Cultivate ’16 Begins (Three Other Pit Stops)

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I headed over to the Greater Columbus Convention Center this morning to pick up my registration for the event.  The trade show wasn’t open yet but set-up was happening in earnest.  I’ve been to some conventions before but don’t think I’ve ever seen an exhibition hall this big!  Wow!  Registration was easy and the AmericanHort group runs a tight ship.  They support nearly 14,000 members and affiliated businesses that include breeders, greenhouse and nursery growers, garden retailers, landscape professionals, florists, students, educators, etc.  I did nose around the convention hall though and took a peek at many new plants and displays.  I then completed another trifecta and visited Inniswood Metro Gardens, the Dawes Arboretum and plant trials at Ohio State University.  It was a nice sunny day of 80 degrees F and I took another 1,000 photos or so!  See below for some of the highlights.  Tomorrow I’ll cruise the trade show, go to educational sessions and get a field trip in as well.

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I had heard of Inniswood Metro Gardens for many years and was thrilled to stop by this morning to a busy parking lot and bustling, vibrant garden.  We have the ‘Inniswood’ hosta at RBG that was found here and continues to be a popular variety.  It must have been a volunteer work day as there were over 50 volunteers in bright yellow shirts doing lots of weeding!  Interesting that they were using plastic laundry baskets for weeding and seemed to have a nice system in place.  This 123 acre garden started as a 37 acre gift in 1972 from sisters Grace and Mary Innis.  I thought the gardens were excellent and the woodland areas were quite nice as well.  It was busy there today, particularly for wedding and family photography.

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blue painted picture frame border – cool!

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The Dawes Arboretum had always been on my “to visit” list and was only just east of Columbus.  Unfortunately, my GPS navigator couldn’t find the address so my wife (via texting) and a helpful clerk at a gas station finally helped me arrive.  This 1800+ acre arboretum is well known for woody plant specimens and when it was founded in 1929 by Beman Dawes, the original 293 acres already had 50,000 tree planted.  This arboretum was lovely and while I didn’t see all 5,000 of their different types of woody plants, I saw some very interesting specimens and walked most of the arboretum.  This was a very enjoyable excursion for a tree hugger (me).

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the Japanese garden was beautiful

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large ‘Sargentii’ weeping Canadian hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

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Visiting Ohio State University on a Saturday in summer is nice due to lack of traffic.  I had never been on this campus and liked the look of it in general.  Nice landscaping could be found everywhere.  I had no problem finding the Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens and explored a wide range of plants around the buildings in that area and in dedicated “row trials.”  I got my “color fix” with these trials and needless to say, the camera was snapping away!  Great day three!

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