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Visit Ohio's Beautiful Public Gardens
Finding The Gardens Of Ohio
I thought that people visiting or new to Ohio might like a gardener's recommendations of the sights to see. It also occurred to me that I might like to discover some new ones and record the experience.
I garden and have lived most of my life in Ohio- because I like it! One of the things I love to do is visit other peoples gardens and public ones for inspiration and just plain enjoyment.
The garden in the photo is of the Children's garden section of Inniswood Metro Park, also known as the Sister's Garden. it is a garden our family has visited many times. Looking like an Ohio farmhouse and orchard, it holds a child's discovery area, including a water play area. There are many such delightful discoveries for garden lovers of all ages in Ohio. If going on vacation to Ohio, be sure to see some of the available gardens near your destination. Make your travel plans more fun!
One of Ohio's Beautiful Gardens
Ohio In Autumn
See the video to view Stan Hywet's autumn beauty. Admittedly, tree foliage color steals the show, and our flowers play a background role at that time. Strong showings are made by purple and pink asters, golden and various colored chrysanthemums, but if you pay close attention you will find there are many others whether the wild look of goldenrods or the bright blues of leadwort. My favorite pastime in autumn Ohio is to walk among the trees in flaming colors of fall.
Discover more about a garden you want to visit- see if they have a travel guide available.
The Best Ohio 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 a Japanese garden, a Rhododendron walk, and a famous Birch allee; the wildflower "Dell" and the Lagoon 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
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 hillside 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.
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 something few can do in a daytrip, but you will find that here. Everyone seems to love 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.
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.
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.
The story of F. A. Seiberling and the magnificent house and gardens he built in Akron, Ohio is told by Steve Love. He tours through the home and gardens highlighting important features and filling in detail with anecdotes.
If you can travel to Stan Hywet, or especially if you can't, this book will give the fascinating story of a beautiful property and Tudor home built in the last century by the Goodyear magnate.
Take a Tour
Park of Roses .org
Heirloom Roses in June are part of what you would expect to see in this world class rose garden. There are hundreds of roses of all types blooming throughout the peak season of May through June. Concerts are held all through the summer month weekends.
Inniswood Metro Park- made by visionary sisters
Another in the top ten gardens to visit in Columbus, Ohio is this once private garden which was given to the metro parks system. It retains much of its personal feeling despite public walkways and the necessary changes a public park must make for the visits of so many people. From the home, which serves as a visitor center today, to the mini-train area right outside the door, to the further reaches of the park, there are many intimate places to discover with many garden ideas. I especially like the secret garden in an area of "old ruins". There are many types of exposures from sunny to shady which hold a great array of flowers and landscape plants.
Inniswood Gardens Herb Garden
Cox Arboretum and Gardens - Dayton's Must See
James M. Cox, Jr. donated his family property for the arboretum which now has a Butterfly House, a tall grass prairie, a wetlands preserve, and many gardens within. The director of the arboretum hopes that people find a refuge and peaceful place here. It has a shrub garden with over 500 varieties of trees and shrubs, a children's maze, crab apple allee, herb garden, ornamental grass collection, and 3.5 miles of walking trails besides all the gardens.
Ault Park- Cincinnati's Home of the Cincinnati Flower Show
The fourth largest park of Cincinnati plays host to the flower show, has flower gardens and considered to have a place on the "must-see in Cincinnati" list on the Cincinnati Enquirer. I really would like to see this garden after reading the blog. 'a year in the park', about the Ault gardens.
Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati
Krohn Conservatory, a part of the Eden Park landscape, was built in 1930 in the Art Deco style. In similarity to the Franklin Park Conservatory it hosts a Butterfly Show and is available to rent for events. It holds special events including 5 annual flower shows. Open everyday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and extended hours for the winter holiday show. Call the visitor center at 513-352-4080 for information.
Take Your Camera, Too
I always try to remember my camera when visiting public gardens. Besides recording memories, it saves the great ideas that such gardens provide. You think you will remember each idea and the experience, but time fades so many details that a photo captures so well.
A Canon camera is on my personal wish list- it takes wonderful pictures. The garden bloggers who take the finest photos use this brand of camera, so I hope to obtain one soon to improve the quality of my photos. I love that way it captures color and detail.
A fine camera for recording all the beautiful scenes
All the bloggers I know who take exceptionally fine photos have this camera, or at least started with it.
It is one of the better choices for the money, since good photographic equipment can be quite an investment.
For me, this is a reasonable price for great pictures.
A tripod is included along with memory cars and special lenses.
Cleveland's Botanical Garden- Take a Tour
Cleveland Botanical Garden
Cleveland has a very fine children's garden within, the Hershey's Children's Garden. The Hershey Children's Garden at Cleveland Botanical Garden has been considered one of the best of the new public children's gardens that are being built throughout the country.
It is home to the Japanese Garden (Gan Ryuu Tei). Gan Ryuu Tei translates from Japanese to 'Dry Rock Stream', giving you the focus but holding the mystery of how beautiful this can be. There is also a Rose garden, an Herb garden, and a "Restorative" garden - which is what I would call a Serenity garden. Their site has photos of the beautiful displays, the events and more that you can find there.
Cleveland State University Cultural Gardens
Whether you are interested in the Italian cultural garden or the Armenian, the Hungarian ... or one of the others... there are beautiful landscaping, sculptures, ironwork, all with a celebration of a particular culture.
The Szekely Gate in the Cleveland
The Szekely Gate in the Cleveland
"Clara Lederer, in Their Paths are Peace, describes the principal plot on the upper level as "a rectangular reflecting pool and fountain are set in a pattern of low walls and geometric walks of brick, stone, and marble, and rich plantings of the growths best known in Hungary--hawthorn, yew, cotoneasters, and azaleas. Two linden trees, formal flower beds, and brick, stone, and marble walls and walks are the features of the lower garden. Two wing sections, formal arrangements of lawn, brick paths, and sculptured stone benches, adjoin the larger upper garden. In the section to the left of the entrance is a bas-relief of Franz Liszt." - The Hungarian Cultural Garden"
Toledo Botanical Garden
Toledo Botanical Garden has many features and helps neighborhoods to create community gardens. Among the interesting things to see are the Artist Village, small buildings that resemble cottages to showcase different artistic forms such as glassblowing. there is an English border, a collection of hostas, and shade, herb and perennial garden features.
5403 Elmer Drive
Toledo, Ohio 43615
More About Kingwood Center
-visit the site for fabulous photos,detailed descriptions, and events.
In Mansfield, Ohio is the French Provincial house with gorgeous gardens that Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kelley King built. It is now a center for horticultural education. It is well known for a fine spring display with huge numbers of bulbs, so if you are able to visit in Spring, you will see one of the greatest features of this garden.
This is one of the most popular gardens in Ohio to see, with woodland, perennial, and special collections to enjoy. It is also available for weddings.
George Seurat's Painting In Topiary
900 Park Avenue West,
Mansfield, Ohio, OH 44906
Inniswood Garden - A Metro Park Garden
Like visiting a private garden because it used to be one, Inniswood is chock full of ideas for your own home garden, but groomed and planted so that it is an exciting place to visit and while away the day. Two maiden sisters with complementary ideas for their garden bequeathed a natural reserve garden and very lovely gardens constructed in both informal and formal style. Herb gardens, a rose garden, a child's garden, secret garden, with numerous features enough to fill a small book. One of my own favorite haunts in the Columbus area.
Features of Inniswood Gardens
I made some postcards of some of the lovely scenes within this park. Here's one:
Dawes Arboretum - Make It A Daytrip
A visit to Dawes is an all day adventure. It is one of the best for different age groups, for different reasons. For children, there is a wonderful basement room in the visitor center with a big picture window viewing birds visiting the feeders, a real honey bee hive encased in glass, puzzles, books, exhibits, a great way to get children interested in nature.
For the elderly the entire arboretum is accessible through a driving tour, parking to inspect features of interest and taking a short walk. For everyone else there are lots of walking trails and interesting features. some of my favorites are the log cabin hidden in a wildflower-filled woods, the old graveyard, the mixed shrub and perennial display gardens. You mind discover your own favorite areas.
Located in Central Ohio, not far from Columbus.
Vicarious Visits in Ohio Gardens
Ohio Autumn Activities
Autumn in Stan Hywet, Late Summer in Inniswood, Ohio has many moods.
Even a topiary garden replicating the French Impressionist painting 'Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte' by Georges Seurat. You might be inspired to make a topiary garden yourself, after seeing it.
Hershey's Childrens Garden - In Cleveland Ohio
Get the book and visit the garden!
Hershey Children's Garden was created as the first public children's garden in the state of Ohio and it is also one of the few of its kind in the United States.
Read the history of this "urban Eden for children" and revisit Hershey Children's Garden any time, through the gorgeous photographs.
The Best Time To Visit Ohio Gardens - Spring, Summer, Fall?
Whetstone Park Of Roses In All Seasons
Located in a temperate climate in intercontinental USA, winter is not an ideal time to see the gardens, although an indoor conservatory like Franklin Park Conservatory is ideal at that time. Ohio outdoors tends to be at its best for wildflowers in late April to late May ( although each park has it height of bloom and highlights), late spring to early summer for its perennial gardens, and late summer to mid fall for fall colors. The Ohio Dept of Natural Resources has a site to alert visitors and fall foliage lovers to the season's forecast and reports. Check out their site, Ohio Fall Foliage.
I think September and October (especially October!) are the best times to visit Ohio and walk through gardens and the parks. The weather is as near perfect as one might be able to expect in Ohio. Springtime can be quite variable with rain and chilly temperatures.
Roses Begin In Spring
Roses start blooming in late May with the "old roses", and that is the time to catch the bloom for the heritage rose portion of the Park of Roses in Columbus.
The main show for roses arrives in the second week of June, usually, though June is the time when roses, peonies, and all sorts of perennials burst forth.
Late summer can be a bit dry and not a time when Ohio gardens are at their best,with a resurgence of late summer bloom and beautiful berried bushes in early fall.
Spring At Dawes Arboretum
One of my favorite places for spring wildflowers is Dawes Arboretum, while a hike through Old Man's Cave in Hocking County is also a great place to see dogwood trees, trilliums, dog-tooth violets and numerous others.
Many of the Parks have Spring Features
To see garden bulbs in bloom, visit Inniswood Metro Park Garden, daffodils in the Park of Roses, the grounds of Franklin conservatory, the renowned bulb show at Kingswood (35,000 tulips! this gives you an idea of what kind of a floral show you can find in these months.
The best gardens to visit in early summer,but any time during summer can be delightfully flowery, are those that major in perennial and annual displays.
The gardens of Inniswood Metro Park, Reeves in Dover Ohio, and others are brimming with the best show during early summer and into July, but there are still lovely things in August especially when annuals complete the show.
If you have time to visit Gambier, Ohio during the small window it is open in June, you can enjoy the treat of Schnormeier Gardens. There is an admission fee during the short time it is open to the public.
Did you realize that the zoos are often botanical gardens,as well? Columbus Zoo is outstanding.
- Kingwood Center
Official site.of Kingwood Center
- Official Columbus Zoo site
Find out everything about what the Columbus zoo has to offer -home of famous Jack Hanna!
- Fun Day Trips Around Columbus Ohio
Do you want something fun to do in the Central Ohio area? Are you looking for family fun while in the Columbus area? Here are my top favorite places to visit.
Related Ohio Attractions - Frank Lloyd Wright
Are you a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright? One of the few of his houses that are available for rent include the Penfield House in Willoughby, Ohio. A beautiful review with telling pictures is written by Peter Beers.
Situated within the woods, there are not gardens per se, but a natural environment that FLW loved to incorporate into his designs.
What Do You Think Of Ohio Now?
Did you change your mind about Ohio?
What we are really famous for: football.
Chadwick Arboretum on Campus is a nice little detour.
Find Those Gardens - Gardens are on the map
Plan your trip, make your vacation and travel experience a happy one.
The Three C's
You've been here, and now tell us what gardens *you* like.
I write about home gardening from an Ohio perspective. Join on Facebook to keep updated, if you like.