The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is frequently cited in the "Top Ten" lists of Botanical Gardens in the USA. I definitely agree with this distinction for the Richmond, VA destination. Although the garden is very proud of its very large greenhouse (with a collection of orchids) and Japanese Garden (not its strongest suit in my opinion) when I asked the docent at the front desk where the big specimen trees were she was able to rattle off several beauties and mark them on the map. (Some botanical gardens and arboretum already have this info on their pre-printed maps, but Lewis Ginter does not, so I recommend asking.)
They have the largest Gingko Biloba tree I have personally ever laid eyes on. I've seen several, but none more than about 16" in diameter (trunk). I didn't measure this one, but its deeply textured trunk was massive (photo below).
Next to the Gingko Biloba was a beautifully colored red maple. Crepe myrtles and several other unidentified trees were in the same area.
They provide a large Children's Garden area. This area has many baskets available with collections of tools, suggestions, hints, activities, etc. Within this area you will also find a gigantic, sprawling mulberry tree that is over 100 years old (pictured below) and a persimmon trees. The persimmon fruit looked like a cross of an apple with the peachy glow coloration of an apricot. Lots of school groups were visiting -- how lovely!
If you are a member of another botanical garden it is worth checking to see if it has reciprocity with Lewis Ginter. Mine does, so I got in free. I even got a discount in its excellent gift shop when I bought a Christmas gift for my husband and a pair of tree earrings for myself.
Ruthie photographs trees because she loves them.
1 - 3pm
A Walk in the Woods
423 N. Main St.
Photographer and editor Ruthie Rosauer will be on hand to autograph copies of her book, THESE TREES. The book, a compilation of 140 trees photos paired with poems, has been described as "A gorgeous book, a heart-opening photo collection."