Education & Classes

Oct 25th, 2014

Brains? No just Bryozoans!

Karin Stretchko, Conservatory Horticulturist, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Look what we found in Sydnor Lake! These are bryozoa — harmless aquatic invertebrate animals. Sometimes they are called moss animals. We believed these were Pectinatella magnifica, and Eugene G. Maurakis, Ph.D., Museum Scientist at the Science Museum of Virginia, confirmed that we were right. The biology department […]

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Oct 24th, 2014

Our Butterflies Arrived Safely in Tucson!

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Last week we told you about our butterfly round-up.  At the close of Butterflies LIVE we sent 194 butterflies from the exhibit to Tucson Botanical Gardens. Tucson just sent this note with these pictures, “There were three families in the exhibit when the package arrived so those children […]

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Oct 17th, 2014

Sustainable Design for the 21st Century: The Gillette Forum

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Next week’s Making Beauty Sustainable: The Charles F. Gillette Forum  opens up some great questions about how, as a community, we will design our gardens for the future. As part of this discussion, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is  bringing in four experts, with different ideas about how to […]

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Oct 17th, 2014

Knockout Blooms: Fothergilla 'Suzanne'

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Fothergilla gardenii ‘Suzanne’ is a native with a very interesting bloom. In fall, the green leaves turn orange-red. It’s a beauty for sure. You’ll find these along the edge of Lake Sydnor, just down from the Rose Garden.

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Oct 16th, 2014

Guerrilla Garden Art — Ephemeral Art, Enjoy it While You Can

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Have you noticed “fairy art” around the Garden recently? We’re feeling a bit whimsical and inspired by our blooms these days. Director of Horticulture Grace Chapman explains, “A few months ago, I challenged the staff to ‘play’ in their gardens. I wanted them to have […]

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Oct 15th, 2014

Tropical Butterflies Take a Trip to Tucson

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden One of the most common questions we get is what do we do with the butterflies after the Butterflies LIVE! exhibit ends. Monday we had a “butterfly round-up” in the Conservatory as we chased down butterflies in butterfly nets & got them ready for their trip […]

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Oct 12th, 2014

Bye-bye Butterfly!

Bye-bye Butterfly! Today is the last chance to see these guys ’til next year . Look for Butterflies LIVE! to return in April of 2015. Photo by Don Williamson Photography

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Oct 11th, 2014

Digging in the Dirt with Fairies at the State Fair

by Phyllis Laslett, Adult Education Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden After the Garden was contacted by the State Fair of Virginia to provide a fairy garden demonstration, intrepid volunteer Barb Sawyer and her Hanover Master Gardener cohorts leapt into action.  Last week, with containers made by the Ginter Geezers, potting soil, small plants, tiny furniture, rocks […]

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Oct 9th, 2014

2014: The Year of the Clementine Crate

by Kristin Mullen, Children’s Garden Educator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden It’s not uncommon for the Children’s Garden to request donations for items that might otherwise get tossed in the trash – toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, and hot chocolate containers are some of our staples. Our young guests transform these under-appreciated items into treasures such as fanciful works […]

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Oct 8th, 2014

Leopard Lacewing: 2 Beauties in 1

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Which side do you like best? Don’t forget — last chance to see Butterflies LIVE!  The exhibit closes on Sunday (Oct. 12, 2014).  

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Oct 7th, 2014

Education about Butterflies Can Empower Conservation Efforts

by Richard Frailing, Assistant Butterfly Curator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden When I tell people my job, that I work in a butterfly exhibit at the Lewis Ginter and my official title is “Assistant Butterfly Curator,” it is always with a sly smile. I know how it sounds. I know that if I imagined what Assistant Butterfly […]

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Oct 3rd, 2014

Dominion Power & Capital One Volunteers Complete Cherry Tree Walk Plantings

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden One of the cool things about having corporate volunteer  groups come to the Garden to work is that I’m always learning from them.   This morning, two corporate groups from Dominion Virginia Power and Capital One, worked alongside Garden staff and volunteers to complete the planting […]

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Sep 28th, 2014

A Leaf? or a Butterfly?

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Just one more reason that nature is amazing: here’s the Orange Dead Leaf butterfly (Kallima inachus). Perfect mimic for a dead leaf. Wish I could catch this one with his wings open — then you’d see bright orange and purple-blue. Don’t forget, Butterflies LIVE! closes […]

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Sep 27th, 2014


  It’s hard to believe such a small, delicate flower can have such a heavenly fragrance. You’ll find the Osmanthus  in the Asian Valley or just across the Lotus Bridge between Bloemendaal House and the Children’s Garden, or you can just follow your nose!

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Sep 26th, 2014

Kids Learning Science & Math Outdoors in Nature

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden As part of a partnership with Blue Sky Fund, 5th graders from Richmond Public Schools’ George Mason Elementary School learned hands-on math and science in the Garden. Working collaboratively, students measured air and soil temperature under the tree leaf canopy and outside the tree canopy to […]

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Sep 20th, 2014

Pre-Service Teachers & Grad Students from Virginia State University Learn about Inquiry-Based Learning

A group of pre-service teachers, grad students and faculty from the Education, Biology, and Agriculture departments at  Virginia State University participated in a hands-on workshop with Children’s Garden program developers Kristi Orcutt and Kristin Mullen. As part of a National Science Foundation  grant, the pre-service teachers ‘dug into learning’ in the Central Garden, Children’s Garden Farm […]

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Sep 18th, 2014

Fall Plant Sale Features Ornamental Grasses

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden This Friday and Saturday, September 19 – 20,  is our annual Fall Plant Sale. The Fall Plant Sale features regional vendors selling rare and interesting plants, unique landscape objects and exciting items for your garden. Of particular interest this year are the ornamental grasses that […]

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Sep 17th, 2014

Join us for a Walk and Talk: Greening the Garden

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Join Garden Guide and volunteer Susie Austin as she leads you on a tour discovering sustainable initiatives that help bring Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in balance with the natural world. Learn how many small changes are adding up to a lighter footprint for a major public garden, […]

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Sep 16th, 2014

Children's Garden Volunteer Creates Mason Bee House to Help Pollinators

By Nicki, Youth Programs Developer, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Drew Kobus is a long-standing participant in the Service Learning Program, a volunteer program for youth (ages 13-18) offered through the Children’s Garden.  This is Drew’s fourth year of volunteering at the Garden and he has moved up to the highest level of responsibilities within the Service […]

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Sep 11th, 2014

Stories from Yesteryear: History of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

by Janet Woody, Garden Librarian, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Continuing from last week, here is the conclusion of Grace Arent’s biography of her Uncle Lewis Ginter published in the Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography. She wrote this in 1919. The story picks up after the Panic of 1873, when Lewis Ginter’s banking enterprise failed and he […]

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Sep 9th, 2014

Gardening: Moss Metamorphosis

by Lynn Kirk, Public Relations Writer,  Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, reprinted with permission from the Richmond Times-Dispatch Keep it or kill it? While many homeowners and gardeners consider moss a nuisance, others have learned to appreciate its beauty and benefits. Over a 35-year span, Bon Air resident Norie Burnet grew to love moss and now cultivates it […]

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Sep 2nd, 2014

Save the Date: Making Beauty Sustainable The Gillette Forum

By examining the critical processes of plant ecology and applying them to landscape and planting design, we inspire a dialogue about how to responsibly design, install, and manage the environment to mitigate and slow down climate change. Over an evening and a day, four prominent landscape designers and garden writers approach the modern expression of […]

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Aug 29th, 2014

Knockout Bloom: Blackberry Lily

by Jonah Holland , PR and Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden    This lovely blackberry lily (Iris domestica) along the Main Garden Path is one of my favorite flowers. I bought one for my own garden last year at the Garden’s Fall Plant Sale, and  I’ve featured it on this blog before. But here’s an interesting thing about it — […]

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Aug 28th, 2014

Stories from Yesteryear: The Story of Lewis Ginter

by Janet Woody, Garden Librarian, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden In 1919, Grace Arents was asked by the Press Association Compilers, Inc., of New York, publishers of  The Cyclopedia of American Biography, to review its entry on her uncle Lewis Ginter. Here are excerpts of her words about her uncle. Born in New York, April 4, 1824, […]

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