March 3, 2016

Early Spring At Inniswood

At the end of February we were were hungry for some signs of spring so we headed over to Inniswood Metro Gardens in Westerville. We first walked around the woodland trail, which still looked quite wintery:



The young beech trees tend to retain their leaves all winter. The reason for this is not known for sure but there are several theories as to why young beeches and some oaks don't completely shed their leaves in the fall. In a month some nice spring wildflowers will be blooming in this beech-maple woodland. 

Unfortunately, evidence of the devastating damage done by the emerald ash borer was obvious along the trail:



This invasive insect has killed literally billions of ash trees in the midwest. Its larva feeds on living tissue just under the bark, destroying the vital channels that deliver water and nutrients to the tree.

We took a delightful walk through the rest of the grounds, promising each other that we would visit more frequently than we have in the past to see the garden's sequence of blooms throughout the summer. There was plenty to see in late February, though. Here is a nice hedge of winterberry holly, a deciduous shrub that retains the brilliant red berries all winter:



We were delighted to see many crocuses in bloom. They must have been planted many years ago because in some places they have naturalized into the lawn and down wooded slopes:



A large bed of winter aconite was also a welcome sight:



Looking closer, we saw some very active bees visiting the flowers. (None of the flowers pictured in this post are native, but they are early, colorful and attractive to honeybees, which are also non-native.)



The snowdrops were in full bloom too:



The children's garden is one of my favorite places at Inniswood. These enormous sunflowers welcome visitors:



In the farmhouse replica in the background are whimsical murals that I always enjoy:







As the temperature warms, the delightful sounds of real frogs will fill the air near Inniswood's wetlands. 

My kids would have had a hard time leaving this treehouse and swinging bridge:



As we left the gardens we found some Lenten roses (hellebores) just beginning to bloom:



The action is just beginning at Inniswood and we definitely are looking forward to seeing what comes next!

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful place! I'm amazed at the flowers you saw at the end of February. I have all those flowers in my garden but doubt if any will be in bloom when we get home from Poland tomorrow. I loved seeing the pictures from the Children's Garden -- especially fond of Sigmund Frog!

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