RICHMOND, VA, March 21, 2024–Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout 2024 with the theme Flourish: 40 Years & Growing. The year includes familiar favorite events, exciting new ones, and a list of the “Top 40 Things to Do at the Garden” to help plan visits.


Spring kicks off the celebration with more than 37,000 daffodils, hyacinths and tulips in the Central Garden, joining over A Million Blooms in April and May throughout the 50 acres of landscaped gardens. A new, adults-only event called The Big Bloom promises to be a twist on the traditional garden party with a DJ, fire performers, roaming entertainers, visual projection art and more.

Exhibits are another key component of the anniversary celebrationsThe Garden has commissioned contemporary American multi-disciplinary artist Kyle Epps as an artist-in-residence from April-September 2024. Epps’ work will explore the landscape and history of the Garden through a variety of mediums. Guests can view the artwork in the Garden’s Community Art Gallery, and Epps will also lead workshops.

An exhibit in the Library titled Women’s Work from April 26 through August 31 will feature herbarium specimens, unique works on paper, archival resources, photographs, books, and interpretive text that explore the preserved Lee Park collection.

Spring will also launch a 40th Anniversary Speakers Series celebrating the Garden’s past, present and future. The first presentation on Friday, April 19, brings back several former leaders to talk about the Garden’s evolution, including Frank Robinson, former Executive Director (1992-2011) and President & CEO (2011-2015); Holly Shimizu, Managing Director (1996-2000); and Grace Elton, Director of Horticulture (2011-2017). 


Summer 2024 is the “Summer of Music” at the Garden. The big news is the return of the Groovin’ in the Garden concert series after nearly a decade. It’s only fitting Groovin’ would return in the Garden’s 40th anniversary year. The much-loved shows will feature national acts in the Cochrane Rose Garden, a spectacular setting.

For the best in local and regional music, Flowers After 5 concerts on at Bloemendaal House offer a chance to kick back, listen to music, and explore the gardens. On the second and fourth Thursdays, leashed dogs are allowed, and the event is called Fidos After 5. As part of Pride Month in June, one of the Garden’s Fidos events is called Pridos After 5 and is held in partnership with the LGBTQ+ community.

Summer is the time to get wet and the brand-new Waterway splash pad in the Children’s Garden does not disappoint. Open daily, it is THE spot for summer fun. Evening hours on Waterway Wednesday nights throughout the summer allow young guests and families to enjoy after-hours.

Forty years of gardens results in dazzling displays, diverse collections, and a talented team putting it all together. This year’s summer plantings will become lush as the season progresses, from late June through fall, with surprises and vignettes planned in four iconic areas. Signage will identify the areas and links to the website and social media will provide deeper and richer storytelling. Here’s just a taste of what to expect:

  • The Central Gardenwill focus on visual impact, combining themes of beauty and biodiversity. A walk in this garden will transport you to an exotic paradise. Already a favorite spot for photos, the Fountain Garden in front of the Conservatory will be a must-see. A whimsical “turtle topiary” created from colorful annuals and succulents will bask in the middle of the fountain, surrounded by aquatic plants such as waterlilies and lotus.
  • The Flagler Gardenwill shine a light on the shade.Enter this three-acre garden for cool, shady walks offering an escape from summer heat. Under a leafy canopy, guests will learn about shade plants and the importance of trees and plants in urban settings to alleviate heat islands. Look for an arch featuring shade-loving plants near the Monet Bridge.
  • Come to the Children’s Gardenfor a connection with Nature. Stroll through a series of arbors featuring fast-growing vines and learn about plants we rely on daily for food, clothing, and more. This is a garden area for the senses focusing on health and wellness. Climb the newly enhanced Klaus Family Tree House for a birds-eye view of the gardens below.
  • Past meets present with an eye to the future in the Grace Arents GardenThis Victorian-style gardenwill tell stories of how horticulture has evolved and continues to change. Palms, ferns and tropicals in elevated urns and containers will complement a space that marries tradition and modern design.


Fall is festival season, and familiar favorites return, such as Dia de los Muertos and HarvestFest, plus a new “Diwali: Music and Arts Festival” partnering with visual artists, dancers and musicians from the Indian community in Richmond.

The 40th Anniversary year ends on a high note with Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights which was voted the number one “Best Botanical Holiday Light Show” by USA Today (2023).

As Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden takes its 40th trip around the sun, the Garden is inviting everyone to participate in the Flourish celebration!