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 […]

Read More
May 9th, 2019

Early Spring Migration

We’re in the early stage of spring avian migration, a time when birders’ pulses quicken in anticipation of finding colorful songbirds, shorebirds and raptors. Some migrants will stay and breed in our region and others will continue north as far as Canada’s boreal habitats. On a late April morning, I headed to the Garden with binoculars […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 15th, 2019

Check Out the Seed Library

Are you interested in growing a garden, but intimidated about getting started? Do you want to explore our regional food history from the ground up? Or maybe you just want to test out some interesting seeds without spending much? As National Library Week winds to a close, we’re delighted to announce that you’re in luck, […]

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
Apr 3rd, 2019

Garden Talk: Get to Know Leah Purdy

All year long the Garden is full of budding plants. We start to see bright daffodils and colorful tulips in the spring, full hydrangeas in the summer, striking camellias in the fall and funky witch hazel in the winter. Have you ever wondered how we plan all of these blooms out? It’s all possible thanks […]

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
Mar 13th, 2019

What’s New in the Garden Shop

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is constantly changing with the seasons. In spring buds blossom: early crocus give way to daffodils and then tulips take the main stage.  Spring ephemerals like Virginia bluebells are the star one week, then azaleas and roses burst into bloom and as the days warm, hydrangea and daylilies and summer annuals […]

Read More
Mar 10th, 2019

Breaking the Poinsettia Rules

It is easy to break the rules when you don’t know them! Every winter I would feel sorry for so many poinsettias lying in the alleys on my morning dog walks. Those bright red splashes of color were so cheerful! A poinsettia is a symbol of the holidays, a spark of color and warmth in […]

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