Sunday, May 10, 2009

3 Beautiful Gardens From the Columbus Dispatch

Holden Arboretum
Holden, in Kirtland, is one of my favorites. Twenty miles of winding paths and trails take visitors past more than two dozen little lakes and ponds and alongside scenic Pierson Creek.
Holden covers more than 3,600 acres, with natural areas making up most of the arboretum. During my most recent visit, though, I couldn't bring myself to leave the beautiful cultivated areas, which include major collections of magnolias, lilacs and viburnums.
The arboretum's Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden is a spectacular sight this time of year. It encompasses 25 acres of spring-blooming rhododendrons, azaleas and similar plants, all shaded by a canopy of oaks, beeches and maples.
The formal Lantern Court Garden, also covering 25 acres, features perennial borders, rose and wildflower gardens, a rock garden and a large collection of hostas.
Just outside the visitors center is a lovely butterfly garden, which really comes into its own later in the summer.
Call 440-946-4400 or visit

Dawes Arboretum
I'm a sucker for the soft-edged symmetry of a formal Japanese garden.
Dawes, near Newark, has one of the best in the region. The garden was designed in 1963 by landscape architect and professor Makoto Nakamura of the University of Kyoto in Japan.
Today it offers a relaxing melange of flowing water, artistically placed rocks and sand, and beautiful trees and shrubs. And you needn't be into Zen to enjoy the serenity of the view from the meditation house.
Dawes also offers many other botanical attractions, including one of the northern-most cypress swamps on the continent, an azalea glen, and a comprehensive collection of buckeye, beech and ginkgo tree varieties.
Eight miles of walking trails loop through the arboretum. Yet visitors needn't even walk (although they probably should if they can): Dawes also features a 4-mile auto-tour trail that takes drivers through deep woods and lush lawns and along many of the most interesting individual gardens.
Weekend visitors can also tour the Daweswood House Museum, once home to the family who founded the arboretum.
Call 1-800-44-DAWES or visit

Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens
The manor house of Goodyear tire baron F.A. Seiberling is the central focus of this Akron attraction.
Stan Hywet (pronounced HEE-wit) is Old English for "stone quarry." And the 65-room mansion was built between 1912 and 1915 from stone quarried on the site.
Tours reveal magnificent stained- and leaded-glass windows -- more than 21,000 panes in all; intricate tile and plaster ornamentation; and interior woodwork that might be called a kind of carpenter's arboretum, with boards of American oak, chestnut, black walnut, sandalwood, teak and rosewood.
Although the estate today covers just 70 the original 3,000 acres, the remaining gardens still offer a colorful and soothing bounty.
A 550-foot allee, or walkway, lined with more than 100 gray birch trees, ends at a breathtaking view of the Cuyahoga Valley.
The stone quarry has been turned into the Lagoon, several ponds connected by waterways and surrounded by a naturalistic garden.
Visitors can also tour the Gothic-style Corbin Conservatory greenhouse.
Unfortunately, Stan Hywet's cozy Japanese garden and formal West Terrace are both closed for renovations. They are to reopen in 2010.
Call 1-888-836-5533 or visit

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