Sometimes, you need to take a vacation from your garden. I know, I know, you wonder why I would ever think leaving the plants that I have been tending since they were little seedlings. Well, sometimes you just need a break from looking at your plants. As an Urban Farmscaper, it is easy to do since you probably have a small garden that you could find a friend or neighbor that would be happy to water for you. When I had my organic farm, there was never the possibility of leaving, not even for even a weekend. Winter time was the only possible vacation time. Thank you FARMERS for growing the food I don’t have space to grow!
This week my vacation is in Columbus Ohio. I bet that comes as a surprise. Who would vacation in Columbus? Well, I am here for the Ohio Floral Association’s Short Course, which is probably the biggest horticulture event in North America. I know what you are thinking, what vacation! This vacation is still all about looking at plants!
Today, the keynote presentation will be given by Joe Lamp’l , who you may have seen on his PBS series, “Growing a Greener World”. Then on Monday, Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef and the Senior Policy Advisor for the Healthy Food Initiatives will be presenting “Gardening’s Positive Impact on Our Communities & Our Lives”. These are two amazing gardeners and I am excited to hear them along with the many MANY other presentations and workshops. I will have to share with you in a later post what I have learned from them. For today, I will share with you my visit to the Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Garden.
Upon entering the gardens, I was greeted with beautifully landscaped grounds and I could see the roof top of the conservatory above some trees. The road was winding and a sign listed directions with arrows pointing to where you should go. I headed toward the Scott’s Miracle-Gro Community Garden Campus.
As I approached the entrance, I thought to myself, Wow! These community gardens are amazing! But where is all the food? Then as I strolled I saw that I had entered the Barbara and David Brandt Family Potager Gardens. I learned that a “potager garden” is the English version of our “kitchen garden”. It had a very cozy, but formal feel to it; I didn’t even notice the rows of herbs and veggies. The longer I lingered the more beautiful it became. The design had such attention to detail and visually it was very nice. As I wandered and became totally engulfed and lost in the garden, then I turned and stumbled upon the community garden.
There are 40 plots, and there were just as many garden designs as there were gardeners. I lost track of time admiring the veggies, herbs, flowers and fruits. Not a hard thing for me to do. I did eventually make it to the conservatory.
I’m really excited to meet breeders and growers and to learn about the new varieties that will be available for next year, whether it’s food or ornamental plants. And yes! Organic and sustainability are among the talks. Oh! I also got a sneak peek at some amazing containers that will be PERFECT for your Urban Farmscape. I love gardening and growing plants. Can you tell? So maybe I’m not looking at my garden, but I’m always looking at plants.
For more information on the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, including special events, visit their website at www.fpconservatory.org If you want to know more about their community garden, call 614-645-5952. It’s worth the trip, even if you aren’t a plant lover, when you visit, you will see the largest collection of Dale Chihuly’s glass artwork from 2003-2004 owned by a conservatory or botanical garden. Amazing! And Columbus is a pretty cool city. LOTS of urban farmscapes. So, where is your favorite community or public garden?