Though identified as secret, 16 different Bowling Green home gardens will be opened for public viewing.
The University Women of Bowling Green State University will present a "Secret Garden Tour"
Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.
The tour can be done in any order at each individual’s leisure. Organizers indicate most of the beauty in
these gardens are not visible as you drive by as they are located in the backyards of the families.
"Each garden is unique and reflects the taste, history, and personality of the various owners,"
said Denise Robins from University Women.
As one might imagine with 16 different gardens, there is a lot of variety in size and content. One garden
has won more than one prize in the annual Beautiful Bowling Green contest.
Robins indicates visitors will likely come away with ideas to enhance their own gardens. At the very
least, they will certainly see some of the hidden beauty in the city.
Tickets for the tour are $5 each and are on sale at Calico Sage and Thyme and Grounds for Thought. They
can be purchased now through 4 p.m. Sunday. All proceeds from the tour will be donated to fund a
scholarship the organization presents each year to a nontraditional female student at BGSU. A map
identifying the homes on the tour accompanies each ticket.
Refreshments will be sold by area children at selected homes.
While no description can adequately capture the beauty of the various gardens, organizers have provided a
brief description of some of the gardens on the tour.
One of the featured gardens is Garden 12. "There is much to be seen here," Robins indicated.
The family has more than 40 rose bushes in the front and a mound filled with annuals and perennials. The
backyard features a swimming pool surrounded by annuals and beautiful flower pots. There is also a large
vegetable garden planted in the Asian style and an orchard of fruit trees.
The large flower beds are overflowing with annuals, perennials, and other interesting plants such as a
30-year-old blooming hibiscus, two banana plants, an avocado tree, and crepe myrtles.
The many unique features include a fountain, a water garden, a very large flower tube hung in a tree, and
one of the largest hanging baskets in the city. The seeds for one outstanding plant were given to the
owner by a master gardener. The owner will share the seeds for this plant with garden visitors while the
Other featured gardens include:
¥ Garden 4 is entered through an Amish-made arbor and trellises which provide privacy. The outdoor living
space features blue stone and granite dining table which is eight feet long and weighs 800 pounds.
Lovely art fills the yard complementing the beds which consist mainly of shade perennials. There is also
an herb garden and a vegetable garden. A sun perennial garden is located on the south side of the house.
¥ Garden 5 consists of one of the few properties in Bowling Green with rolling hills. A large fountain is
in the center of the patio. There is a large herb garden, a collection of hydrangeas, and flower beds
and pots tucked in around the property.
¥ Garden 6 consists of a large backyard enclosed by evergreens, deciduous trees, and burning bushes.
Shrubs and flowers surround a water garden complete with a fountain, goldfish, and a waterfall. Ducks
often populate the pond.
¥ Garden 8 demonstrates how fine art can be used outside. The mostly perennial garden is highlighted with
glass flowers, glass balls, a rotating fountain, and the "centennials," which are 12-foot tall
metal flowers. The front of the house is graced by Chuck Inukchuk, a welcoming character which also will
be shown on the 2010 Olympic advertising.
¥ Garden 10 features numerous shade perennials including more than 165 hostas, lilies, and a large
variety of other perennials. The owner’s hobby of painting birdhouses and furniture is reflected
throughout the garden.
¥ Garden 11 reflects the owners’ love of antiques. Antique lightning rods and other pieces are on display
as well as a water feature. There is also a sun garden which includes a sundial; and paths wind through
the back half of the backyard filled with hanging solar lanterns and a bottle tree among the floral and
fauna. The entire garden is filled with geraniums the owners over winter in the greenhouse.
¥ Garden 16 fills the property. This garden has been awarded prizes in the BG contest, and it is
testament to the owner’s extensive knowledge of gardening. Whimsical garden art is displayed throughout
the garden. From 42 rose bushes to hostas, along with goatsbeard, vines, daylilies, liriope, and
hellebores, this garden also features a rock garden and excellent water feature.
"This garden is not to be missed," Robins states.
Another garden is an English-style cottage garden; while features of other gardens include a gazebo, a
Japanese Maple collection, gardening at a condominium, shade gardening next to a woods, and beautiful
plantings backing on to a golf course.
All of the gardens have almost completely been designed by the home owners.
As Elizabeth Murray, a garden designer, has stated "Gardening is the art that uses flowers and
plants as paint and the soil and sky as canvas."
Photos by Aaron Carpenter/Sentinel-Tribune
A Lorraine Avenue home offers a nice peaceful backyard garden including a trellis and water feature. A
swimming pool is lined with a variety of garden gems in a Brittany Avenue home; while a frog makes its
home in the Lorraine Avenue backyard garden.