Visit 3 Ohio Botanical Gardens
These three destinations provide pockets of peace with their beautiful scenery and captivating flora.
Franklin Park Conservatory: Visitors to this Columbus attraction can walk through climate-accurate biomes and the iconic John F. Wolfe Palm House. But there are also 88 acres to explore outside. Kids love the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden, and the Community Garden Campus is filled with produce in internationally themed plots and educational display gardens. “When you have those sunshiney days and flowers blooming this spring, and more so this summer, they really speak to you,” says Amanda Bettin, associate director of horticulture. “It’s a great reminder that through any challenges, there will be spring, there will be flowers, there will be blooming plants, and that will always be there for us.” 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus 43202, 614/715-8000, fpconservatory.org
Cleveland Botanical Garden: Full sun meets deep shade in the 10 acres of outdoor gardens surrounding this University Circle institution. During the summer, the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s 11 themed garden areas abound with a variety of diverse plants, and families are drawn to the Hershey Children’s Garden. Indoors, biomes replicating Madagascar and Costa Rica await visitors. But it’s the outdoor gardens where you’ll find inspiration for your own plantings. “When you’re in the garden, you can very freely move from one area to the next,” says Caroline Tait, vice president of horticulture and collections for the botanical garden. “It’s an opportunity to really explore what one might be able to do at home.” 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland 44106, 216/721-1600, cbgarden.org
Toledo Botanical Garden: This 50-acre garden bursts with color during the spring and summer months as visitors are drawn to a variety of scenes, including the Woodland Garden — home to more than 200 varieties of rhododendron and five species of trillium (one of them, white trillium, is the official wildflower of Ohio) during the flower’s peak in mid-May. In June, the garden’s collection of hostas comes to life with more than 500 lush varieties. “It’s healthy and therapeutic to be outdoors in nature and really appreciate all the little things in the world,” says Jonathan Milbrodt, lead horticulturist for the botanical garden. “We kind of like to look at ourselves like an outdoor museum … a living museum.” 5403 Elmer Dr., Toledo 43615, 419/270-7500, metroparkstoledo.com