This must be the best-kept gardening secret in Northwest Ohio. Neither Mom nor I had ever heard of Schedel Arboretum and Gardens until I read about them in an e-mail from Ohio Magazine. I saw that they were literally just off the Ohio Turnpike near Elmore, Ohio, and we'd be passing right by on the way home, except that I had no intention of just passing by without stopping!
From the time we walked through the gate and up the chrysanthemum-lined drive, we knew it was a very good thing that we'd taken the time to visit this place. Once the estate of Joseph and Marie Schedel, the 17 acres the property encompasses is a true paradise. They purchased the property and home in 1929 for the purpose of developing it into an arboretum and gardens and that's just what they did, in a big way. It was opened to the public in 1991.
Located at a bend on the Portage River, there are two levels of terrain, with the lower level allowing a protected area where many species of plants and trees can be grown that would otherwise not survive here. There are 25 varieties of Japanese Maples, 16 species of pine, and nearly 50 kinds of lilacs. Each spring, over 15,000 annuals are planted from those grown in their own greenhouse.
There wasn't a single area of the gardens that I didn't enjoy, but the star of the show is the Japanese Garden. It takes up a very large portion of the property and like the other gardens, was groomed immaculately. It had waterfalls, a babbling brook, typical Japanese structures, and of course, the maples. While we were there, a wedding party was having a photo shoot.
A grove of Dawn Redwood trees, some of the oldest on the continent, was begun in the 1950s. The trees are native to China and were believed to be extinct until 1941, when one was found in a remote area of China. All the trees in North America are descendants from trees grown from seeds of that tree. We have two Dawn Redwoods in our yard and hopefully ours will grow up to be beauties like we saw here.
There are also Bristlecone pines. The Bristlecone pine is the oldest living organism on the planet. These trees can live to the ripe old age of nearly 5000 years. Of course, now I want one.
In the kitchen garden, we were astounded at the many varieties of peppers! The tour booklet says there are more than 80 different ornamental peppers and I believe it. I saw some shapes and colors that I'd never seen before. I grew 'Chilly' this year and now a whole new peppery world has been opened to me.
In addition to permanent artistic sculptures, through October 31st, there is a temporary exhibit, "Small Yet Mighty," featuring the work of nine regional sculptors. Their works are situated throughout the arboretum and gardens and at the back of the property, Emanuel Enriquez was working on a marble sculpture of flamenco dancers.
From Bowling Green, Ohio, Emanuel is the artist responsible for the bronze sculpture of boys looking through a fence at the Toledo Mud Hens home field at Fifth Third Stadium, as well as "Alone Together," displayed here at Schedel in the Rose Garden.
We were really surprised to see the gardens looking so vibrant and lovely at this late time in the year and especially after the hot, dry summer we've had. But it was absolutely lush and bright and we commented on how it must look in June . We intend to come back and find out.
For more information, visit their website: Schedel Arboretum and Gardens
More Images From the Gardens
(As usual, clicking on any photograph will bring up
a larger image, showing greater detail.)