If you find yourself in the Richmond area between Thanksgiving and New Years, you owe it to yourself to visit Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens' "Garden of Lights." Each year they have a different arrangement of lighting and new features that have been added to the ever-growing botanical gardens (no pun intended there!).
In fact, any time of year is good for a visit there. It's stunning in the spring with the bulbs in bloom. In summer, your children can climb all over the tree house, splash in the sprinkler garden while you watch them from benches. The fall is beautiful with the vast array of plant material in many colors and forms. Don't forget to have lunch or a snack in the Japanese Tea House.
Each year, there are some trees decorated by local elementary schools.
A close-up of some of the dried and otherwise preserved plant material that decorates the trees.
The spiky, asteroid-like balls hanging from the chandelier here are nothing less than the dried flowers from the onion! Sprayed and glittered it has a very delicate appearance. Very clever use of plant material.
Dried hydrangeas and strawflowers provide decorations for the sconces in the library.
The conservatory is always a wonderful place to visit with poinsettias, paperwhites, cyclamen and orchids blooming. I love the orchid room. This year they even had a wreath of orchid blooms over the door. Spectacular.
Joe and Donavan in front of one of the school's trees. Wake up, Joe!
At other times of the year, they have the butterfly exhibit and you can go into one of the arms of the conservatory and see how many types are hatched out and take some great photos. Very fun, indeed.
Donavan's astute observation revealed that Miss Spider was created out of soccer/dodge balls!
Inside the conservatory was the largest staghorn fern I've ever seen!
Ever seen a wreath of orchid blossoms? WOW!