Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018
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Enjoy spring's subtle beauty

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    Hosta in the Sylvania Township garden of Ruth O'Brien.

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We have probably all heard the saying, “April showers bring May flowers” — and that it does!



While there are so many things about horticulture that get me excited, waking up to the birds singing their unique songs, and eagerly awaiting the sunrise to get out and see what new magic is happening in gardens and landscapes has to be one of the greatest. There are so many sights to see this time of the year, and so much can be missed by simply not taking the time to enjoy the plants.

As gardeners, we might be drawn to the obvious beauty of flowers like the grape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum) and daffodils (Narcissus spp.) that paint the landscape with colors of purples, yellows, creams, and more. Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.), serviceberries (Amelancheir spp.), and redbuds (Cercis canadensis) burst on the scene in spring to remind us that a new garden season is here.

I challenge everyone to enjoy even the subtle beauties such as swelling buds and early leaf emergence of the genus Aesculus (buckeyes and horsechestnuts), the slender sharply pointed buds of beech (Fagus spp.), the fan-shaped leaves of ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) opening from the unique spur branches across the tree’s canopy. The chartreuse green foliage of boxwood (Buxus spp.) emerging against the evergreen leaves from seasons past. While not all flowers have a fragrance, some can even be offensive. Sniff wisely, just in case.

I am always intrigued by foliage of hostas (Hosta spp.) pushing their way up through the soil and magically unrolling. The variety of leaf sizes and shapes is unbelievable. From one of the smallest — the mouse-eared hosta — to one of the largest — the blue mammoth hosta — I stand in awe and pure enjoyment. It is no wonder many are drawn to the diversity of plants within the genus.

While many might not have the number or variety of plants in their own landscapes, it is not an excuse to miss the quick changes of Mother Nature’s beauty. Whether it is a simple walk in the neighborhood, exploring a park or public space, horticulture is happening all around us. Don’t miss out this season, but rather take it all in and enjoy the details no matter how large or small.

One place that you can choose to immerse yourself in horticulture locally is the Toledo Botanical Garden, a unique park in Metroparks Toledo, where plants and the arts come together. A daily, weekly, or monthly walk through the garden may have you wondering if this is even the same place. Seasonal interests change quickly; you just have to take it all in.

On Friday and Saturday, Toledo Botanical Garden will celebrated National Public Garden Days. Visitors are encouraged to walk the gardens and enjoy the beauty of collections and displays throughout the 60 acres, and stop in to meet local artists.

Toledo Botanical Garden is considered a museum of plants, all for the community to engage and enjoy. Horticulturists and volunteers will be stationed throughout the garden and will be available to answer questions about the garden collections, displays, and plants during the event. Resident organizations will be present to answer questions about their clubs and their involvement with Toledo Botanical Garden.

For additional information about the event check out the Metroparks Toledo Facebook Event Page at facebook.com/events/407857236346284/

Do not let another day go by without enjoying the seasonal beauty of plants. You will be happy that you are officially hooked on horticulture.

Amy Stone is an extension educator with the Ohio State Extension – Lucas County, Agriculture and Natural Resources. Contact her at: stone.91@osu.edu

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