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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Feb 11th, 2021

Citizen Science in Your Backyard!

Calling all birders, bird enthusiasts, and even the bird curious. The annual Great Backyard Bird Count is quickly approaching, and YOU have an opportunity to participate in something global and meaningful right in your very own backyard. Anytime February 12-15,  2021, take as little as 15-minutes to count some feathered friends in your backyard, or […]

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Feb 10th, 2021

Instagram GardenFest Contest

The GardenFest Instagram contest has become one of our favorite holiday traditions. It’s a wonderful way for us to reflect on a season of festivities, joy and see how our visitors and members experience Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights. Can you believe we’ve been doing this contest for eight years now? We are so excited […]

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Feb 9th, 2021

Garden’s New President & CEO: Brian Trader

I can’t think of a time when our society has needed the respite and healing of gardens and nature more. This is just one of the many reasons I’m honored and humbled to join Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. I started as President and CEO on January 4, and have spent my first few weeks getting to know […]

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Feb 6th, 2021

Tree-of-Heaven: A “Dirty Dozen” Plant

This week we are featuring tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) as our “Dirty Dozen” plant. While this tree may have been used in folk medicine or even as an insecticide, it is diabolical for our Virginia native ecosystems. Tree-of-Heaven Ailanthus altissima is a member of the quassia (Simaroubaceae) family (PDF). This small to medium-sized tree is dioecious, […]

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Feb 6th, 2021

Crape Myrtle: Pruning

February is the time of year you may notice stark “stubs” of crape myrtles in parking lots and other areas around town. Often crape myrtle is so harshly pruned only trunks are left, with the top half of the tree hacked off. The look is so prevalent that many believe this is the correct way […]

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Feb 1st, 2021

Oriental Bittersweet: A “Dirty Dozen” Plant

This week’s Dirty Dozen plant is oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus). Since it is still available in the horticultural trade, we hope that the following information will convince you not to buy this plant. Oriental Bittersweet Celastrus orbiculatus is a member of the bittersweet family (Celastraceae). This deciduous, perennial, woody vine can grow up to 60 […]

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Jan 29th, 2021

Diverse Books for Children: Why it Matters

Diverse Books Did you have a favorite book as a child? Take a moment to think about that book and how you felt connected to it. For me, it was Corduroy by Don Freeman. I spent a lot of my childhood at Shaw Library in the Shaw neighborhood in Northwest, Washington, D.C. That library is […]

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Jan 24th, 2021

Porcelain Berry: A “Dirty Dozen” Plant

This week’s featured member of the “Dirty Dozen” is Ampelopsis glandulosa var. brevipedunculata, commonly known as porcelain berry or amur peppervine. Most horticulture staff agree that this is the most pervasive of all invasive plants that we are currently battling at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Porcelain Berry Ampelopsis glandulosa var. brevipedunculata (syn. Ampelopsis brevipedunculata), is […]

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