Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

After departing the Pinkham garden, we headed west to Richmond, Va. We drove through a torrential thunderstorm with rain so hard it was difficult to see the road. The weather finally calmed down and we began to notice these billboards for Virginia Diner. The signs just kept appearing about every mile or so, it was like the old Burma Shave advertising. We thought this was either a great place or a really bad one to warrant all the advertising. We decided to give them a try since there were not many restaurants to choose from (we were not yet on the Interstate). Turns out they had been featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" on the Food Network. Very cool! I had their world famous Peanut Pie for dessert!

We arrived in Richmond before dark, located a motel close to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, and crashed for the night. The next morning was a mixture of sun and overcast skies following heavy rains the night before. We were at the gardens a few minutes before they opened. Outside the visitor's building was this beautiful espaliered magnolia -

Walking through the visitor's center and exiting out the back, you come to a series of patios and a long vista with a beautiful conservatory in the distance.

There were volunteers planting the annuals while we were there. There were a lot of areas and pots that had not been planted yet. If you look closely in the above photo, you will see a pomegranate tree to the right next to the brick wall. I had only seen the orange pomegranates before, never one like this -

Inside the conservatory -

They were featuring an orchid display -

The Japanese garden was lovely  -

One of my favorite areas was a long brick walkway through wooded areas. This was adjacent to the Japanese garden. It was so serene and peaceful -

After leaving this area, you come to a Children's Garden and then on to another woodland area on the opposite side of the gardens. This walk winds around a large lake -

This was a project by an artist - it was just sitting out in a field with no landscaping.

A large rose garden was next but the roses were past their prime so I didn't get any good photos. They did a nice selection of David Austin roses so that was exciting to see. 

Leaving Richmond, we headed south again, this time to Asheville, N.C. where we arrived late Thursday afternoon for the Garden Blogger's Fling. I have already covered the Fling events in past posts. Only one vacation post left and that was an excursion we took to see Chimney Rock.

Our Trip Itinerary

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Phillip, I love Lewis Ginter! I judge rose shows there often and will be doing so again in October. The gift shop/cafe is the nicest I've ever seen.

    Your photos are gorgeous. Too bad the roses weren't at their best.

  2. Another big WOW from Wisconsin... what a marvelous place! Larry

  3. Just beautiful, Phillip. Of course you know I love the water and maples...

  4. Gorgeous! I've got to get up there.

  5. You knew I would love the round garden with the humongous mortar and pestal. It must be for a giant. Is that the herb garden? What an inspirational place.

  6. beautiful. I think the outdoor installation is by Patrick Dougherty, or someone inspired by him.

  7. Hahaha glad you stopped at the Virginia Diner! Love those kind of places.
    Your photos of Lewis Ginter are wonderful. I went there years ago and saw one of the most beautiful hosta plantings I had ever seen. Was hoping to recreate it now that I have shade, but the deer have other ideas.

  8. Loe the thatched roof cottage. I liked the work in progress installation. You so need structure in the landscape and both of these delivers. Thanks for the tour.

  9. Love the shot of the lantern with the crepe myrtles..

  10. I bet the smell inside the conservancy with all the Liliums was heavenly. Thanks for posting, as I hadn't heard of this garden.

  11. The Saints parents live in VA and mom has told us many times that we need to get to this garden. When we head home, it seems we are so eager to get to our families, that we pass such wonders along the way. After seeing these beautiful pics, I know we must plan an extra day to visit this wonderful place! Thanks for the enticement …


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