Friday, July 6, 2012

The Secret Arboretum

I have to tell you about this place.
(I also have to tell you that there are 57 photos in this post.  No lie.  57. Prepare.)

We visited about a month ago, and it's ridiculously beautiful and...totally free.
Did you hear that??  Free.
This is the tremendous stone amphitheater.  It's just chillin' on the perfectly manicured, bowl-shaped lawn.  People request to use the space for weddings.  They're totally open to using it for concerts and performances, too, but they don't have a volunteer to head up the organization of such ventures.
Volunteers.  That is what keeps this place going.  Volunteers keep these gardens up...all of them.
And there are a lot of gardens in this arboretum: the Secrest Arboretum.
(Sorry, but most of these photos are at least a little overblown.  Still getting used to this camera.)

For months Dave and I had seen the sign by the highway, and I always had to correct my reading of "Secret Arboretum" to Secrest.  
There was a tornado through the arboretum about five years ago.
 They're still recovering from it. 
I can't tell you how many of these stumps we saw...huge, old trees that should have been anchor points in the gardens and provided some much-needed shade.  But they didn't go to waste...
  The Discovery Pavilion is made from trees from the arboretum.  The surrounding garden is made entirely of edible plants.
Dave can tell you more about that.  But there's also a beautiful reception room with hardwood floors and paneled walls, also made from trees from the arboretum. 

The tornado luckily missed this section:
Sequoia trees.  In the middle of Ohio!  Amazing, huh?
Can you believe this?
Solid teak picnic tables and chairs, three sets of them.  Again, just chillin in the free arboretum.  Waiting for you to come eat on them.  They're surrounded by ornamental allium.
To give you an idea of the size.  Dave loves these.
One of my new favorite photos of me and Dave.
   This is the playground segment of the arboretum.
It's tucked back in the corner, by the sequoias.
 This arboretum has some very good friends.  This is the pile of marble waiting for the volunteers to come set them around the park.
 I still can't get over how beautiful this place was!  IS.
 This is the meadow that lies next to the Rose Garden.
With, I believe, over 200 varieties of roses.
 Don't worry, I've chosen only my favorite photos and condensed them.
Mostly condensed them.
Cause I don't know about you, but I don't have nearly enough photos of beautiful flowers.
 So many roses, I think they ran out of places to use them and used the extras around that random shed over here.
Snapdragons, not roses.
 And for the finale!! 
  So come visit us!  And you, too, can have some gorgeous photos of some unforgettable flowers and people!!


  1. HOLY CANOLY - that place is beautiful! I can't believe it's FREE!! What are we doing, paying big bucks to get into our Arboretum?? Ohio-ans must be more passionate about their flowers to be able to do all that with volunteers.

  2. Wow! So gorgeous!

  3. Really looking forward to our time there with you both. And making a side trip here would be a great idea! Thanks for posting the flowers...they really are amazing!


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