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Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Photo Tour

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden flowers
Lewis Ginter splashes color everything in the spring, summer and fall.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond is an oasis of color and beauty.

This Central Virginia landmark has been rated one of the top 10 public gardens in the United States and one of the best attractions in Virginia.

The 50-acre escape has the only domed conservatory in the mid-Atlantic. Children have their own dedicated garden with climbing structures and places to get thoroughly wet on hot days.

More than a dozen themed gardens include a Victorian Garden, Asian Valley, Fountain Garden and Healing Garden. The Four Seasons Garden displays a fountain with four playful frogs and the domed Conservatory in the background.

It also has quiet, secluded paths where visitors can wander -- or sit -- and contemplate the beauty of it all. The best times to visit are spring and fall, although it also has a hugely popular "GardenFest of Lights" during the Christmas holiday season.

Four Seasons Garden

One of the first gardens after passing through the visitors' center is the Four Seasons Garden. Just beyond it lie the Fountain Garden and The Conservatory.

The Four Seasons Garden is merely a taste of the flavors to come. The Conservatory is Lewis Ginter's most ambitious project.

What visitors don't see from this vantage point is the sunken Fountain Garden that lies between Four Seasons and The Conservatory.

As you walk toward the Fountain Garden and Conservatory, look to the left to see the Kelly Education Center.

Fountain Garden

Lewis Ginter Four Seasons Garden
Any photo of the Fountain Garden doesn't do it justice.
The oval pond is also a sunken garden that allows visitors to sit on benches in the shade and simply listen to the water's soothing sounds.

Color and species arund the pool change with the season while the fountains play the same gentle music all year long.

The Conservatory

Lewis Ginter calls The Conservatory the "Jewel of the Garden." The centerpiece is a 63-foot-tall dome with palms, water feature and exotic plants.

The wing on the right offers an orchid collection in a semi-tropical environment while the wing on the left has changing themes based on the time of year.

A smaller wing in the back is open on occasion with exhibits that include a massive collection of butterflies.

Visitors can enter the enclosed exhibit and wander among brightly colored butterflies from around the world, some of which land on visitors' heads or shoulders for a brief visit.

An orchid collection is one of the highlights of The Conservatory. | Source

The Rose Garden

The Rose Garden contains 1,800 roses and 80 varieties in season with numerous vantage points including views of The Conservatory, the Lotus Bridge, Asian Valley and the Children's Garden.

The stone-columned pergola has seats for anyone brave enough to watch the numerous bees feast on the nearby roses and occasionally buzz around their heads.

The Rose Garden welcome the 1,800 roses and 80 varieties that begin to arrive in warmer weather. | Source

Sydnor Lake

Sydnor Lake is the largest water feature at Lewis Ginter. It is surrounded by the Rose Garden with views of The Conservatory (above) as well as the Children's Garden, the Conifer Garden (below) and The Meadow.

Visitors cross The Lotus Bridge to get from one half of Lewis Ginter to another. (Keep an eye out for the turtles.)

Veer right to see the Island Garden and the ultra quiet Henry M. Flagler Perennial Garden. Turn left to reach the Children's Garden, Blemendaal House and Victorian-style Grace Arents Garden.

The Conservatory overlooks the Rose Garden and Sydnor Lake.

Henry M. Flagler Perennial Garden

One of the quietest and most contemplative gardens is the Flagler Perennial Garden.

This three-acre garden has numerous winding paths, much of which lies under shade. The trails include a birding walk and woodland trail.

Flagler contains more than 770 perennials, shrubs, trees and bulbs.

Children's Garden

Lewis Ginter children's garden
The Children's Garden is a place to let imaginations take their course.
The Children's Garden is an interactive exhibit packed with things to do for kids including:

Margaret Streb Conifer Garden

Visitors who have crossed the Lotus Bridge and stand near the Children's Garden can see the conifer garden across the lake. It also can be reached by turning left at the Rose Garden before crossing the bridge.

A stroll around the small Sydnor Lake won't take much time. It will allow visitors to see the smaller gardens up close -- or take another seat to relax for a while, this time in the Conifer Garden pavilion.

The Margaret Streb Conifer Garden overlooks Sydnor Lake to the right of the Conservatory. | Source

Arents Garden features arches, gazebos and Victorian-style design.

Bloemendaal House and Grace Arents Garden

Lewis Ginter was a wealthy businessman built Bloemendaal House in 1984 as a cycling clubhouse. Bloemendaal is Dutch for "valley of flowers."

Eventually, it became the home of his niece, Grace Arents. It is no longer open to the public, but the area in front of the house is home to special events including concerns and weddings.

Grace Arents Garden is located next to the house and features Victorian-style plants, arches, gazeobos and a traditional boxwood border.

Asian Valley

As visitors discover yet another path, this one taking them back to the visitors' center, they might find the entrance to Asian Valley, which contains plans from east Asia as well as an attractive teahouse set among tall bamboo.

The cascading stream is one of the many appealing water features scattered throughout Lewis Ginter.

Asian Valley features plants native to East Asia as well as a teahouse that is a full-service restaurant. | Source

More Information

Hours and Location

Hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, the day before Christmas and Christmas Day.
Location: Richmond
Address: 1800 Lakeside Avenue, 23228
Telephone: (804) 262-9887
Web site:
Cost: Adults $11, seniors 55+ $10, children 3-11 $7, children under 3 are free.
Latitude: 37.620167
Longitude: -77.470868
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