Three Fun Stops

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I had a nice day of travel (leaving from Lafayette, IN this morning) with three excellent stops on my way to Columbus, OH for the big Cultivate 16 event.  I arrived at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) early this morning and had a wonderful tour from Irvin Etienne (IMA Horticulturist) of the expansive grounds and gardens.  This would be my fourth stop at the IMA, which incidentally is an awesome museum (see above) to start with although my interest today was in the gardens.  It’s always nice to “talk shop” and discuss ideas, challenges and approaches.  I then headed to Richmond, IN and visited the Hayes Arboretum (see further below).

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colorful containers at the IMA offer impact in deep shade

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pollinators were already at work on the blazing star (Liatris sp.) seen above

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this colorful ensemble above is part of a lush rain garden near a parking lot

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Irvin (“Mr. Hospitality”) giving me a tour of the greenhouses

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The Hayes Arboretum celebrated 100 years of history in 2015.  This 466 acre nature preserve and arboretum started with Stanley W. Hayes buying parcels of land in 1915 to preserve beech maple forest and other natural features.  Reforestation has occurred in earnest as well and education seems to be the primary focus of this beautiful natural space.  When I arrived, there was a group of children there having a grand time.  I hiked some of the trails and kept pace just ahead of the mosquito swarm!  Beautiful place with a very pure mission of engaging, inspiring and educating the public!  I then headed to Dayton, OH to visit the Cox Arboretum.

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tulip tree (Liriodendron tulpifera) above with a trunk as straight as an arrow!

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Hayes Arboretum Nature Center (above)

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My last stop of the day before heading to Columbus, OH was the Cox Arboretum near Dayton, OH.  This 189 acre site was donated in 1962 by James M. Cox, Jr. and became a private/public partnership with Five Rivers Metroparks.  With 3.5 miles of trails, specialty gardens and lots to see, I had a nice walk although this was the first time rain caught up to me.  There was a lot of construction going on for new trails and improvements.  I was very impressed with all the buildings dedicated to education.  Some of the highlights are included below…

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cool grass garden (above)

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I braved my fear of heights and went to the top of this 46′ tall Tree Tower (view below).  It had a slight sway to it with high winds and incoming rain (not kidding)

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rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium) in a natural area seen above

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