Monday, 15 May 2017

Visit Ohio's Beautiful Public Gardens

Don't Miss These Public Gardens and Arboretums

Stan Hywet-The Seiberling mansion and its grounds.

If you go to Akron, Ohio don't miss this destination. It is closed during the winter months of January to March, but reopens in April. The grounds are well kept and full of interesting gardens of several types. Warren Manning designed the gardens, and Ellen Biddle Shipman redesigned the English garden. Warren Manning advocated "informal and naturalistic "wild garden" approach" (1) in much the same way as William Robinson, famous for changing English gardening tastes to this style from the stiff Victorian bedding and decorative garden fashions. Ellen Biddle Shipman was once called the "Dean of American Women Landscape Architects".

Besides the sunken garden in the English style, there is Mckinney Sprinkler System a Japanese garden, a Rhododendron walk, and a famous Birch allee; the wildflower "Dell" and the Lago on are other features. This is one of the few grand residences and gardens in our state that mimic the great gardens of England. Many wedding photos take place here for good reason. I think two of my favorite features has always been the birch walk and the Japanese garden, which winds down the hillside.

(1) Warren H Manning

Stan Hywet official site

Dawes Arboretum - the legacy of the Dawes family

A famous Ohio family (Beman Gates Dawes, brother of Charles Dawes who was the 30th Vice President of the United States) created this arboretum with gardens around his historical home. Perennial gardens, a Japanese garden, Rhododendron dell, along with the many examples of trees and shrubs, fill the 1,800 acres of the arboretum. It is a short drive from Columbus, located about 20 miles east in Newark, Ohio.

I enjoy the perennial gardens the best, situated down a hi llside from the visitor center, followed by the fern garden, and the magnificent Japanese garden. In fact, Dawes is a great place for the Japanophile. Besides the large Japanese garden with teahouse, there are fine bonsai on display in their own garden connected to the visitor center.

My Dawes post, Japanese garden.

Dawes Arboretum official site

Franklin Park Conservatory -adjacent to the suburb of Bexley

Rain or shine, gardener or not, Franklin Park Conservatory is fun to visit. Inside are fine displays of climate zones, sometimes with special art exhibitions, sometimes with a live butterfly event (usually beginning in March and running through the summer months.) Outside are botanical gardens, but it is indoors where the real show resides. Walking from desert climes through tropical rainforests is Sprinkler System something few can do in a daytrip, but you will find that here. Everyone seems to l ove the live butterfly event, where the tropical plants vie with attention that clouds of exotic, brightly colored, and friendly butterflies attract as they float through the rainforest enclosure.

Franklin Park official site

Kingwood Center Gardens - a former estate garden

Gorgeous gardens, especially in spring. The sunken garden, an orangery, garden flower collections of peonies,roses,daylilies and iris mean there is quite a show in early to mid summer, too. The beautiful season displays are accented by fountains and many like to enjoy a picnic on the grounds. Greenhouses full of interesting plants and a beautiful herb garden are not to be missed. Forty seven acres that many visitors feel are like a storybook come alive. Only a parking fee is charged.

The house is open and costs a small fee to enter, and there are events throughout the year. Located in Mansfield, closed in January and February, it is an easy distance from Columbus, Akron, Cleveland and Malabar Farm State Park is not far.

Kingwood Center Gardens

Whetstone Park of Roses- Columbus promises a rose garden

Within the city, right off High Street, is a lovely park; inside the park is a grand rose garden filled with roses, with a gazebo, with a perennial garden, and an herb garden as well. The height of rose season in June is the best time to visit, but with the wooded surroundings and the other gardens, it is a peaceful and beautiful any time of year. This is a favorite place for weddings and you might see one being celebrated here.And what is more romantic than thousands of roses blooming and filling the air with fragrance? An old fashioned rose garden is at the highest point of the garden from which to view the main axis of a formally laid out garden plan, or you can climb to the top of a wrought iron viewing platform. It is a gem of a garden and isn't to be missed, whether it is high season for roses or not. There are private gardens to see which surround the park and offer intriguing glimpses through their gates as one tours the garden and follows the avenue back out into the bustling city. One of my Gardener's Top Ten favorite places to go in Columbus.


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