Monday, August 25, 2008

Schoepfle Garden - Birmingham, OH

Sue wanted to go on a road trip. Well, okay, let's go! Mom, Sue and I had traveled together last October to Cleveland to accept an award on behalf of the Smiley Park Children's Garden. Of course, we had a great time, which is not surprising when you get three garden lovers together.

This time, we headed towards Cleveland again, although we stopped short, first in Avon. That's the home of Petitti's largest greenhouse location in the Cleveland area. We have been there twice before and because we don't have such places near us, we're like little kids in a candy store when we set foot inside.

We're quickly approaching my personal cut-off point for planting (September 1st), so if I was going to add to the gardens, it was now or never. Still, I tried to show restraint, for my budget's sake, which was hard because of the great sales going on. I came away with some Clumping Bamboo (Fargesia denudata), Variegated Bladder Campion (Silene uniflora 'Druett's Variegated'), Speedwell (Veronica repens 'Sunshine'), Campanula garganica 'Dickson's Gold', Cut-leaved Anemone (Anemone multifida 'Annabella Deep Rose'),
Japanese Anemone 'Party Dress' (a double pink), and Golden Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'). The last four are not new to our gardens; I just wanted more of them.

We loaded our purchases into the Suburban and headed back west to Schoepfle Garden. The gardens are located just south of I-90 and consist of 70 acres of botanical gardens and natural woodlands bordering the Vermilion River. It began in 1936 when Otto Schoepfle purchased the house and land that had belonged to his grandparents and turned it into beautiful gardens. He donated it to the Lorain County Metroparks in 1969 and continued to watch over it until his death in 1992.

We walked down a path to the newly-built children's garden. It opened just last year, but already is a favorite spot for locals to bring their kids. It is very child-friendly, with various areas inviting interaction. Mom and Sue were taking good notes on what they saw, for ideas they could possibly use for the Smiley Park Children's Garden in Van Wert.

Crawl through the Flutapillar!

Find your way through the maze!

Take a ride on the carousel!

Climb on the rock mountain!

And yes, there's an area where you really can play in the water!

The musical theme is carried through on the walkway . . .

. . . and with planters

The rest of the property was well laid-out for casual meandering this way and that, with many beautiful trees, shrubs, topiaries, display gardens, and natural beauty no matter which way you turned. We spent a couple of hours here, both in the gardens and in the gift shop that is located in the Visitor's Center.

Scenes from Schoepfle Garden

Pergola entrance to woodlands

It's Surprise Lily time around here!
(Lycoris squamigera)

Mid-afternoon sun shining through the trees

Variegated Sweet Gum
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Variegata')

Woodland ferns

Japanese Umbrella Pine
(Sciadopitys verticillata)

Japanese Anemones

One of many frogs that populate the pond

Lilium henryi

One of many topiaries in the Formal Garden. (Dog)

Formal Garden with sculpted hedges

The dahlias were in full bloom and the bees and butterflies were helping themselves to the nectar.

While there many beautiful plants and flowers in bloom, there were signs that autumn is right around the corner, including some early leaf color changes and dropping. No doubt the hot, dry weather has caused some trees to begin this change earlier than normal.

How quickly the summer passes...


Nancy J. Bond said...

What imaginative designers! Can you imagine having a working carousel in your garden? Spectacular -- and I think you showed amazing restraint in your purchases. :)

Benjamin Vogt said...

You know, I've an old clarinet that might look good with something planted inside it. Good idea. You always post about these cool places in Ohio I never knew about while I lived there, and thus didn't visit. Thanks, I guess. :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a wonderful trip for you ladies. I would love a good shop for some things to plug in here and there. Every year I say I am going to grow some daliahs. It hasn't happened yet.

Lythrum said...

I love your pictures, I'm very fond of dahlias. I am waiting for my nursery to get some Japanese Anemones in stock so I can get some, they are one of my favorite plants.

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