Grace Arents Garden

Address: 1800 Lakeside Avenue
City: Richmond
State: VA
Zip: 23228
Phone: 804-262-9887

Lewis Ginter arrived in Richmond at the age of 17 and subsequently established himself as a brilliant businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. In 1884, he bought acreage in order to provide healthful outdoor recreational activities for the community. His favorite niece and heir, Grace Arents, a trained nurse, wanted to provide a healthy country environment for children suffering from crowded living conditions in the polluted areas of the city so she established a hospital for sick children on the property. Later, when her children’s hospital became obsolete, she converted the hospital into her own residence and named it “Bloemendaal”, or valley of flowers. She collected rare trees and shrubs and built greenhouses with a border of herbaceous perennials. In front of the house, to be viewed from the porch and the dining room, was her flower garden. Visitors still marvel at the mature, nearly 100-year old female Ginkgo tree, balanced by a massive specimen Southern Magnolia at the northwestern perimeter of the garden. Over the years, she repurchased some of the original property, increasing her uncle’s ten acres to eighty-five. She died in 1926 and stipulated in her will that Bloemendaal Farm should eventually be developed “as a botanical garden and public park in perpetual memory of my Uncle Lewis Ginter to be known as Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.” The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden officially opened to the public in 1987. The Garden Club of Virginia restored the 1920s garden of Miss Arents, complete with wooden arched arbors, a summerhouse, and seasonal flower displays.

Year: 1990
Landscape Architect: Rudy J. Favretti

Restored formal garden with arbors, seated trellises and garden house