Jan 16th, 2024

Ways to Enjoy the Garden this Winter

One of the most underrated times to visit Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is during the winter months. While the tulips get ready underground, there are many blooms and happenings aboveground. The Garden staff and volunteers work tirelessly on creating tours, classes, and events for all to enjoy. Read on to see what the Garden has to offer for winter 2024.


The Conservatory: Beyond Its Timeless Beauty Tour (January 25 or March 2): Conservatories enable exotic plants to be grown, showcase treasures of the plant world and provide a peaceful reflective setting. Discover how plants are obtained and curated to develop a significant botanical collection of ever-changing displays. Explore favorite plant groups – ferns, orchids and desert plants. Be inspired to grow your own exotic plants and acquire tips for orchid care.

Seasonal Garden Tours (February 6, March 5): Enhance your understanding and appreciation of the Garden with one of these specialized tours featuring seasonal aspects of the collection, offered monthly except January, July, August and December.

Conservation & Sustainability Talk and Walk (March 14): Join Garden Guide Susie Austin for a talk about the many ways we practice sustainability here at the Garden including conserving water, planting native species and recycling. Then enjoy a walk around the Garden to see some of our current efforts at work and discuss how some of these could be adopted for use in your home garden.



Great Backyard Bird Count (February 17): Community Science event that brings awareness to bird activity in the area through community partners, activities, and self-guided experiences. children can assist, too, and are welcome to help with a parent. All are welcome to participate in this exciting community event!

Winter Symposium and 55th CVNLA Short Course (February 14-15): Join us for this two-day hybrid symposium as we explore sustainable practices for the green industry that can help us adapt to our changing world. Registration for the 2024 Symposium: Gardening for the Future is now open! Speakers include Chris Ludwig (Flora of Virginia co-author), Ekene Tharpe (Babylon Micro-Farms), Andrew Freiden (NBC12), and more!

Virginia Orchid Society Show and Sale (February 23-25): Multi-day event featuring hundreds of orchids on display and for sale, free lectures, orchid vendors and more.



NEW! Edible Root Crops (January 20, In-person): Join horticulturist Menaka Dewasinghe as she introduces you to the tropical food plants of her homeland, Sri Lanka. Learn how edible roots and tubers like Purple Yam, Yuca/Cassava, Taro yam/Kiri ala, Lotus yam, Chinese potato/Innala, Sweet potato and more are important cultivated staple energy sources in tropical regions in the world. With a focus on the traditions Menaka learned while growing up in Sri Lanka, she will provide a cooking demonstration showcasing different cooking methods for these vegetables and students will have the opportunity to sample a variety of curries, porridges and sides featuring the roots and leaves of these fascinating plants.

The History of the Black Garden (February 3, In-Person): Since the founding of America, African Americans have planted crops for themselves that have cultural importance, particularly in Virginia and the greater South. Join Debra Freeman, host and creator of Setting the Table podcast, as she explores the fascinating history and relevance of fish peppers, watermelons, sweet potatoes, collards, peanuts and other legacy vegetables that still endure today. 

NEW! Orchid Care Unveiled (March 13, In-Person): Delve into the secrets of orchid care with RVA Tropical & Exotic Plants! In this engaging class, orchid experts from Chadwick Orchids and Virginia Orchid Society will demystify the world of orchids. Learn about orchid varieties, potting and repotting, watering and humidity, pest and disease prevention, common challenges and more! Tour of the orchids in the Conservatory.


To learn more about these classes and all other offerings, check out the full catalog here or explore classes in order by date using our new Classes By Date tool. This year, adult learning has introduced three new/updated learning categories: Botany & Ecology; Beekeeping, Birding, & Bugs; and Play Make and Take Workshops. Don’t forget: Garden admission will be half-price from January 15-31, except Jan. 19, when the Garden will be closed. January blooms have already begun!

Meredith Orne is a marketing intern at the Garden. She has a bachelor's degree in Media Arts & Design with a minor in Business. She also loves photography, writing, art, and graphic design and is excited to learn more about the Garden through these channels.

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