Friday, September 14, 2007

The Gardens of The Ohio State University

It's a pretty well-known fact that I'm not a morning person. Oh, I can get up early if I have to but I really dislike having to get up before my body feels like it. It's not that I'm lazy; I just keep different hours than most of the full-time employed population. While they're in a deep sleep at 2:00 a.m., I might be doing dishes or laundry or any one of a number of household chores. Such is the life of a night owl.

But I was in the company of my mom this weekend. My mom, who is both a night owl and an early bird and never lets the grass grow under her feet. God bless her. She woke me up this morning by turning the bedside light on and said something to the effect of, "CHOP! CHOP! Time's a wastin'!" I rolled over and ignored her for five more minutes.

After a complimentary breakfast at the hotel, we drove a short distance to Howlett Hall on the campus of Ohio State University, where Mom got registered for the Conference. She was supposed to take "Tour #3", which she had paid for, but since we were going to Tracy DiSabato's garden in the afternoon, she decided to forgo her tour and we made up our own.

Just north of Howlett are the Annual Trial Gardens, where annuals are test-grown for various companies such as Jackson & Perkins, Proven Winners, etc.

The flower beds were awash with color and we went up and down the rows, noting our favorites for possible future purchase.

All across the front of Howlett Hall are perennial gardens and we spent quite a bit of time admiring the various plants and flowers. Many were going to seed since it's that time of year for it, but there were also lots of beautiful blooms to be seen.

From there, we walked a block or so to Chadwick Arboretum and the Labyrinth Garden. To get there, we had to pass the Agriculture Administration Building and I remembered that our former next-door neighbors, Tom and Susan Shockey, both worked here at Ohio State, with Tom working specifically in horticulture. I said to Mom, "Since we're here, why don't we go in and see if Tom or Susan are here?" She agreed we should, even though I wasn't sure this was where we'd find either one of them.

As I opened the front door, I happened to look behind me and noticed a man walking up the sidewalk. I couldn't believe what and who I was seeing. None other than Mr. Thomas Shockey! We spent the next fifteen minutes catching up and Tom promised that he and Susan would stop in the next time they were up our way.

Chadwick Arboretum is located just north of the Ag Building, and we walked through the cool shade of trees to the Labyrinth. The idea of a public labyrinth such as this is that when you take the time to walk the entire labyrinth with its left and right turns, your mind and body will be calmed.

I walked it and will have to say that I found my mind going to the same places it does when I'm out working in my gardens. I contemplate things, make plans, and generally just let my mind go where it will. Walking the labyrinth was worth the time it took and the cement pathways laid out in the labyrinth pattern are aesthetically pleasing as well. There are many other public labyrinths worldwide.

By the time we finished walking through the various gardens on the OSU campus, it was getting to be time that we headed out of town to meet up with the Master Gardeners for the tour of Tracy DiSabato's garden.

We left campus early enough to make a stop at Baker's Acres, near Alexandria, northeast of Columbus. Mom and I both receive their print catalog and wanted to visit them since we were going to be in the area.

Even this late in the season, they still had a large assortment of plants to choose from.

We didn't have a lot of time to spend here, but we made a few selections, then jumped back in the car and headed for Tracy's, and that visit deserves its own post.

To be continued . . .

Viola 'Gem Plum Antique'
Dahlia 'Delighting Glow'


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful trip you are having with your Mom. I love the gardens. Thanks for sharing. You are going to come back with such inspiration :<)


Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Sounds like your Mum and you are having a great time Kylee. Labyrinth Gardens are a great experience, I love them too, it's so very Zen. ;-)

Great pic of those blue bottles, wish I could find a few over here.

BTW on Bliss we're going for a walk, so wear sensible shoes if you're coming along! ;-)

Unknown said...

Your trip is certainly way different from mine, Kylee, but it sounds like you're having a terrific time with your Mom, and the gardens (and garden centres) are marvelous.

Unknown said...

How fun! You're going to share details of your "selections" in a later post, right? (I always like to garden shop vicariously... and I've been wondering if you found one of those green echinacea you've been wanting.)

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