, yet environmentally sustainable. “More venues are offering eco-friendly options,” said Lindsay Condelli, assistant facility events coordinator at Lewis Ginter Botanical […]

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May 17th, 2019

GRTC Grows Greener

The passenger platforms for PULSE, the GRTC bus rapid transit system, have been touted for their innovative architecture. Their landscape designs merit kudos, too. The largest planting is little more than 6 to 10 feet wide. However, the 26 stations are situated along a high-profile corridor between Willow Lawn and Rocketts Landing. Creating each station’s […]

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May 14th, 2019

Kingdom Fungi Interesting Facts

Fungi—some forms have existed millions of years!—originally were classified as plants. But they lack chlorophyll and other basic plant characteristics, so today, they reign over their own realm: Kingdom Fungi. I’m eating what? Your grocery store is stocked with fungi, from edible mushrooms to beer, wine and cheese that are fermented from yeast. The pharmacy also […]

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May 6th, 2019

Gardeners, Liberate!

The ground warms. Buds swell, and perennials reappear. Spring announces to gardeners that gardening season is near! Though green-thumb hobbies reap satisfaction—as well as fresh veggies and lush landscapes—there are costs. Long hours, constant chores, backaches and bills await most gardeners. Meet Frank Hyman Frank Hyman, a garden consultant and writer from Durham, N.C., advocates […]

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Apr 26th, 2019

Native Bloom: MAYAPPLE

Awake! This woodland rambler is an early riser from winter’s slumber. Consider mayapple a welcome harbinger of spring. State of popularity: Virginia is for Lovers … of mayapples! The native perennial (Podophyllum peltatum) can be found in almost every part of the state. What’s in a name: The moniker suggests May beauty, but Richmond’s mayapple blooms often […]

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Apr 18th, 2019

The Orchid Collector

Scientific curiosity. That is what sparked Dr. Arthur Burke ’s passion for orchids. Though he acknowledges blooming orchids are beautiful, Dr. Burke tends to view them as science in living form. “Orchids are an intellectual challenge because they have very exacting needs,” he said. “I also embraced the bi-lateral symmetry of the orchid flower. If you […]

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Apr 9th, 2019

Eastern Redbud Delivers Spring!

This native tree (Cercis canadensis) parades profuse blooms in early spring, but don’t let the name color your thinking. Red herring: The joke’s on you if you think the eastern redbud produces red blooms. Virginia’s varieties actually present lush flowers from lavender to fuchsia, and they resemble miniature hummingbirds. (Thinking of wings, the flowers of this […]

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Mar 27th, 2019

Volunteer John Popenoe Shares Knowledge + Passion

Garden volunteer John Popenoe celebrated his 90th birthday with some of his favorite friends: tropical plants, along with Conservatory staff and volunteers. John’s introduction to plants was his grandfather’s avocado nursery in Pasadena, California. In 1950, he graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in horticulture. He also earned masters and doctoral degrees. During his career, […]

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