Apr 9th, 2021

Feed the Birds with Native Plants

Whether you enjoy bird watching or you like to feed the birds, native plants are a great way to attract them to your yard! Should We Use Bird Feeders? So you may be wondering, are bird feeders a good idea? Like many things in life, it depends on the circumstances. When we feed birds and […]

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Apr 7th, 2021

Save a Monarch, Plant Milkweed

Milkweed might need some rebranding. It’s unfortunate that “weed” is part of its name when this plant does so much good.  Asclepias is the botanical name for a genus of perennial flowering plants well known as the host plant for monarch butterflies.  The monarch butterfly population has declined 80% in the past 20 years, and […]

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Apr 5th, 2021

Elaeagnus: A “Dirty Dozen” Plant

For this week’s Dirty Dozen plant, we have a triple threat: autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata), Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) and thorny olive (Elaeagnus pungens). All three Elaeagnus species are invasive, and E. umbellata and E. pungens are already widespread in Virginia (PDF). We invite you to join us in reducing their spread and ecological impact. […]

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Apr 3rd, 2021

Lotus Home Garden

Are you looking for a new plant to grow and to spruce up your home garden? Consider adding lotus! Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is a relatively easy way to bring beauty and peace to your home garden.  Planting Supplies You just need a few items to start things off: Lotus rhizomes or tuber  A watertight container […]

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Apr 1st, 2021

Artists in Residence

Last year was challenging for all of us on so many levels. I know for me, the ability to pause in nature, listen to music or paint, was a part of the survival mode of getting through a difficult time. As we began to plan for reopening after COVID and springtime, we realized that a […]

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Mar 31st, 2021

Claudine Reyes: Inspiration and Innovation

It’s easy to find inspiration when the Garden is your office! “A simple walk around the Garden really inspires me and reenergizes me,” Visual Media Specialist Claudine Reyes explains. She loves to hear other staff members and volunteers talk about the Garden. “I feel like I really feed off of their energy whenever they speak […]

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Mar 29th, 2021

Cogon Grass: A “Dirty Dozen” Plant

Cogon grass (Imperata cylindrica) is considered one of the top ten worst invasive plant species in the world. Even with its less-than-stellar reputation, it is a popular ornamental plant. Though not yet widespread in Virginia, we are struggling to control it here at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (more on that in a minute), and it […]

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Mar 26th, 2021

Italian Arum: A “Dirty Dozen” Plant

Our “Dirty Dozen” plant of the week is Italian arum (Arum italicum). Even though Washington is the only U.S. state to officially recognize arum as invasive, our horticulture staff have observed its invasive qualities in the Garden. You may not hear about arum from other invasive plant resources for Virginia, so we definitely think you […]

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Mar 18th, 2021

Cicadas – a Concern for Gardeners?

If you’ve been paying attention to the buzz, you may have heard about a special type of cicada that’s set to emerge by the millions on parts of the East Coast. The so-called periodical cicada, which comes out in huge swarms every 17 (or in some cases 13) years, is truly a sight (and sound) […]

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Mar 14th, 2021

Planting for Nature’s Best Hope

Teddy Roosevelt stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon in 1903 and, looking out across the country’s 1.2-million-acre National Park, made an impassioned plea to the American people. “Leave it as it is.”  “You cannot improve on it,” the president went on. Award-winning conservationist Doug Tallamy wants you to follow Roosevelt’s advice in your own […]

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Mar 8th, 2021

Virtual Field Trip Packages

While your “field trip” to your backyard or local park may have been exciting at the beginning of the “stay at home” era, you might be ready for a change of pace. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden now offers a dozen different virtual field trip packages that cover Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) content. If you’re […]

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Mar 4th, 2021

Nandina: A “Dirty Dozen” Plant

This week, we are highlighting invasive Nandina domestica, commonly known as nandina, heavenly bamboo and sacred bamboo. Despite the name, this member of the Dirty Dozen is neither a true bamboo nor heavenly. Like mulberry weed, nandina has not yet been recognized on the Virginia Invasive Plant Species List, though it is a well-known invasive […]

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Feb 25th, 2021

Lenten Rose

If you ask my favorite flower, I will have trouble answering. It depends on the time of the year, my mood, and if I’m growing it in my own garden.  But, I can honestly say that Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis) is one of my favorites at this time of year.  True, it doesn’t have much […]

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Feb 14th, 2021

Love Letters to Nature

Are you writing love letters to anyone special this Valentine’s Day? Remember that love isn’t just about romance! Love includes being grateful for those who bring you joy, whether that’s a partner, friend or family member. Thankfulness shouldn’t be reserved for people, though. Have you considered writing a love letter to nature? Starting today (February […]

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Feb 13th, 2021

A Lesson Learned: The History of Horticulture & Invasive Plants

Invasive Plants: How did They Get Here? If you’ve been reading our “Dirty Dozen” blog series, you’ve probably noticed a recurring theme in several of the articles: many invasive plants were intentionally brought to the United States for ornamental purposes. Up until now, we have not featured Dirty Dozen plants that were deliberately planted at […]

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