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Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Description

The land that would one day become the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was bequeathed, along with an endowment of $100,000, to the City of Richmond by Grace Arents. Ms. Arents wanted her beloved Bloemendaal Farm to become a public park and botanical garden named for her uncle, Lewis Ginter. Today, the property covers 82 acres with four lakes, 5,700 unique taxa of plants organized into fifteen themed gardens, and eleven major buildings. Annual events, limited-run exhibitions, and classes draw visitors from all over, so it can be crowded during peak times. It has been recognized as one of the top ten botanical gardens in North America, which means it is teeming with flora and fauna. 

The Cochrane Rose Garden is bright and beautiful even on cloudy days. Bees and butterflies are easily found here. Photo Credit: Lisa Mease

The Cochrane Rose Garden is bright and beautiful even on cloudy days. Bees and butterflies are easily found here. Photo Credit: Lisa Mease/DWR

After passing through the Robins Visitor Center, head to the right to start exploring the outdoor gardens. The birding gets better farther away from the main buildings, but remember that northern mockingbirds can be anywhere so don’t be too quick to report a heard-only rarity. Song sparrows and American robins aren’t shy when going about their business. Spring migration can bring warblers to the property, most commonly black-and-white and yellow. Orchard orioles sing out from the treetops during the summer. White-throated sparrows and yellow-rumped warblers brighten up the winter.

The Asian Valley is a quiet meditative space. Eastern towhees can be heard behind the bamboo forest. Photo Credit: Lisa Mease

The Asian Valley is a quiet meditative space. Eastern towhees can be heard behind the bamboo forest. Photo Credit: Lisa Mease/DWR

Butterfly and moth enthusiasts will want to come back again and again especially during the annual A Million Blooms annual showcase of spring blossoms, which attract large numbers of wild pollinators. Butterflies LIVE! is a must-see for anyone, not just lepidopterists (a person who studies butterflies). Tropical and native species fly freely around visitors in a special room of the Conservatory’s North Wing. New butterflies are released daily so no two visits are the same.

There's no need to travel to Mexico to see a common (or blue) morpho and many other beautiful butterflies and moths during Butterflies LIVE! Photo Credit: Lisa Mease

There’s no need to travel to Mexico to see a common (or blue) morpho and many other beautiful butterflies and moths during the annual Butterflies LIVE! exhibition. Photo Credit: Lisa Mease/DWR

Notes:

  • There is a fee for admission and memberships are available. However, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden participates in the Museums For All initiative and offers discounted admission and membership for qualifying families. Additionally, there are several free admission days throughout the year. Please see the calendar for the current year’s dates.
  • Parking is limited and once the lots are full, the Garden will close the front gates temporarily. Gates will re-open once space becomes available. Carpooling is recommended, especially during special events.

Directions

Physical Address: 1800 Lakeside Avenue, Henrico, VA  23228

From I-95, take Exit 80, the Hermitage Road/Lakeside Ave. exit (State Rte 161). Keep to the right and take the right at the first light onto Lakeside Ave. You’ll see a brown Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden sign. Follow Lakeside Ave. for 1.6 miles. You will cross the intersection of Lakeside Ave. and Hilliard Rd. and the Garden’s entrance will be on your left, off of Lakeside Ave.

There is a black fence around the Garden and a brick gate with “Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden” and “1800 Lakeside Avenue” on it. Enter through the gate.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: 804-262-9887, ContactUs@lewisginter.org
  • Website
  • Access: Fee, Daily - Check website for entrance fee, hours, and event schedule.

Birds Recently Seen at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (as reported to eBird)

  • Mourning Dove
  • Chimney Swift
  • Green Heron
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Cooper's Hawk
  • Carolina Wren
  • Northern Mockingbird

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Environmental Study Area
  • Fee
  • Food
  • Accessible
  • Information
  • Interpretive Nature Program
  • Interpretive Trail
  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms
  • Observation Platform
  • Historical Site