Blooms & Gardens

Sep 17th, 2019

Emily Herr Adds a Welcome Mural

The iconic view of the Conservatory and the Central Garden leading up to it immediately draw in visitors. However, hidden behind the Conservatory,  an oft-overlooked treasure awaits. The Kroger Community Kitchen Garden and the Bob Stapleton and Keith Tignor Apiary are two of my favorite places to show visitors.  Although the Kitchen Garden has been […]

Read More
Sep 6th, 2019

Restoring Nature’s Relationships at Home with Doug Tallamy

Recently I had the pleasure of attending Dr. Doug Tallamy’s lecture, Restoring Nature’s Relationships at Home. It was hosted by Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s education department and I was moved to see it was sold out, with 245 people signed up to attend. It is encouraging to see so many people are aware there are […]

Read More
Jun 19th, 2019

Purple Passionflower

Purple passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), both handsome and hardy, is a native that frequents fields and fencerows across our state. A day in the sun The sun-loving perennial vine produces showy, exotic flowers during summer–but look fast! Each lavender bloom lasts less than a day before it shrivels and sets fruit over the course of several […]

Read More
Jun 14th, 2019

Feed More Receives A New Herb Garden

The Garden is full of beautiful landscapes, blossoming flowers, art installations and small wildlife. It is beautiful year round and always offers something new to engage with. However, one of the most amazing areas of the Garden is the Kroger Community Kitchen Garden. This time of the year it’s bustling with visitors, horticulturists, volunteers and school […]

Read More
May 17th, 2019

GRTC Grows Greener

The passenger platforms for PULSE, the GRTC bus rapid transit system, have been touted for their innovative architecture. Their landscape designs merit kudos, too. The largest planting is little more than 6 to 10 feet wide. However, the 26 stations are situated along a high-profile corridor between Willow Lawn and Rocketts Landing. Creating each station’s […]

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 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
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 […]

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 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 […]

Read More
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. […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More