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Garden Photo of the Day

Maples, Pitcher Plants, and More

Inspiring views at a Virginia public garden

I had a chance last week to visit the wonderful Lewis Ginter Botanic Garden in Richmond, Virginia. It is one of my favorite public gardens, with beautiful plants and designs everywhere you look. I always come away inspired!

This spectacular gate serves as the entrance to the Japanese garden.

In the Japanese garden, a perfect little water feature is surrounded by the most amazing, huge, mature Japanese maples (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9). Spend a moment here and you’ll feel all your stress melt away.

An enormous stand of irises in full bloom. When I saw this I made a note to try and use more plants of fewer varieties in my own garden, because the sheer impact of a big mass of just one iris like this is very hard to beat. We’ll see how well that resolution holds up next time I’m at the nursery, however. It is so tempting to just get one of everything!

Pitcher plants (Sarracenia species and hybrids, Zones 5–9) are best known for their beautiful insect-catching leaves, but the flowers are wonderful as well. There are huge plantings of many different pitcher plants all around the pond here.

Looking across the pond to the Japanese maples on the other side, yellow pitcher plant flowers (Sarracenia flava var. rugelli, Zones 5–10) stand out in the foreground.

This group of containers is filled with a diverse collection of annuals and perennials, but the Twinny Peach snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus ‘Twinny Peach’, annual), with loads of ruffled peach flowers, takes center stage.

Towering cinnamon ferns (Osmunda cinnamomea, Zones 3–9) show off in the woodland garden with a tall rhododendron flowering behind them.

Although most of the roses in Lewis Ginter’s enormous rose garden were not quite in flower when I visited, this climbing rose, trained across a large stone pavilion, put on a breathtaking show.


Have a garden you’d like to share?


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To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/09/2019

    Love the Japanese garden!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/09/2019

    I have not heard of this public garden before but, from these photos, it certainly looks exceptional and very inspiring. I feel hungry to go visit its website and learn more about its history. Something so special probably has an interesting story behind it. Thanks for sharing your visit there.

  3. cheryl_c 05/09/2019

    These pictures could be postcards! What an amazing place this botanical garden is. I've never seen these varieties of pitcher plants, and really love the effect of the dropped flower head. The moon gate, however, is my favorite shot. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. BTucker9675 05/09/2019

    Spectacular garden! The shot across the pond is just beautiful. Makes me want to take a road trip!

  5. paiya 05/09/2019

    All the photos are special but the pitcher plants are especially lovely. Thanks for introducing this beautiful garden !

  6. Musette1 05/09/2019

    Glorious! I, too, would like to use fewer varieties (that iris stand is a gorgeous example) - but it is difficult, isn't it?

  7. PatinMapleValley 05/10/2019

    I LOVE to see gardens like this featured- Another to add to my list of Gardens to Visit! Wish I had known about this one when I visited in Virginia a few years ago. And the Twinny Peach snapdragon- want it!!

  8. User avater
    CynthiaDow 07/09/2019

    So beautiful!

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