Gardens can be a place to grow food, to appreciate flowers and to learn about our natural habitats. Plentiful in this area, community gardens enrich our lives, boost our spirits and benefit our communities. Here are some recommendations of local gardens to explore.
Formal gardens can include a wide range of features: flowers, native plants, water features, landscapes, statuary and other items. We are fortunate to have a variety of beautiful spaces locally:
Toledo Botanical Garden Metropark 60+ acres with celebrated daylily and hosta collections, gazebo and pond, perennial gardens and sculptures.
Also visit the Secret Forest for kids, the Doneghy Inclusive Garden and Artisan Village. Open dawn to dusk daily (no dogs). 5403 Elmer Dr., Toledo; 419.270.7500; metroparkstoledo.com
Ziems Conservatory and Gardens, Toledo Zoo Featuring a garden of roses, with more than 40 varieties, 20 types of perennials, a lily pool and acres of annuals, as well as hundreds of plants in the Conservatory. In colder weather, the gardens are the backdrop for the Lights Before Christmas. Free with Zoo admission. 2 Hippo Way, Toledo; 419.385.4040; toledozoo.org/gardens
Schedel Arboretum & Gardens More than 10,000 plants, flowers and exotic trees over 17 acres. Be sure to visit the Japanese garden with a 30 ft. waterfall, streams and bridges. Opens daily in May,. 19255 W. Portage River South Rd., Elmore, Ohio; 419.862.3182; schedel-gardens.org
From urban farms to neighborhood gardens, food-focused gardens are common in our area. In addition to crops, many gardens train residents to grow their own food.
Toledo GROWs Gardens With more than 125
community gardens, Toledo GROWs is dedicated to
gardening opportunities for people of diverse ages and
abilities. Their headquarters features an urban farm and education center with opportunities for volunteers. Call 419.720.8714 to visit there or any garden. 900 Oneida St., Toledo; 419.720.8714; toledogrows.org
Ironwood Community Garden Enjoy the gardens,
participate in the neighborhood programs or help out. Open 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. 1304 Ironwood Ave., Toledo; (no phone number); Search “Ironwood Community Garden” on Facebook.
Sophia Quintero Arts & Cultural Center Learn how art and education can play a role in our everyday lives, and how a vacant property can become a community centerpiece, with native habitats, pollinators, fruit orchards, strawberries, vegetables and flowers. Part of the Toledo GROWs community garden network. Check with the office (419.241.1655) for information and tours. 1222 Broadway St., Toledo; 419.241.1655; sqacc.org)
577 Foundation Established on the grounds of Virginia Stranahan’s former home, 577 is a place of joy and discovery for the whole family, with a geodesic biodome, community gardens and trails to the Maumee River. Open daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 577 East Front St., Perrysburg, Ohio; 419.874.4174;
Ranging from prairies to preserves, wetlands to forests, streams to lakes,
natural gardens offer not only undisturbed native habitat, but they
also preserve our lands and waterways.
Pat & Clint Mauk’s Prairie The 30-acre native prairie habitat at Black Swamp Conservancy, a northwest Ohio land trust, includes a one-mile public trail and several wetlands. Open daily from dawn until dusk. 4825 Sugar Ridge Rd., Pemberville, Ohio; 419.833.1025; blackswamp.org
Nehls Memorial Nature Preserve This natural,
waterfront area is being developed and protected by Black Swamp
Conservancy along the West Bay area of Catawba Island.
The preserve will open to the public this summer; 419.833.1025;
Howard Marsh Metropark Take a boardwalk stroll for a quarter mile through the 1,000-acre wetlands to the water’s edge. The area also features canoeing and hiking. Open daily from 7:00 a.m. till dark. 611 S. Howard Rd., Curtice, Ohio; 419.407.9700; metroparkstoledo.org
Gardens that Defy Labels
There are other, equally beautiful and inspiring places around the region that may not boast plants, but are certainly great places to visit. May we suggest:
Sculpture gardens in Ottawa Hills (intersection of Secor Rd., Bancroft St., and Indian Rd.), Sculpture in the Park features permanent and
Also visit the Georgia and
David K. Welles Sculpture
Garden, Toledo Museum of Art. The two dozen sculptures are positioned throughout beautifully landscaped grounds. 2445 Monroe St.; 419.255.8000; toledomuseum.org
Norma Stark Memory Garden & Labyrinth Features a custom stone 9-circuit labyrinth, beautifully landscaped grounds and places to sit and reflect. A fountain greets visitors. Open daily from dawn to dusk. 345 W. South Boundary, Perrysburg, Ohio; 419-351-3268;
Woodlawn Cemetery and Arboretum The grounds are sanctuary to 100 species of trees and over 200 migratory and stationary birds, and a lake on the grounds attracts ducks and other waterfowl. Open 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. M-F, and 9:00 a.m. to noon Saturday. 1502 W. Central Ave., Toledo; 419.472.2186; historic-woodlawn.com
Toledo Botanical Garden Herb Garden Beautiful, healthy herbs of all kinds lovingly cared for by Maumee Valley Herb Society volunteers.
5403 Elmer Dr., Toledo. Open daily 7:00 – dark. 419-270-7500;
Doneghy Inclusive Garden at Toledo Botanical Garden
5403 Elmer Dr. or 5434
W. Bancroft, Toledo, is a new,
wheelchair accessible garden with ADA seating, a sensory water wall and plantings — good to smell and touch. Open daily 7:00 – dark.