Gardening & Horticulture

May 29th, 2020

Native Plants: An Elegant Solution

Along the eastern edge of Lake Sydnor, on the narrow strip of land between the shoreline and the Children’s Garden, a group of plants is hard at work. The beauty of the bed belies its greater purpose. The plants there are members of a “designed plant community” that mimics how different types of vegetation work […]

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May 20th, 2020

Worms! How to Make a Wormery

Last week we talked about how worms can build healthy soil.  It’s an amazing and complicated process that these small earthworms take to transform our soil. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could see worms at work underground in the soil? Well, maybe we can. I’m going to show you how to build a wormery […]

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May 18th, 2020

Outdoor Activities for Kids

While our world may have shrunk to our homes during the coronavirus pandemic, that doesn’t mean there aren’t new realms to explore. Life is teeming all around us, especially at this time of year, with a never-ending stream of outdoor activities for kids. For those with children, the natural world is rich with opportunities for […]

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May 16th, 2020

Love a Tree Day – May 16

Did you know that each year May 16 is set aside as Love-a-Tree Day? We, like you, probably love trees every day. But it’s important to set time aside each year to really recognize and show our gratitude for trees. After all, trees are invaluable; we simply could not live without them. Here are some […]

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May 12th, 2020

Life in the Dirt: Soil Health

Did you ever make a mud pie? Was there a day when you played outside until you were utterly covered in dirt? At some point in your life, did you splash in a mud puddle? As a child, my little sister, Beth, loved to play in the dirt. Beth categorized dirt. There was soft dirt, […]

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May 2nd, 2020

May Garden Tips

May is one of the busiest months for working in the garden. But if you prioritize carefully and take advantage of the many devices and tools available, you can get the work done and stop to smell the roses! Weeding By May it is too late to use a pre-emergent herbicide to suppress weeds because […]

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Apr 21st, 2020

Tips for Starting Your Vegetable Garden

Need some tips for starting your vegetable garden? We have them here! Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Senior Horticulturist Laurel Matthew recently shared some of her insight on Facebook Live and and we posted it to YouTube as well. Laurel was kind to provide some helpful information she’s learned over the years (below). Laurel works hard […]

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Apr 3rd, 2020

Best Plants for Kids

Children are natural gardeners and remind us that playing in the dirt should be fun. Curiosity. Imagination. A love of playing in the dirt. All are qualities that make children natural gardeners. Whether you’re looking for a fun project to do while you are home social distancing or just a simple opportunity to get outside […]

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Apr 2nd, 2020

Preparing for Spring Planting

The 90 days of winter can seem like an eternity to gardeners. Fortunately, this season of dormancy and cold is drawing to a close. Nature is preparing for the advent of spring — we are already seeing swelling buds, shooting sprouts and greening grass. So how should the gardener prepare? Step by Step Clean up, […]

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Mar 31st, 2020

Garden Activist Calls for Revolution

Revival, social justice and defiant compassion marked the pleas of Benjamin Vogt, owner of Monarch Gardens, a prairie-inspired garden design firm in Lincoln, NE. During Lewis Ginter’s Winter Symposium in Richmond, Vogt passionately advocated for the voiceless: plants and their extended communities around the globe. “The greatest injustice of our time may be the eradication […]

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Mar 28th, 2020

Starting Seeds: Use What You Have

With the COVID-19 pandemic making social distancing now the norm, many of you probably have some time on your hands. Bet you’re a garden lover too! Let’s make the most of it by starting seeds for a flower and vegetable garden.  Not only will this put you in a better frame of mind because gardening […]

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Feb 28th, 2020

What Are Natives?

What are natives? What nature intended: Natives are the plants that grow naturally in a region — as in, they generally occurred here before European settlement. They also are the grassroots for co-survival of other native species, including insects, birds and wildlife. More for less: Native plants sometimes are more resistant to drought, insects and […]

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Feb 22nd, 2020

Spring Garden Planning

Standing in line at the store recently, I was behind a young mom with four children in tow. I couldn’t help but notice she was buying seeds, soil, a container and various gardening tools. “You must be doing some spring garden planning,” I remarked. She smiled. “It’s all for my kids,” she explained. I thought […]

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Feb 7th, 2020

Magnolia amoena — Rare & Vulnerable

You can find a rare beauty, Magnolia amoena, right here in Richmond, blooming now at the north end of Sydnor Lake at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. With plants, like people, I try not to have favorites, but when you are in love, you are in love.  And the striking form of this magnolia —  the […]

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Feb 5th, 2020

Outdoor Recreation May Increase Your Happiness

Long days enjoyed in the great outdoors is history for most Americans. Today, the average adult spends 93 percent of his life inside. He also devotes ten hours a day to screen time on computers, phones and digital games. Is it a coincidence that one in five adults suffers from a major mental illness, and […]

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Jan 31st, 2020

Enjoy Simplicity with Winter Tree ID

Minimalism. One of its appeals is in stripping away the superfluous and admiring the beauty of simplicity. The same can be said of the garden in winter, especially trees. Enjoy simplicity with winter tree ID. It’s easier to see the “bones” or the underlying structure of a garden in winter. Without leaves, some trees even […]

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Jan 28th, 2020

Gardening Trends: Ecosystem Health

The new year’s forecast for gardening and horticulture reveals little that’s new. Trend spotters expect more of the same … but intensified. With a 20/20 view of the past, 2020 is expected to focus once again on environmental stewardship and sustainability. “If we can combine the wisdom of the past with the science and technology […]

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Dec 11th, 2019

WINTER WILDSCAPES: Wonderlands for learning

Winter is in full swing, and nature’s response is a fascinating study for children on school break. Nature knowledge supports Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL) objectives. Outdoor exploration of winter wildscapes also fosters youngsters’ appreciation for the natural world, which can last a lifetime. To help your child or grandchild understand nature’s seasonal changes, talk […]

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Nov 18th, 2019

Insects Take the Heat

Humans aren’t the only ones who feel the heat. Global warming affects insects, too. Their responses vary by species and environs, including creative adaptions over time. “Insects and mites are ectotherms, which means they depend mostly on ambient temperatures to warm their bodies and power their processes of growth, development, reproduction and movement,” explained Dr. […]

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Oct 14th, 2019

Yucca: A Nifty Native

Sea to shining sea: Yucca adapted across diverse climates and soils, from America’s arid deserts of the West to sandy dunes of the East … and nearly every Virginia county along the way. Locally, our native species is Yucca filamentosa, a slow-growing flowering evergreen. C the difference: America’s native plant requires two c’s in “yucca.” […]

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Sep 12th, 2019

Nature’s Vitamin D Helps with Grief

Taryn Davis’ prescription for grief involves a different type of vitamin D: dirt from the garden. She discovered the healing power of nature a few years after the death of her young husband. “I was 21 years old when Michael passed from multiple roadside blasts in Iraq,” the military widow said. “I was a junior […]

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Aug 13th, 2019

Companion Planting to Support Beneficial Insects at Lewis Ginter

The screams of a dozen middle- and high school-aged girls pierce the still air in the Kroger Community Kitchen Garden. I’m in the middle of a demonstration about beneficial insects, excitedly showing them a huge, live wolf spider I had trapped overnight, when the spider seizes the opportunity to leap out of its cup, straight […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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