Saturday, October 13, 2007

Photo Catch-Up: Columbus

Wow! I really admire people who manage to update their blogs on a regular basis, as I just don't seem to be able to accomplish this feat myself. In fact, I have another little backlog of photos eager to push their way onto the web. Heh.

So let's start with Columbus. Not the Spanish explorer, of course, but the lovely city in central Ohio, our friendly neighbor to the south. I was nothing but impressed with this city, and as I've already belabored in the entry about Cleveland, I really like Ohio. I know, I know, this is near sacrilege for someone who's lived in Ann Arbor some twenty-mumble years, but there you have it.

I've been to Columbus three times this year: in February to see the Chihuly exhibit at Franklin Park Conservatory with my friend Amy and her friend Joan; in June for the German Village garden tour with my friend Carole, and in August to tour the Governor's garden on me todd (alone).

Franklin Park is a great place and already incorporated a few Chihuly pieces in its plantings. The exhibit brought in a lot more pieces, though, all of which were set in the beds with thought and care. You came upon them unexpectedly and they really fit the textures and colors of their surroundings.

The bright colors and textures of the glass did not eclipse the subtle greens of the foliage; instead they enhanced one another.

The really bright artwork was placed in the fish pond, where the koi can certainly hold their own.

My favorite piece was a garden of glass set against the concrete walls of the lower level of the conservatory. I absolutely love the vibrant blues and greens, and orange is one of my favorite colors. It's just so happy!. If there were any way I could have sneaked this piece out in my coat, I certainly would have done so and come back for more never even have contemplated such a theft of precious artwork. Ah hem.

Some time in June, Carole and I, who are both wild 'n' crazy gals let me tell you, spent a day in the Ohio History Center poring over seed catalogs from the 1800s. Ooh, watch our dust! We tend a historic garden for Cobblestone Farm and are always eager to find out the latest old news about what's no longer grown! There was also an exhibit at the center, Ohio's Garden Path, that detailed the history of private gardens in Ohio from settlement until today. We stayed in a nice bed & breakfast in Clintonville, and headed out the next day to the German Village garden tour. There we met up with a nice lady, through a gardenweb forum request, for lunch. We also took a quick stroll through Franklin Park and then headed home. For a reason not at all entirely clear to me, the only photo I took was of a nice planting in front of a home that wasn't even on the tour:

Whilst watching Our Ohio, I found out about the governor's garden in Columbus. Apparently the former first lady, Hope Taft, decided the garden, which is frequently visited by tour groups, should showcase native plants from throughout Ohio. She helped plant and tend the garden, and she apparently still comes once a week to volunteer in the garden! The tour guide explained how one of the native plants in the garden had not bloomed in a while because it needed to be pollinated by carion flies. So when Ms. Taft came across a dead turtle in her own garden, she was overjoyed at its potential to attract the flies and placed it in a nice little box for the current first lady. The latter entirely failed to see the utility of the gift! Ms. Hope Taft, you are a lady after my own heart!

The cool thing is, the garden still looks "proper" enough for a governor's home, despite its "wild" additions, like this prairie garden.

There were also small gardens to represent sand dune and bog ecosystems:

Ooh! I'm a pitcher plant!

Each county was asked to provide a stone or plaque for the garden, and one county provided this grinding stone, formerly used in a mill, that has been converted to a fountain. Cool!

And even though it was sweltering that day, hotter than a kitten wearing mittens in July, I pushed on to Franklin Park. As walking the grounds made me feel like Frosty the Snowman (hurry now before I melt away!), I did snap a few photos before oozing back into the car.

Pretty, innit?!

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