Toledo Botanical Garden is a Colorful Destination Year Round

Owned and operated by Metroparks of Toledo, Ohio, Toledo Botanical Garden is a 60-acre park area that includes several kinds of gardens and offers a variety of classes and special events. The only botanical garden in the area and free to the general public, Toledo Botanical Garden attracts more than 100,000 visitors annually and is known as an excellent place to relax, take a walk, or practice the art of photography.

Currently, the botanical garden is divided into 18 separate gardens, each with a different theme or purpose. Much of the plant life is labeled with both scientific and common names so that visitors can understand what they are viewing. Staff members and volunteers, however, are on hand to answer any questions about the gardens and what's in them.

Gardens include the Shade Garden, featuring myriad trees, plants, and shrubs and two gazebos; the Hosta Collection, which features lily-like plants native to Southeast Asia; a colorful Azalea and Rhododendron Garden with benches and a pond; a peaceful Aquatic garden with a 21/2 feet deep, 30 feet wide and 70 feet long pond that sports colorful tropical aquatic plants of different varieties; an ever-changing Perennial Garden; a Daylily Collection that is abloom from June through August; and a Color Garden, which includes peonies, iris, lilies, hibiscus, and a number of more unusual varieties. A number of pieces of stone artwork can also be enjoyed on a walk through the Color Garden.

In addition, Toledo Botanical Garden includes an example of an English Borden Garden, composed of two elegant parallel rectangular flower beds; an English-style Cottage Garden; a Green Garden that focuses on texture and foliage rather than color; a Grass Garden that highlights ornamental grasses and plants that grow in dry, sandy areas like cactus and yucca; a Pioneer Garden, which is a tribute to early Ohio settlers and includes an apple tree planted by Johnny Appleseed; and a Rose Garden, featuring a plethora of varieties that are mostly at their peak during the month of June.

Also, the Toledo Botanical Garden sports a Dahlia Garden with about 50 different varieties; a Vegetable Garden that demonstrates the French Intensive Wide Bed method of planting crops in an elliptical pattern; and an Herb Garden, a blend of thirteen themed gardens accented with permanent works of art including a beautiful fountain. The Botanical Garden's Grand Allee is a hill-top tree-lined path that provides excellent picturesque views of nearby Crosby Lake.

Toledo Botanical Gardens offers a number of events each year, including some that occur annually. Plant sales are frequent and Sunday Open Art Days encourage families to come to the gardens and participate in demonstrations, hands-on activities, and more. Live performances are often part of the fare, including a summer concert series and the annual Crosby Festival of the Arts.

The facility also acts as a sponsor for GROWs (Gardens Revitalize our World), an outreach program that "educates people of all ages and ethnicities about how to grow fresh fruits, flowers, and vegetables in order to improve their neighborhoods and build stronger communities.'' Toledo Botanical Garden has thus far assisted in the creation of nearly 50 community gardens throughout the city.

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