Formal Gardens

Video Blog – The Sunken Garden

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Video Blog.

One of our many treasures here at Norfolk Botanical Garden – The Sunken Garden.  You won’t want to miss Les Parks and Linda Saunders as they show you the beauty of this unique garden.  Watch and get ideas for your own garden!


Statuary Vista – A pictoral history

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens.

On February 18, 1958 the Norfolk City Council, at the urging of the Old Dominion Horticultural Society, authorized the development of a botanical garden. They set aside 75 acres of land adjoining the 100-acre Municipal Gardens (more commonly referred to as Azalea Gardens) that was established in 1938. A 25-acre municipal plant nursery was on…

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Giving Thanks

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Natural Areas.

This is good time of year to give thanks for all the things we have and I am thankful for lots of things here at the Garden. Thanks for all the grand trees we have.  They give us shade in the summer, structural beauty in the winter, wonderful fall color and budding hope in the…

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Odd Couples

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Perennials, Trees.

By Dandy Lion I had a dream the other night that I was walking through the Garden. People usually dream about flying, but for a plant, walking is just as fantastical. Anyway, I was walking through the Garden, enjoying all the wonderful plants.  Suddenly I stopped, because something seemed odd.  I noticed two plants that…

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Forbidden Gardens

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Perennials, Shrubs.

By Dandy Lion As the days start to shorten, plenty of plants are telling us that fall is here.  Ornamental grasses explode like fireworks, berries ripen for the birds, sasanqua camellias begin to bloom and mums create vibrant mounds in the Garden.  Actually a chrysanthemum’s bloom date is not determined by cool weather or a…

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Sunrise at the Garden

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Natural Areas, Perennials.

Have you ever wondered what the Garden is like when no people are here?  It is not quite a “Night at the Museum” scenario, but pretty close.  Let’s just say I am not at liberty to discuss details.  However, a small group of people got to see the Garden this morning at sunrise and had…

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Humming Along

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Perennials.

by Dandy Lion I’ve spent the last week or so in the Hummingbird Garden and have enjoyed my time here very much.  Of course, the purpose of this garden located behind the education wing is to showcase plants that will attract hummingbirds to your garden.  For me, it has been a good place to hide. …

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Water Hoarding

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Perennials.

Thanks to hot temperatures and infrequent rains, the gardeners have really had to work hard to keep the plants watered and healthy these last few weeks.  Given our adversarial relationship, normally I would laugh at their misfortune. Instead, since my thirsty roots benefit as much as their targeted plants, I am thankful for all their…

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Supporting Cast

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Perennials.

The butterfly house opens this weekend and there should plenty of fun for anyone interested in spotting these flying masterpieces.  This year the house is filled with a larger variety of butterflies, all native to this region.  There are large ones like the swallowtails.  Six different swallowtails will make an appearance this year – the…

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Shady Characters

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Perennials.

Have you ever noticed most of our theme gardens that feature perennials are in sunny spots?  The Sarah Lee Baker perennial, sensory, butterfly, hummingbird, sunken, fragrance, Matson, border, and colonial gardens as well as the wildflower meadow all enjoy long exposures to that glorious fireball in the sky.  Many of my good friends can be…

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