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 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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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, […]

Read More
Mar 23rd, 2019

Urban gardens: Healthy or harmful?

Home-grown vegetables are only as good as their soil and environment. For urban gardens and gardeners, that can be a challenge. “In food deserts and other areas where people don’t have access to food, they take matters into their own hands through urban gardening,” said Ahkinyala Cobb–Abdullah, Ph.D., an associate professor of environmental science and […]

Read More
Mar 18th, 2019

Loblolly Pine: Towering Native

For a burst of greenery all year long, you needn’t look far. The loblolly (Pinus taeda) is evergreen and everywhere around RVA, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and beyond. Grueling beginnings: In the 16th century, sailors at sea ate a gruel that was called loblolly (“lob” for bubbling and “lolly” for thick soup). Since this pine tree […]

Read More
Feb 6th, 2019

The Joy of Journaling

As winter lingers, boredom builds. Journaling offers a creative outlet. It invites you to pause and ponder about your world. Through reflection, journaling also enlightens you about your life journey and yourself. There are countless journaling formats, but three basic approaches: text only, drawings only or a combination. No method is wrong. It is right if […]

Read More
Jan 3rd, 2019

Trends in Gardening for 2019

Mother Nature is a trendsetter, as is her fan club of environmentalists and nature nerds. As the new year dawns, so do fascinating trends and tools related to gardening and the great outdoors. Garden Media Group’s “Garden Trends Report 2019” shares these predictions. RoboGardening: Techno-gadgets are transforming horticulture in phenomenal ways. Trends in gardening include robo-mowers […]

Read More
Dec 28th, 2018

Sowing Seeds of Wellness

“Addiction is not a choice,” said Carolyn Seaman, director of development for the Richmond Behavioral Health Foundation (RBHF). “It is a powerful disease.” Seaman, who has 12 years of related experience, said no one chooses to compromise their health or lose their livelihood and home due to substance abuse. Nor do they choose to alienate […]

Read More
Nov 30th, 2018

Recycle, Redesign, Reveal Your Holiday Decor

Time to recycle! Old becomes new when renewables are fashioned into holiday decor. DIY-remakes start with the hunt. With an eagle eye, browse consignment shops, attics and workshops in search of retro nick knacks, retired holiday memorabilia and scrap materials. Upcycling these into holiday decorations not only saves cash. It’s eco-friendly and fun. During the […]

Read More
Nov 9th, 2018

Community Plants Humanity

A vacant lot on St. Peter Street blighted the Gilpin Court neighborhood for decades. Overgrown grass invited debris. The location supported crime. Most residents paid little attention to the lot until Lillie A. Estes recognized its potential as an urban orchard and garden. “When Mayor Dwight Jones came into office, I heard about his community […]

Read More
Oct 20th, 2018

Count Nature as a Citizen Scientist

Anyone can become a scientist in three simple steps. First, head outdoors. Second, observe nature. Third, share your findings. Congratulations! You are a citizen scientist. The title may not be credentialed, but professional scientists welcome data collected by citizen scientists. Naturalists, eco-friendly organizations, government agencies and land-management companies support the findings, too. Even the Smithsonian Institute […]

Read More
Sep 12th, 2018

Gardens Sprout Beauty Products

Don’t throw away herbs drying out in summer’s heat. And don’t pitch flower petals waning at season’s end. Recycle them as ingredients for DIY natural skin and hair products. “There are natural alternatives for many synthetic ingredients,” said Nadira Chase, founder and creator of Adiva Naturals. “Why use synthetics when you can do the same […]

Read More
Sep 5th, 2018

Aquatic Giant is Queen of the Lilies

Tropical plants are magical. Extraordinarily lush foliage, pungent fragrances, and remarkable blooms mesmerize our senses, while their quirky features and minuscule to mega sizes tantalize our imagination. One tropical wonder that’s long been a fascinating subject for writers, artists and photographers is the Victoria waterlily, botanically classified as Nymphaeaceae Victoria amazonica. This intriguing tropical specimen, […]

Read More
Aug 20th, 2018

Mosquitoes vs. Man

A hungry mosquito lurks nearby, evidenced by a high-pitched whining sound. If a female, her target is protein from blood, after which she develops eggs numbering up to 250,000 per season. Her pesky bites cause incessant itching, but a greater concern is whether she carries a mosquito-borne disease, such as Zika or West Nile virus. […]

Read More
Aug 9th, 2018

Battle of the Bugs

While most gardeners try to keep insects out of the garden, Horticulturist Chelsea Mahaffey invites them in – selectively, of course. “The trick is knowing which bugs are beneficial and which are harmful,” she says. Aphids, two-spotted spider mites, and mealybugs are common insects that harm plants. If they’re present and plant damage escalates, Mahaffey […]

Read More