Another visit to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia, this time squeezed in on 6 July during an unexpected family visit, under threatening skies and a dire afternoon rain forecast with temps in the 90s, a few hours before taking the night train home to New England. (Previous Ginter post, summer 2016)
I was stuck again by how well this fairly small botanical garden is designed, signed, and maintained, by the variety of plants, by the correlation of the art to the garden’s mission and essence, and by the spaciousness of the many bathrooms and the two eating spots, one a cafe and one a more elegant but casual tea house. The large gift shop (larger than Longwood Gardens’!) is also always worth a visit. It’s really a gem of a garden.
I visited the tea house for some water on this very hot and humid day:
I didn’t take a photo of the cafe, which I visited between 3 and 4, when lunch was over but light snacks were available; I bought a humus tray with cucumbers, carrots, celery, and pita bread, and an Orangina to drink, and I sat outside the visitors’ center on a chair in the shade while I called my sister.
The kids were really enjoying the water play area in the children’s garden!
The art in the garden this time was metal origami, most of it (maybe all?) crafted by Kevin Box, sometimes in collaboration with others.
I was especially taken with Botanical Peace Squared:
I liked this bird (goose?), near a pond, too:
And this simple boat, reminiscent of so many paper boats that children float on water:
The White Bison in the meadow reminded me that the Lego art show in 2016 also featured a bison in the meadow.
And the Squirrel and Acorn origami (“Seed Sower” and “Seed”) was vaguely reminiscent of the Squirrel and Fox Lego art in 2016 in about the same part of the gardens. (I didn’t take a photo of the acorn.)
“Hero’s Horse” is a pegasus who eventually took his place in the sky as a constellation.
Speaking of horses, I liked this jaunty trio — part origami and part kirigami — near the conservatory.
The conservatory was hot …
… and the butterfly room (Butterflies LIVE!) was even hotter, probably more than 100F in effect with the heat and the humidity. Still, I spent 10 or 15 minutes here, sweat dripping liberally off my hands, face, hair. The butterflies seemed very happy and active.
I think this is a Postman butterfly (Heliconius melpomene):
Maybe also a postman?
I don’t know the names of these:
Maybe Great Mormon (Papilio memnon)?
I really like this one (Clipper — Parthenos sylvia, I think):
And this one — perhaps a Malachite, i.e., Siproeta stelenes — especially its colour similarity to the melon:
The curled proboscis!
This is a Common Morpho (Morpho peleides), whose large wing underside is brown and spotted and whose dorsal wing is brilliant blue. There were dozens flying around, flashing blue throughout the air, but I wasn’t able to photograph them. You can see a hint of the blue in the second photo here.
Some plants and plantings that especially caught my attention:
Pathways and Views:
A few more insects and other animals:
As always, I highly recommend stopping in to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden if you’re in central Virginia.
Those butterflies! So beautiful. I never see a variety like that here. What a lovely garden tour.
Wow! Those origami sculptures are really fresh!