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Past Shows:

Show #13/5113. A Garden Onetime Known As The Garden Center Of Cleveland

Summary of Show

History Of Cleveland Botanical Garden

The CLEVELAND BOTANICAL GARDEN (CBG) is situated in a beautiful part of metropolitan Cleveland. The Museum of Art is a next door neighbor. The bustling Cleveland medical community surrounds the grounds as well. But folks have been gardening here for quite some time. CBG was actually founded in 1933.

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Glass House

One of the most impressive features of this garden is the GLASS HOUSE. In many ways it is home base to Cynthia. It's where she started. The Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glass House was completed in 2003 as part of a 40 million dollar renovation and expansion of the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Inside there are 2 very different, yet 2 very interesting eco systems.

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Herb Garden

It would be hard to imagine a public garden without an HERB GARDEN. There is so much educational value because herbs are used in almost everything we eat, every day. But this is more than a four square herb garden. It is a traditional English design herb garden with garden rooms. Each garden room in the Western Reserve Herb Society Herb Garden is different and every garden room is whimsical and fun.

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Herbs Have Aesthetic Value

Most conventional herbs are DIFFERENT SHADES OF GREEN with some having more yellowish hues, others more bluish hues but most have great aesthetic value. Acilia salvia the beautiful chives, onions and mint bring in some dynamic color. Many are ornamental and esthetically pretty as well as functional and importantly edible. In the cutting part of the garden the garlic chives are beautiful and ornamental especially in long rows. In the quilt garden they have different varieties in the four corners. Then they have yarrow and achillea which are not just yellow but some are pink and white. Surrounding that space are 22 varieties of thyme.

Click here for more info

Spiral Herb Garden

A SPIRAL HERB GARDEN is a creative way to make use of very limited space. And, as an accent piece it is a nice focal point of the garden. It's simple to construct. It's simply bricks placed in a spiral. There is no mortar involved and the soil is put in and around, then planted in a spiral like fashion. If you have poor soil this allows you to build on top of the underlying soil. By going up you have better drainage for the plants. The idea is to put the plants at the top that need the best drainage.

Click here for more info

Hershey Children's Garden

A CHILDREN'S GARDEN is a practical way of introducing the next generation to the wonderful world of gardening. And, they have done a great job of laying this garden out. Both kids and adults love it, this garden is bustling with activity. This is the Hershey Children's Garden. It was one of the first gardens devoted to children in the U.S. It was built in 1999 and has been one of their most popular gardens.

Click here for more info

Square Foot Gardening

SQUARE FOOT GARDENING has become a popular way of teaching people about vegetable gardening as well as a practical way of putting a garden into a very small and confined space. This can be especially important in an urban environment. In the Children's Garden they have 5 areas that are 5 by 5 spaces laid out in such a way that they can intensively plant the raised beds. These beds put out a lot of vegetables in a very small space. They have tomatoes and kales and lettuce, onions and radishes. The idea is because you are intensively planting you are hopefully shading out whatever weeds might come up.

Click here for more info

Scroungers Garden

When looking at the SCROUNGERS GARDEN Eric realizes he's unknowingly discarded some of his best containers. This is a whimsical area and what they've basically done is scrounge different people for different, unusual items to put plants in. They have tires that have been painted, a bathtub with Hostas. And it looks good. They have purses, old coffee percolators, a bike rack, even a toilet with a banana plant growing.

Click here for more info

Sun Perennials

Cynthia and Eric start with the SUN PERENNIALS. Out of the hundreds of plants they plant Cynthia talks about some she is most excited about. Mullien or Verbascum, this cultivar is called Polar Summer or Arctic Summer is special. The plant behind it is an eremurus or Foxtail Lily, both make a really bold statement.

Click here for more info

Plants For Transitional Areas

But there are a group of plants that are in between. They like dappled sun light, part shade. This garden is a transition garden and they have some great plants here as well. One is Epimedium or Barronwort. It comes up as a beautiful little flower in late spring usually an orange, pink, yellow flower then spreads and becomes a lush ground cover.

Click here for more info

Plants For Shade

SHADE can be challenging for many gardeners. Most of the plants in our arsenal really love sun. And that's because plants need sunlight for photosynthesis. So most plants we find at the garden center are going to be sun loving plants. But there are some plants that do well in the shade. Underneath their large red oak tree they've concentrated on plants that do very well, even thrive in shady areas. Of course there are hostas and hostas are available in a lot of different varieties.

Click here for more info

LINKS:

Show #13/5113. A Garden Onetime Known As The Garden Center Of Cleveland

Transcript of Show

In the middle of Cleveland's educational, cultural and medical community is a 10 acre gem that is a true gardening paradise. Natalie Ronayne is the director of this gardening gem, the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

Natalie feels it's a thrill to come here to work each day. She had a passion for plants early in life, grew up on farms surrounded by gardens, berry fields and orchards. Her parents and grandparents instilled the love of nature in her at an early age. She went to college and earned a degree in biology. That set the stage for her career here.

The CLEVELAND BOTANICAL GARDEN (CBG) is situated in a beautiful part of metropolitan Cleveland. The Museum of Art is a next door neighbor. The bustling Cleveland medical community surrounds the grounds as well. But folks have been gardening here for quite some time. CBG was actually founded in 1933. There is a lagoon on the property and this all started in an abandoned boat house on that lagoon to house an extensive collection of gardening books. At that time this was known as The Garden Center of Greater Cleveland.

Much has changed over the years. Today the Cleveland Botanical Garden is actively involved in Cleveland. There is a lot of community outreach, they are giving much back to Cleveland. They're really proud to be one of the nation's smallest herbal botanical gardens in the country. They're only 10 acres so they view Cleveland, their community, as an extension of their campus. They have over 7,100 members, the largest membership in their history. Natalie views this as a reflection of how they're relevant to people today. They have a lot of outreach in schools and in the community. They have a program called Green Corps where they take vacant lots and turn them into farms. They hire students to tend them and the students in turn learn entrepreneurship along the way. They have a lot of wellness related programming and are seeing a lot of demand for healthy cooking classes, edible gardening classes, botanical art, yoga, those type things are popular these days. The bottom line is CBG is actively involved with Cleveland and Cleveland is responding to their initiatives. Eric is impressed but does want to visit the gardens, so is off.

Cynthia Druckenbrod is the Director of Horticulture for the Cleveland Botanical Garden and next welcomes Eric. She is glad to show Eric and the GardenSMART audience the Cleveland Botanical Garden. She has been the Director here since 2007. Beginning in 2000, she was the Glass House Manager, it was a wonderful experience to come here and help build the Glass House. Before that she worked at the Cleveland Zoo as their entomologist and before that ran the Butterfly exhibit at Callaway Gardens.

Cynthia has a staff of 9 horticulturists, one animal keeper and oversees the goings on and happenings of the 10 acre gardens and the Glass House. She keeps very busy, is either giving tours, overseeing staff, planning different horticultural shows or planning different designs for the outdoor gardens. It's different every day.
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They move on and start visiting the gardens. One of the most impressive features of this garden is the GLASS HOUSE. In many ways it is home base to Cynthia. It's where she started. The Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glass House was completed in 2003 as part of a 40 million dollar renovation and expansion of the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Inside there are 2 very different, yet 2 very interesting eco systems. One is the Madagascar Desert, the other is the Costa Rican Rain Forest. They not only have plants from those areas but animals as well. To be able to visit those eco systems in one place under glass is a fun time. They have different air handlers so each environment is unique. One is a desert, one a rain forest. One can feel the difference as you walk from one to the the other. And one notices plants and animals from both eco systems in each area.

Eric believes that a sign of a great conservatory is that when you walk into it you are completely transported into a completely different environment. It's a great way for the public to see and learn about what an area looks like. To gain insight Cynthia and others actually went to Madagascar to see for themselves what it looked like. They believed that they couldn't accurately recreate something if not actually visiting. So they did, they looked at the rocks, the ground, they recreated it here so when visiting one can actually feel like you're in the desert, not just a glass conservatory. The objective was to transport people to that country. When you walk through everything is in context, the plants are in context, the animals interacting with plants in context. That was the meaning and purpose - to build something realistic.

They next talk about the collection of plants. There are many speciality plants from Madagascar, here they're in closer proximity to one another, because the area is smaller. But there are many weird and wonderful plants, many have fuzzy leaves or spiny trunks. All reflect nature's way to adapt to a harsh climate, because it's extremely dry there and they must conserve water any way possible.

A tropical rain forest is a very delicate and complex eco system and every year there are hundreds of acres lost due to deforestation. Rain forests are highly endangered and a lot of people will not be able to see them in their lifetime. So to bring this to Cleveland is a wonderful gift. People can come here and be immersed in this plant and animal paradise. And people can see it from 2 different levels, from the ground or from the canopy above where one sees lots of native plants, vines and orchids as well as indigenous animals. The view from above is particularly unique. One sees birds, butterflies and the other animals from a rain forest so it's truly a unique experience that connects people with the rain forest. They have a wonderful collection of orchids which is a plant that homeowners love to buy and bring home. Orchids are becoming more readily available, one can even buy them in grocery stores. They're not too difficult to care for, Cynthia has a tip. Placing ice cubes on top is one trick to keep your orchid in bloom for longer periods of time.
Top

It would be hard to imagine a public garden without an HERB GARDEN. There is so much educational value because herbs are used in almost everything we eat, every day. But this is more than a four square herb garden. It is a traditional English design herb garden with garden rooms. Each garden room in the Western Reserve Herb Society Herb Garden is different and every garden room is whimsical and fun. The Knot Garden, the Dye Garden, the Medicinal Garden are all beautiful and very educational. They're standing behind the Knot Garden which includes traditional lavenders, thymes and boxwoods which frame the millstones in the center. It's a lovely garden and an introduction to the fragrance portion of the Herb Garden.
Top

Most conventional herbs are DIFFERENT SHADES OF GREEN with some having more yellowish hues, others more bluish hues but most have great aesthetic value. Acilia salvia the beautiful chives, onions and mint bring in some dynamic color. Many are ornamental and esthetically pretty as well as functional and importantly edible. In the cutting part of the garden the garlic chives are beautiful and ornamental especially in long rows. In the quilt garden they have different varieties in the four corners. Then they have yarrow and achillea which are not just yellow but some are pink and white. Surrounding that space are 22 varieties of thyme. Many don't realize that thyme can be ornamental. It's a wonderful edging plant, a great crack plant, it can be useful and functional in a number of ways. Salvias, which is a very large group of plants, also can have many uses in the garden. Most are edible but a lot have beautiful flower spikes. The Quilt Garden has patterns delineated by string and stake. The idea here was to use basils and marigolds and as the different parleys grow in they will create a beautiful quilt like pattern. It too is ornamental and edible. This garden is a creative way of integrating herbs into an esthetically beautiful garden.
Top

A SPIRAL HERB GARDEN is a creative way to make use of very limited space. And, as an accent piece it is a nice focal point of the garden. It's simple to construct. It's simply bricks placed in a spiral. There is no mortar involved and the soil is put in and around, then planted in a spiral like fashion. If you have poor soil this allows you to build on top of the underlying soil. By going up you have better drainage for the plants. The idea is to put the plants at the top that need the best drainage. Thus the rosemary and lavenders are at the top, then as you go around the spiral and down there are salvias, different thymes, oreganos, basils and dill, then at the bottom are the mints which need to be contained because they are garden bullies but can handle wet feet so they do quite well at the bottom. Because it is built up and a soil mix used it doesn't matter the soil underneath. If you can't go down, go wide or tall.
Top

A CHILDREN'S GARDEN is a practical way of introducing the next generation to the wonderful world of gardening. And, they have done a great job of laying this garden out. Both kids and adults love it, this garden is bustling with activity. This is the Hershey Children's Garden. It was one of the first gardens devoted to children in the U.S. It was built in 1999 and has been one of their most popular gardens. A lot of kids come here everyday, tens of thousands since they opened. There is much to do and see and play on. In the middle of a pond area kids can run through on the stones, play with frogs, see turtles, in other parts of the garden they can climb the tree house, climb a wall, get lost in the Scroungers Garden on in a tree maze or water plants with an old fashioned hand pump.  
Top 

SQUARE FOOT GARDENING has become a popular way of teaching people about vegetable gardening as well as a practical way of putting a garden into a very small and confined space. This can be especially important in an urban environment. In the Children's Garden they have 5 areas that are 5 by 5 spaces laid out in such a way that they can intensively plant the raised beds. These beds put out a lot of vegetables in a very small space. They have tomatoes and kales and lettuce, onions and radishes. The idea is because you are intensively planting you are hopefully shading out whatever weeds might come up. These raised beds are relatively easy to construct. One needs lumber, a few nails, some brackets and some twine. Put the brackets in, line up the lumber, fill it with soil, grid it out, then plant with whatever you want to plant. It's intensively planted. And, the soil, since it's lifted up, in many cases is actually better than the soil originally here, you never know what might have been in the space before. The drainage is good allowing Cynthia to grow a wide diversity of vegetables. Eric is always impressed with the volume of food that can be grown in small spaces and square foot gardening. A 5 by 5 space can grow dozens of types of vegetables.
Top

When looking at the SCROUNGERS GARDEN Eric realizes he's unknowingly discarded some of his best containers. This is a whimsical area and what they've basically done is scrounge different people for different, unusual items to put plants in. They have tires that have been painted, a bathtub with Hostas. And it looks good. They have purses, old coffee percolators, a bike rack, even a toilet with a banana plant growing. Basically if you can provide drainage any fun whimsical structure can become a container that you can put anywhere in your yard. You should not be limited nor constrained by what is commercially available. There are a lot of fun things that can be a reflection of our own personalities that can be brought into the garden. It's like garden art. Think about it - watering cans that are old and no longer used can be painted and planted. They can be pretty. You can't go wrong, no matter what you use.

Perennial plants play an important role at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. And, they've done a great job of amassing quite a collection of plants that do really well in this hardiness zone. Being this close to Lake Erie they're considered zone 6 while the rest of Ohio is primarily zone 5. All of the plants in this garden do well in both zone 5 and 6. They have a very nice selection in the CK Patrick Perennial Border Garden. They showcase a number of perennials that do well in the sun or shade. And they have a diverse array of color that starts in the spring and ends in the fall. There is always something to see. What's not to like about perennials?
Top

Cynthia and Eric start with the SUN PERENNIALS. Out of the hundreds of plants they plant Cynthia talks about some she is most excited about. Mullien or Verbascum, this cultivar is called Polar Summer or Arctic Summer is special. The plant behind it is an eremurus or Foxtail Lily, both make a really bold statement. The Verbascum is biannual so the 1st year it forms a rosette, the second year it forms the stalk and then it freely reseeds. The Foxtail Lily will come up every year. It needs good drainage and is a beautiful, iconic almost fragrant type of lily although not really a true lily. It is a perennial and a great back border plant. Some of Eric's favorite flowering selections are things like the phlox, even the salvia and the amsonia. They have built in different layers by utilizing the vertical element in this garden. The Clematis is beautiful, as is the variegated Kiwi. They have also blended in a collection of very large leaf plants, then fine textures, even the needle like foliage of the Foxtail Lily. They've blended in some summer bulbs, for example the Lilies which are beginning to pop up. This garden will provide color from the beginning of the season all through the year. Different colors, different textures and when the day lilies bloom in the middle of July they will really add color to the area. The many different colors, textures, heights, sizes and bloom times make this garden a very exciting garden anytime one visits.

One of the main reason that gardeners have challenges with certain plants is that they plant them in the wrong site. We were just looking at sun perennials, Cynthia and Eric will also look at some shade perennials. But there are a group of plants that are in between. They like dappled sun light, part shade. This garden is a transition garden and they have some great plants here as well. One is Epimedium or Barronwort. It comes up as a beautiful little flower in late spring usually an orange, pink, yellow flower then spreads and becomes a lush ground cover. It does well in dry areas and really does need partial sun, partial shade. Another great plant for an area like this is Amsonia. Amsonia is a great perennial, it's tall, has light blue flowers in the early summer and in the fall just glows with an orangey yellow color. It's really pretty. Coral Bells, otherwise known as Heuchera is another good plant for these conditions. Heuchera's have been tissue cultured quite a bit the past 10 years and at this point one can find basically any color under the rainbow in a Heuchera. They are a versatile plant. When going to your garden center make sure you look at the plant tag, make sure it will work in the area you want to put it.
Top

SHADE can be challenging for many gardeners. Most of the plants in our arsenal really love sun. And that's because plants need sunlight for photosynthesis. So most plants we find at the garden center are going to be sun loving plants. But there are some plants that do well in the shade. Underneath their large red oak tree they've concentrated on plants that do very well, even thrive in shady areas. Of course there are hostas and hostas are available in a lot of different varieties. Many can be large and they are beautiful. The only issue is deer. If you have deer you need to take certain measures to try to keep deer away whether a fence or spraying nasty tasting chemicals but they do need protection. Oriental lilies do fine in the shade and some are quite beautiful. Spirea works well in this environment as does Physocarpus Ninebark, cultivar Diablo. So when thinking about bringing color into a shaded area there are plants that will thrive in this environment.

Well the tour has come to an end. Eric thanks Cynthia for her time and the tour. This has been a fun day. Thanks Cynthia.

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