The Gate

If furloughed workers aren’t back in the office by Monday, little offers the hope of renewal like the fall planting season, with its promise of spring flowers. At the 50-acre Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, thoughts are squarely centered on bulb-planting, holiday lights and the hard work required to keep plants blooming year-around. Recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the nation’s best botanical gardens and a BBC Travel top 10 pick as a North American garden worth traveling to, it attracted nearly 350,000 visitors last year and offers both inspiration for a day trip and a reminder to tend to our own gardens.

4.5 Staff-hours used to unload 107 cases of bulbs from a UPS delivery truck.
19 Full-time horticulture staff changing out bedding and planting bulbs.
524 Garden volunteers (providing more than 30,000 hours of service yearly).
6,600 Tulip, daffodil, anemone and hyacinth bulbs used for the display at the front entrance.
44,706 Bulbs being planted this fall.
500,000 Lights, many wrapped around trees, for the Dominion GardenFest of Lights, which begins Nov. 29 and runs through mid-January. The two-month installation requires year-round planning and 10 staff people working a total of 3,600 hours.

— Lonnae O'Neal Parker