Optional Full-Day Tours

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Distinctive Gardens of Columbus

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Fee: $70 Includes lunch, snacks, and drinks

Tour some of the capital city’s finest gardens on this tour from downtown to nearby suburbs. The best of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and Franklin County Metro Parks.

Begin at The Topiary Park, a garden famous for its topiary interpretation of Georges Seurat’s painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. The Topiary Park is a landscape of a painting of a landscape! Witness the results of twenty years of inspired horticultural practices, and learn all about the history of this one-of-a-kind public garden as local artisians create their own works of art during your tour.

Continue to the Park of Roses, a thirteen-acre garden at Whetstone Park in the Clintonville neighborhood of north Columbus. The Park of Roses features unique rose gardens containing more than 11,500 roses of 400 varieties and—in 2010—was named a winner in America’s Best Rose Garden competition, which was sponsored by All-America Rose Selections. Also included are herb, perennial, and annual display gardens.

Finally, travel northeast to the suburb of Westerville to visit Inniswood Metro Gardens. This 121-acre scenic nature preserve’s backdrop of streams and woodlands complements seasonal displays and rose, herb, conifer, and woodland rock gardens. In honor of the gardens’ benefactors Grace and Mary Innis, a “Sisters’ Garden” was designed “to nurture the nature of the child in everyone.”

The Heart of Ohio Garden Experience

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Fee: $70 Includes lunch, snacks and drinks

Experience the horticultural excellence of an historic pubic garden, a semi-private garden, and a commercial

Discover fifty acres of manicured lawns, lakes, and many discrete gardens on a guided tour at Schnormeier Gardens. The gardens, truly inspired by the owner’s world travels, are planned to become a public garden in the future. Included are a Serenity Garden, a Quarry Garden, a Japanese Garden featuring a Japanese teahouse, a Chinese pavilion, and unique sculptures. Plantings offer rich colors and textures, while boulders and stonewalls add dimension and contrasts. A spectacular Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home anchors the property.

Experience the forty-seven acre estate of Kingwood Center by taking a guided tour of its Historic Garden, tropical house, Woodland Garden, Herb Garden, and Perennial Garden. Specialized collections include peony, siberian iris, and roses. Outstanding annual, perennial, and mixed borders provide year-round interest and color. Also visit the 1926 mansion with many of its original furnishings and horticultural library.

Explore the mature display gardens containing more than 2,300 varieties of hosta and over 1,500 varieties of daylilies and other perennials at Wade and Gatton Nurseries and Display Gardens. Join the owners to explore the extensive displays and woodland gardens featuring Canadia hemlocks, white oaks, hundred-year-old sugar maples, and white pines. Participants will enjoy a buffet lunch at Troyer’s Dutch Heritage Restaurant, which is known for traditional Amish home-style cooking and hospitality. display garden in scenic Central Ohio.

Parks and Gardens of Dayton

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Fee: $70 Includes lunch, snacks and drinks

Tour a wide diversity of public parks and gardens ranging from a popular children’s garden to estate and specialty gardens, and many natural areas.

Tour the many formal gardens of Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark and discover a wealth of design ideas and cultivation techniques. Enjoy whimsical plant displays, Ohio habitats, and plants that highlight play and learning opportunities in the Children’s Discovery Garden. Learn by example about the conservation of swamp forests, woodlands, meadows, and planted prairies through the work at Wegerzyn.

Explore Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm and its 200- acre nature sanctuary with six miles of trails around a pond and through a prairie, forests, a marsh, and meadows. Learn about sustainable agricultural methods such as free-range livestock, proper plowing, crop rotation, and farming without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Hike to the nearby Aullwood Gardens MetroPark, a nationally recognized historic estate garden rich in plant diversity, habitats, and tranquility. Here the topography and plantings were done carefully to imitate nature.

Enjoy a great escape in the 189-acres of specialty gardens, mature forests, and prairies at Cox Arboretum MetroPark. The arboretum offers numerous natural areas including mature woodlots, dense cedar glades, and wetlands. Learn about sustainable horticulture and conservation efforts from the horticulturists at Cox.

Optional Half-Day Tours

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gardens of Green, Gardens of Service

Time: 8:00a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Fee: $50 Includes light lunch, snacks, and drinks

Join us as we investigate how five green organizations have taken urban restoration and redevelopment to whole new levels.

See some of the best green practices and community gardening programs in Central Ohio, and meet organizations that provide a unique combination of education, cultivation, and public service within the community. The tour begins with a visit to the Grange Insurance Audubon Center on the Whittier Peninsula along the Scioto River. Next stops will be to Franklinton Gardens and Gantz Road Community Garden, each of which was named Community Garden of the Year in the Growing to Green Awards Celebration. The tour continues with a stop at the Mid-Ohio Food Bank’s community garden. Tour concludes at Black Creek Bistro, a restaurant providing local, fresh food using sustainable techniques. Enjoy a light lunch and a lively discussion with the restaurant’s owner.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Columbus Urban Center Gardens

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Fee: $15 Includes snacks and drinks

Columbus Commons is a new nine-acre urban green space built on the site of a former shopping mall. Enjoy tea, pastrics and entertainment as you view the 12 perennial garden beds designed by Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The Lazarus Building, a Goldcertified LEED structure, features a one-third-acre green roof with winding paths and approximately sixty varieties of plants. The Scioto Mile is a new one-mile stretch of planned parkland along the Scioto River through the heart of downtown. Nationwide Plaza, at the northern end of downtown, is a multi-level outdoor plaza with extensive plantings, sculpture, and moving water and an amazing indoor oasis of tropical plants and waterfalls.

Gardens of Bexley

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Fee: $50 Includes snacks and drinks

Enjoy a bus and partial walking tour of the City of Bexley, a historic, tree-lined suburb known for its large homes and beautiful gardens.

Situated on the banks of Alum Creek and bisected by the National Road, Bexley is considered one of the most desirable areas in Greater Columbus. Three wonderful gardens will be open by special arrangement and offer guided, informative tours. Begin on Drexel Avenue at a private residence with its fabulous English-style, formal gardens and perennial and annual mixed borders.

Continue walking through beautiful neighborhoods to the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden. These gardens are AIA Award winning and showcase Ohio’s natural history and main ecological regions. Conclude your tour at a unique private residence on two spacious lots. This venue includes ornate knot gardens and many conifers, along with a series of room-like settings connected by a garden bridge.

Experience a showcase of urban horticulture at its finest on this informative walking tour of first-class green spaces right in the heart of downtown Columbus. Knowledgeable tour guides will greet you at each stop and provide informal tours.

Friday, June 22, 2012

German Village: Urban Gardens Perfected

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Fee: $45 snacks and drinks included

Explore this National Register of Historic Places urban success story, where public parks and gardens are places to socialize and enjoy outdoor life and its private gardens are gems hidden along historic cobblestone streets.

Begin your tour at the German Village Meeting Haus for information about one of America’s most distinctive neighborhoods. Enjoy Schmidt’s famous cream puffs and coffee before your walking tour.Continue to Frank Fetch Memorial Park, which was developed to mimic a nineteenthcentury German Bier Garten with an Old-World feel and twenty-first-century plantings. An exceptional volunteer work force maintains the park. At Schiller Park, enjoy the Huntington Gardens’ renowned mixed-perennial border, gorgeous historic sculptures, pocket gardens, and entrance plantings. Three spectacular private gardens offer dazzling and innovative solutions to the challenges of small-space gardening.