is rich in gardens.
of those gardens in Virginia’s state capital are now
connected into what is called the Richmond Garden Trail
— eight sites that provide different garden
experiences — large public garden, sculpture garden,
an estate, classic Virginia garden, historic landscape
and small gardens tucked in unexpected places.
trail capitalizes on the growing interest in garden
tourism, and features a user-friendly itinerary of
garden-related experiences within an easy geographic
area," says Beth Monroe, spokeswoman at Lewis
Ginter Botanical Garden and one of the trail’s
there is certainly room for the garden trail to grow to
include more sites."
in partnership with Richmond Region Tourism and the
historic Jefferson Hotel, the trail features eight
initial attractions: the Ginter Garden, Maymont mansion,
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Agecroft Hall, Virginia
Museum of Architecture and Design, Capitol Square,
Valentine Richmond History Center and the Edgar Allen
attractions on the trail include the 82-acre Ginter
Garden with its 50 acres of plantings and the 100-acre
historic Maymont with its national and seven state
like the Enchanted Garden at the Edgar Allen Poe Museum,
are hidden gems.
Edgar Allan Poe Museum’s Enchanted Garden was designed
in 1921 as Virginia’s first monument to a writer, says
Jaime Fawcett, executive director at the museum.
founders constructed the garden’s pergola, walls,
paths and benches from materials salvaged from a variety
of buildings in which the author lived or worked.
exalted the landscape garden as the highest form of
poetry, and the Enchanted Garden brings to life the
ideal gardens he celebrated in his poems and short
Garden Club of Virginia is restoring the Enchanted
Garden, Fawcett said. Many of the varieties of plants
originally planted in the Enchanted Garden in the 1920s
will be highlighted.
Enchanted Garden was planted in 1922 to capture the
garden essence in Poe’s poem "To One in
wast that all to me, love,
which my soul did pine —
green isle in the sea, love,
fountain and a shrine,
wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,
all the flowers were mine."
lesser-known and underused plants good for homes and
gardens you will see on the Richmond Garden Trail,
according to trail developers, include:
You may be familiar with bromeliads as houseplants, but
consider them in the summer landscape to provide color
and interest, suggest horticulturists at the Ginter
summer, the botanical garden uses a bromeliad called
Aechmea blanchetiana to create a focal point in front of
its conservatory this summer. This non-hardy tropical
bromeliad has a striking vase shape, and should be
planted in full sun to achieve a deep orange coloring
(when planted in shade, the color is more muted). It has
a slow growth rate, achieving a height of 2 to 4 feet
and a width of 1 to 2 feet. It is relatively easy to
care for and doesn’t have any major pest or disease
problem. Plant in well-drained soil and water
moderately; this plant can succumb to root rot if
planted in saturated soils, so avoid high clay content.
Bromeliads are not cold hardy in Virginia’s climate,
so they need to be brought inside during the winter or
treated as an annual.
plants: Did you know many Sarracenia, or pitcher plants,
are native to Virginia and can be grown outdoors under
the right conditions? The Ginter Garden has an extensive
collection of Sarracenia plants, which eat insects
because they grow in boggy, nutrient-poor soil, so the
key is to provide this type of environment. Plant in a
well-watered area, but do not put them in standing
water, according to Ginter gardeners. A sandy-mix soil
is recommended – adding sphagnum moss is also helpful.
Sarracenia are generally low maintenance, but they will
freely hybridize, so Lewis Ginter cuts the flowers
before they go to seed.
Museum’s Enchanted Garden,