Gardening & Horticulture

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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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 ft. wide. However, the 26 stations are situated along a high-profile corridor between Willow Lawn and Rocketts Landing. Creating each station’s […]

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May 16th, 2019

Good Gully: Stream Restoration Helps Environment

As you wind your way through the entrance to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, a stream cuts through the lawn to your left. It has a naturalistic feel, with trees and small shrubs growing along the sides. The purpose now is functional – an area for run-off from nearby neighborhoods, streets and parking lots – but the […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Nov 26th, 2018

Our Changed Climate

I remember three things vividly from high school chemistry in Bozeman, Mont.: a terrible walk in December 1972 from home to school for a 6:30 a.m. lab with the temperature at 20 below zero; organic chemicals smelling as bad as promised; and the teacher, a veteran with a crew cut, promising the world we students […]

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Nov 20th, 2018

Frank L. Robinson Endowed Chair

We are proud to announce Senior Horticulturist Shannon Smith as the recipient of the Frank L. Robinson Endowed Chair. The Frank L. Robinson Endowed Chair, created in 2015, honors the Garden’s President Emeritus Frank Robinson. The Endowed Chair offers compensation, professional development, and position support to a selected staff member from either horticulture or education. The […]

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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 29th, 2018

Magical Moss

I’ve always been a quiet fan of moss, the herbaceous plant that reminds me of mysterious forests and rainy days. But not everyone shares my love. For instance, Virginia gardener Norie Burnet  once “had the mindset that moss belongs in the woods, not your garden.”   That isn’t the whole story, though. Burnet is now […]

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Aug 9th, 2018

Battle of the Bugs

While most gardeners try to keep insects out of the garden, Horticulturist Chelsea Mahaffey invites them in – selectively, of course. “The trick is knowing which bugs are beneficial and which are harmful,” she says. Aphids, two-spotted spider mites, and mealybugs are common insects that harm plants. If they’re present and plant damage escalates, Mahaffey […]

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Jul 11th, 2018

Breweries Grow Garden Partnerships

The explosion of craft beers is no surprise,” said Chris Ray, co-founder of the Center of the Universe (COTU) Brewing Company. Neither is the explosion of growing hops. As a main ingredient in traditional IPA-style beers, breweries, brewmasters and home brewers are planting hops in everything from backyard containers to full-scale brewery gardens.   In […]

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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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Apr 29th, 2018

Mulch: Dead or Alive?

Grab your work gloves, wheelbarrow, and pitchfork. And don’t forget your sunscreen and water. It’s time, once again, to spread mulch! A light top-dressing will help spruce up the landscape as spring bursts forth.   Or perhaps this tradition isn’t for you? If the annual rite of transporting, lifting and spreading a load of mulch […]

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Apr 20th, 2018

Spring PlantFest

Are you ready for this year’s Spring PlantFest plant sale? The greenhouse is chock full of plants that are ready and eager for spring and Spring PlantFest is a Richmond tradition. Plants for each year’s sale are chosen by a selection committee, which brings you Garden favorites (including lots of natives) and trendy new plants […]

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Mar 31st, 2018

Spreading Seeds!

The average last frost date is an exhilarating milestone in any gardener’s year — it means that all of those winter day-dreams of bright zinnias and juicy cucumbers, fresh herbs and crunchy corn, summer squash and cheerful sunflowers will soon come to fruition.  And though our recent snowy days may make it hard to believe, […]

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Mar 27th, 2018

How to Control Aphids Without Pesticides

Using Beneficial Bugs Here at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, we rely heavily on beneficial insects and sustainable practices, especially in our 11,000 square-foot Conservatory. Since the Conservatory is a tropical climate, we know that we will always have some insects that enjoy feeding on plants there. When it becomes problematic, we introduce beneficial insects to […]

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Mar 12th, 2018

Foodscaping

About a decade ago, Brie Arthur won a Yard of the Year award for her home landscape. That’s not unusual since she’s a professional horticulturist. What was surprising was the design. Apparently, her North Carolina homeowners’ association hadn’t noticed her “foodscaping” — planting various vegetables and herbs planted in plain sight, alongside ornamental shrubs and […]

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