Blooms & Gardens

Sep 19th, 2018

10 Surprising Tree Facts

Trees. They provide shade on a summer’s day. Brilliant bursts of color in fall. The stark beauty of naked bark against an overcast winter sky. And the hope of rebirth as green leaf shoots sprout from seemingly out of nowhere in spring.  We sometimes take trees for granted, but we shouldn’t. They are vital to […]

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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, […]

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Aug 24th, 2018

Summer Blooms & Bright Spots

We wish we could give each person who visits Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden their own personal guided summer blooms highlights tour. But since that’s not practical we try to do the next best thing — we give visitors you a resource so they can make sure they see our most interesting plants and blooms while […]

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Aug 7th, 2018

Growing Food for Those in Need

People right here in Central Virginia struggle with hunger every day. The populations most likely to be affected by hunger, children and the elderly, may have trouble not only getting enough food but getting the right kind of food  — fresh locally grown vegetables and fruits. The Kroger Community Kitchen Garden is working to change that. […]

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Jul 9th, 2018

Butterfly Weed

Profile of Asclepias tuberosa: a native plant beloved by butterflies and gardeners alike … Clusters of color. Crown-shaped flowers blaze with bold orange or yellow vibrancy in the summertime. Nectar and pollen. Butterflies, monarchs, and hummingbirds greedily guzzle its nectar, while only wasps pollinate its flowers. Weedy or worthy? Butterfly weed may be persistent as […]

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Jun 20th, 2018

Plants Behaving Badly: A Review

As you walk around our garden enjoying the beautiful plants, you might not realize that they have complicated personal lives. All those beautiful colors and structures have a purpose. Often the purpose has to do with eating and reproducing, and nothing to do with your enjoyment. According to the PBS video Plant Behaving Badly, scientists […]

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Jun 12th, 2018

Million Blooms Winner

Meet this year’s #MillionBlooms Instagram​ Contest winner,  Garden Member Kelly Randall (@falco_kapowski on Instagram).  We love this story! “Mara and I go to Lewis Ginter two or three times a week. My grandparents got us a membership for Christmas and we have definitely been getting our money’s worth! Mara loves to practice her walking and […]

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Jun 7th, 2018

Pollinator Plantings

As you move down the Main Garden Path this summer, you’ll notice the rainbow of flowers — each one part of a group of pollinator plantings–stretching at its side. You’ll see a variety of specimens, including annuals, perennials, and native plants. These blooms aren’t just attractive to the eye, but help to attract useful pollinators […]

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May 2nd, 2018

Spring Garden Renovations

Spring is here and seems like the perfect time to tell you about some garden renovations taking place at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.  We got swept up in spring cleaning and have cleared out two plant beds near the North Terrace. The fun part is seeing what comes next, keep reading! The plant bed, located outside […]

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Apr 12th, 2018

Tulipmania!

When spring arrives at the garden, the phones start ringing with calls from hopeful visitors asking when the tulips are expected to bloom this year. We try our best to make predictions, asking horticulturists for their most informed estimations and watching patiently as the early varieties start to open up in small numbers.  And then […]

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Mar 28th, 2018

Virginia Bluebells Bloom at Ginter

In April 1776, Thomas Jefferson noted  “a bluish colored, funnel-formed flower in lowgrounds in bloom,” in one of the earliest entries of his garden book. Jefferson certainly wasn’t the first person to become enthralled by the unusual beauty of Mertensia virginica and he wasn’t the last either. Mertensia virginica, more commonly called Virginia Bluebells have captured […]

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Mar 2nd, 2018

Quiet Greetings from the Hellebores

It was maybe two weeks ago when a couple of visitors stopped by the Admissions desk on their way out of the Garden to show us all pictures they had taken of the first couple of daffodils they saw blooming. Sitting behind the desk on that late winter day, a wave of excitement rushed over […]

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Oct 9th, 2017

Southern Blight & a Natural Solution

How We are Using Mustard Greens to Fight Southern Blight Soil is vital and essential because it sustains life. You cannot have a healthy garden without healthy soil. The rear portion of the Kroger Community Kitchen Garden (KCKG) was hit last year with southern blight, a common soil-borne, plant disease. Southern blight affects all parts of the plant and […]

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Sep 5th, 2017

Gardening Advice for Late Summer

 (Gardeners, don’t quit now!) It’s this time of the year that gardeners August gardens’ towering tomato plants eke out their final harvests. Yellowing cucumber vines wildly wander. Herbs go to seed, while tuckered flowers fade from glory. And all is accompanied by Richmond’s incessant heat, haze, and humidity. No wonder folks want to run from […]

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Aug 25th, 2017

Butterfly Garden Pro!

For this month’s blog I’d like to demonstrate how simple, straight-forward, and fun creating a butterfly garden is. I asked around the horticulturist’s lunch table to find out who among them ranks as a butterfly gardening expert. I’m glad I did, because Senior Horticulturist Shannon Smith is a butterfly gardening pro and plants specifically to support our native pollinators both here at Lewis Ginter […]

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Jul 14th, 2017

Success with Succulents

“Succulents are not really beautiful. They’re weird. ” Mike Wallace’s candor about succulent plants stems from 40 years of studying and collecting them. A self-taught succulent guru and certified horticulturist, he became fascinated with the ornamentals while living in Tucson, Ariz., where they thrive. The word “succulent” comes from the Latin word “sucus,” which means […]

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Jun 13th, 2017

Container Plantings

Landscape need a punch of color? Front entry desperate for a bit of cheer? Or perhaps your spring annuals are withering in the heat? Beth Burrell, garden designer and consultant, suggests a simple solution: DIY container plantings filled with summer annuals and perennials. Not only will they brim with color, texture and interest. They will […]

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Jun 11th, 2017

Mother’s Day Ideas & Reflections

Where does the time go? Nine years ago, I started bringing my family to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden on Mother’s Day, several years before beginning work in Ginter’s education department. My best friend and I were new moms and we wanted to spend our first Mother’s Day in the Garden enjoying the concert with Glennroy […]

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Jun 9th, 2017

Gardening From the Heart

My mother was a gardener. She had blackberries and tomatoes in our backyard, and an herb garden near the back door that flavored her thoughtful and delicious meals. In her late 50s, my mom developed early onset Alzheimer’s. When she was ailing, but could still get into the car for occasional excursions, we liked to […]

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Apr 30th, 2017

Birdscaping Your Yard

You check off the first step in birdscaping when you look at your yard from a bird’s point of view. More than bird baths and feeders staged here and there, birdscaping is planning and planting to not only attract, but nurture wild birds. Megan Lacey, a horticulturist at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, is a birdscaper […]

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Mar 14th, 2017

Cutting Gardens: Inspiration

Vases and jars brimming with fresh-cut flowers make a house “home.” It can create a dilemma, though –  where to find flowers? Florists can be pricey, and commercial growers leave a carbon footprint. You can raid your own yard, but that leaves gaps in the landscape. Plus there’s guilt from robbing outdoor pretties for the […]

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Mar 11th, 2017

Flower Shows are a Rite of Spring at Lewis Ginter

I still remember my first flower show.  It was in 1997, and my husband pointed out that the newly opened Robins Visitor Center at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was featuring a daffodil show.  He wanted to see the new building, and I was curious, so off we went. The show was a revelation! Rows and rows […]

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Feb 16th, 2017

Witch Hazel: Winter Wisdom

Witch hazel always rings a mystical note. Blooming in the middle of the winter, those delicate bits of yellow, copper, or red ribbon blow outward from bare branches like sparks of fire, as if an invisible sorceress were working her spells and enlivening the winter slumber. Seasoned gardeners understand the quiet delight of walking outside […]

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Feb 9th, 2017

Beneficial Bugs: Facebook Live!

In case you missed it, here’s a recap of our Facebook Live post with Director of Horticulture Grace Elton and Conservatory Horticulturist Chelsea Mahaffey. In this video, we take you on a brief virtual tour of the Conservatory, then  show how we use beneficial insects to control other bug problems in our botanical displays. Did you know that […]

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Dec 8th, 2016

Safeguarding Boxwoods

Editor’s note: This is a timely post on an important topic. We are reprinting it with permission from the authors, noted below.  Mind Your Holiday Decorations: Safeguarding Your Boxwoods from Boxwood Blight Guest blog post by Chuan Hong, Ping Kong and Xiao Yang, Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center Mike Likins, Adria Bordas, Kate […]

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