“Now we want to hear all your adventures, and let us relieve you of your burdens.” Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss
The Family Robinson has the prize for the most famous treehouse, if only in our imaginations from descriptions on the page. But Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond’s Lakeside community comes pretty close; bonus is that you can actually climb the steps and enjoy the view of the children’s garden and play area. As you plan your summer adventures and celebrate the great outdoors, here’s a spot that is fun and engaging for the entire family. Before your trip, take a photographic tour to earmark your must see spots.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was made possible by Grace Arents (1848-1926), a Richmond philanthropist who bequeathed funds to create a botanical garden. Grace wished to honor her beloved uncle Lewis Ginter (1824-1897) and her will stipulates the name of the Garden.
In 1913, Grace purchased the abandoned Lakeside Wheel Clubhouse and its 10 acres in Henrico County from her late uncle’s estate. Before long, she expanded her farm, now named “Bloemendaal” (Valley of Flowers, after an ancestral Dutch town), to 73 acres and a number of support buildings. In 1926 Grace died, and through her will bequeathed Bloemendaal Farm and an endowment of $100,000 to the City of Richmond for a “public park and botanical garden.”
It took until 1984 for Grace’s vision to be fully realized. After 36 years of rapid growth, the Garden now encompasses 82 acres, four lakes, 5,700 unique taxa of plants within 15 distinct outdoor gardens, 11 major buildings including a conservatory and greenhouse, plus an 80-acre branch site, the Lewis Ginter Nature Reserve. In recent years the Garden has been honored with inclusion in a number of top ten lists for botanical gardens in North America.
Not only is there a treetop home. Lewis Ginter has a gift shop, library, teahouse and conservatory. And that is just the beginning.
Tea House Charm.
The Lora & Claiborne Robins Tea House is an easy and convenient location for all of your food and beverage needs. Located in the heart of the Garden, the Tea House offer salads and sandwiches that are made fresh daily. You can eat a pimento cheese sandwich on site or pack a picnic with chips and salad and iced tea to go. There is a large selection of picnic-style food items from which to choose.
A glass domed Conservatory, reminiscent of the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London that housed the Great Exhibition in 1851, is the only one of its kind in the mid-Atlantic. Multi-colored orchids and a butterfly garden share the space.
Beauty and botany.
Explore more than a dozen themed gardens include a Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Asian Valley and Cherry Tree Walk. Daily admission tickets to Lewis Ginter along with helpful guides are avaible at the entrance.
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The Feltner Group is a full-service real estate team that specializes in providing a concierge-level of service for all clients. Your home is the set where life’s big and small moments are staged. We can help find a house worthy of your memories.