Garden Photo of the Day

Peaceful Paradise

An Ohio garden showcases elegant design

Inniswood Metro Gardens was once the estate of the sisters Grace and Mary Innis.  After they donated the property to the Columbus Ohio parks system, it became a beautiful public garden. Careful work by a talented team of horticulturists has turned the estate into a beautiful garden full of ideas I’m dying to try at home.

A waterfall, simple stonework, and a collection of dwarf conifers prove you don’t need flowers or bright colors to create a perfect garden scene.

But… bright colors do have a place in this garden! Tropicanna cannas (Canna ‘Phasion’) and warm-hued mums flank the main entrance to Inniswood.

A ruined brick wall surrounds a quiet, secret garden, perfect for kids or anyone needing a moment of peace.

Bright annuals in containers and perennial borders in front of the former home of the Innis sisters.

A gazebo completely covered with sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora, Zones 5 – 10) frames a view of a sunny perennial bed.

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  1. user-6536305 01/18/2018

    Stunning! Thanks for sharing!

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/18/2018

      Hey Lilian - Loved your purple grape hyacinth yesterday. Let's move onto a pink palette. Pic. (1) Rosy baeckea (I'm going with pink although it does have a tinge of purple about it) (2) Royal mulla mulla (3) Geraldton wax flower (commonly used as a cut-flower) (4) Trigger plant (unique mechanism to deposit pollen on insects) and (5) Native rose. Enjoy! Cheers from the Wiz of Oz

      1. frankgreenhalgh 01/18/2018

        Found a couple more, Lilian - (1) Pink swamp heath (2) Glory peas and (3) Match heads (again with a hint of purple). Cheers from the Wiz

        1. reubi 01/18/2018

          All stunning! Thanks Frank.

          1. frankgreenhalgh 01/18/2018

            Thanks Robin

      2. user-7007498 01/18/2018

        What a great collection of plants for us today, Frank. I just watched a You-tube video on the trigger plant, and how it works. It is so fascinating how different plants ensure cross pollination. Have a great day, from COLD Harrisburg (currently 9 degrees F).

        1. frankgreenhalgh 01/18/2018

          Thanks Kev. - A HOT 104 degrees F here today. Pretty warm for my grandson's cricket match (semi-final). And let's not forget the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. Red theme tomorrow! Cheers from the Wiz of Oz (blame Sonya and Sheila)

      3. Maggieat11 01/18/2018

        Thanks for sharing, Frank! Lovely to see these flowers that we would normally never come across. Beautiful!!

        1. frankgreenhalgh 01/18/2018

          Glad you could see them, Margaret. It is a funny thing that often Aussies don't fully appreciate their own flora. Cheers, Frank

      4. tennisluv 01/18/2018

        Sitting by the fire enjoying more stunning flowers from Australia. So very pretty and very different from US flowers. A cool, sunny 15 degrees in Monroe with snow still on the ground.

        1. frankgreenhalgh 01/18/2018

          108F here tomorrow, Sonya. Pity the tennis players at the Aussie Open. Cheers, Wiz

          1. tennisluv 01/18/2018

            I plan to watch this afternoon. That kind of heat us brutal on the players.

      5. user-4691082 01/18/2018

        I want that second one to dust with! Very beautiful Frankie.

        1. frankgreenhalgh 01/18/2018

          Now that you mention it, Rhonda, I can see where you are coming from. You will need to rename it - mulla mulla duster is not going to work. Cheers from Wiz

      6. user-6536305 01/18/2018

        Deadly gorgeous floras of Australia and great photos and them all above and below! Thanks for sharing Frank. Here is some pink for you; Hydrangea macrophylla 'Everlasting Revolution'. I limed my Hydrangeas in the fall so they could bloom as pink as possible.

        1. frankgreenhalgh 01/18/2018

          Love hydrangeas, Lilian, and this one is a ripper. Do you use magnesium sulphate to produce blue ones? Have your red flower ready for tomorrow.

          1. user-6536305 01/18/2018

            Our soil is naturally acidic and they would be blue if I leave mother nature alone. Some years I do.

        2. user-7008735 01/18/2018

          So pretty, Lilian!

      7. sheila_schultz 01/18/2018

        All are awesome blooms Wiz, but the Geraldton wax flower is quite the looker!

        1. frankgreenhalgh 01/18/2018

          Hi Sheila - Yes there has been some nice selective breeding down with the Geraldton wax flower, and there are some wonderful selections being grown commercially for the cut-flower industry. Have a look at these pink and white forms of it in this arrangement. The flowers last for ages. Cheers, Wiz

          1. user-6536305 01/18/2018

            Thanks for sharing Frank!

      8. User avater
        PKKing 01/18/2018

        I look forward to seeing your beautiful pictures just as much as I do the GPOD ones. Thanks so much for sharing the flora of Australia. Although I've been "close" to Australia (from my perspective in Virginia) by visiting New Zealand which also has stunning flora, I hope someday to get to your beautiful paradise too.

        1. frankgreenhalgh 01/18/2018

          Hi Priscilla - Thanks for the encouragement. Yes our neighbours across the ditch have their own unique flora. Great place and great people - except when we meet them on the sporting field (only joking!). Cheers, Frank

      9. user-7008735 01/18/2018

        These flowers are lovely, Frank. Are they blooming right now? Do they mind the summer heat?

        1. frankgreenhalgh 01/18/2018

          Hi Lorraine - Most flower in the spring - my wax flower is in bloom now. They have generally evolved in sandy soils under hot and dry conditions so they are OK in the heat. Pretty tough plants actually - if you overwater many of them in cultivation you kill them (root diseases) Cheers, Frank

          1. user-7008735 01/18/2018

            That makes sense, Frank. I was thinking of the flower petals when I asked about minding the heat. Plants are so amazing in the ways they have adapted to their growing conditions. Some of our native plants in the alpine meadows can be buried under snow till mid- or even late summer. Then within a few weeks, they rise up, bloom, set seed, and settle in for another long wait under the snow. They need good drainage but also need the slow trickle of snow-melt over their roots. Also tough, but kind of the opposite of your dry-loving native plants. This is Indian paint brush in Manning Park, BC.

          2. frankgreenhalgh 01/18/2018

            Thanks Lorraine for the pics of the Paintbrush - a very interesting plant. Its bracts/sepals are red - just like our New South Wales Christmas bush, which I'll feature tomorrow in my 'red' collection. Cheers

          3. user-7008735 01/18/2018

            I'm looking forward to your next installment of photos, Frank!

  2. frankgreenhalgh 01/18/2018

    Wonderful entrance and rockwork/waterfall.

  3. user-7007498 01/18/2018

    What a lovely garden. The first picture really drew me in. I love conifers, especially with great stonework and water. I noticed this garden is free. Quite a rarity.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/18/2018

    These are beautiful pictures of this garden...taken by you, Joseph? Even with the brightly colored "stand" of canna, this garden seems to give off a very serene vibe. The moon window in the plant draped gazebo is very appealing although I'm not sure I'd ever commit to that much autumn flowering reseeds like crazy in my 6b/7a growing zone. I have one vine that I aggressively cut back after it flowers to eliminate the possibility of a 100's of babies the next year.

  5. reubi 01/18/2018

    What a lovely garden!

  6. Maggieat11 01/18/2018

    Gorgeous! Looks like a garden destiny well worth taking. Especially LOVE the opening photo.

  7. tennisluv 01/18/2018

    Joseph thanks for sharing pictures of Inniswood Metro Gardens in Columbus, Ohio. Looks like a great destination for a garden trip. First photo is, indeed, calming.

  8. rosemamainva 01/18/2018

    Beautiful and serene indeed. hello to all. Have been off for a while. have such good memories of meeting many of you at the Northwest Pacific Garden & Flower Show a few years back. Moved houses and left my garden with difficulty. To my distress, new owners took out over 50 roses and countless perennials and replaced with sod. I had offered to come dig up whatever they didn't want or didn't want to deal with but never heard from them. Neighbors sent me pictures in dismay but was too late. Anyway, didn't mean to go off-topic but it still hurts to think about it. I'm now focusing on positives (have four times the land to garden (almost 2 acres) and there's no garden so a nice blank slate and lots of full sun areas! And I have the old GPOD pictures of the old garden:) Yvonne in VA

    1. user-4691082 01/18/2018

      Oh, Yvonne. I can’t imagine your pain. It’s not only the countless hours and the money we spend, but the connections we feel with our gardens... and to think you offered to dig up what wasn’t wanted...I’m so sorry for your loss.

      1. rosemamainva 01/18/2018

        Thank you Rhonda.

    2. tennisluv 01/18/2018

      Look forward to seeing future postings of your new garden efforts.

    3. greengenes 01/18/2018

      Hi Yvonne! This is Jeanne Cronce from way back when you were in Seattle. Sounds like you are off on a new adventure and wow, two acres! How fun! So sorry about your old gardens though. It will be tuff to sell our place if the person isnt a gardener. Our area is growing so, so fast that developers are buying up everything and building. Gggrrr. Well hope your winter isnt too harsh where you are at now. Please post your progress on your gardens!

      1. rosemamainva 01/18/2018

        Hi Jeanne, Great to connect again! Winter has been brutal here in Northern VA this year with the past two weeks below freezing. I truly have a blank slate a few trees in the back, scrub on the side. I put up a six foot fence to try and keep deer out and have spent winter poring catalogs and planning:) will keep you posted.

    4. cheryl_c 01/18/2018

      Yvonne, I am so sorry to hear of your learning that the years of effort and investment you made were not treasured by the new property owners. Can't imagine why they weren't willing to let you know that they were going to tear things out so you could come retrieve things. But what a good idea to focus on the new blank slate you have - be sure to take both BEFORE and AFTER pictures so we can see the great changes you will make. This is probably a great winter for planning! What zone are you now?

      1. rosemamainva 01/18/2018

        Thank you Cheryl! I'm still Zone 7A -- moved about twenty minutes out -- but much more land. Yes, I'm taking pictures of BEFORE as I didn't do a good job last time. I'm ecstatic to have so much more sun now and look forward to breaking out of my comfort zone and go-tos to try new unique plants.

    5. sheila_schultz 01/19/2018

      Dear Yvonne... I, too, left my gardens and it was just last June. It was my choice. they were the first gardens I had ever created and they were just for my pleasure. I had been a shade gardener in the Midwest for decades and worked with others that really knew design, but my Denver sun/shade gardens were my baby. I gave them all I had and found my passion then I received more joy than I could have ever imagined. They were somewhat irreverent in that the designs followed no rules but my own, but that was what gave me the most pleasure.
      When my body could no longer do them justice, I knew it was time to say goodbye. To my complete surprise, I was okay walking away from my gardens. They were always just for me and I never expected anyone else to love them as I had. The woman that bought our house likes gardening and she will now make them her own, and she will love her gardens differently. They are now hers to nurture and change as she sees fit. I really am okay with that... and I'm surprised.
      Aren't we both so fortunate to be able to dig in the earth and enjoy the beauty of our labor? Your next garden will be so lucky to have you as it's mama!

      1. rosemamainva 01/19/2018

        Dear Sheila, What a wonderful and thoughtful perspective! Thanks for helping me to see things in a new light.

  9. Sunshine111 01/18/2018

    I was visiting in Ohio last summer! I wish I had known about this garden I certainly would’ve visited.

  10. Jay_Sifford 01/18/2018

    I love garden windows and framed views. I find them magical.
    I have very few flowers in my garden, with the exception of the daylilies that bloom in May/June. Yet people come here and say "well, I can see you aren't afraid of color!" Flowers have their place, don't get me wrong, but there's no much to be said for foliage color and texture. I'm a foliage guy.... I admit my guilt.
    This looks to be a lovely garden. I'd love to visit sometime.

  11. User avater
    user-7007816 01/18/2018

    What a beautiful garden and so well photographed. This garden will be on my list of gardens to visit. Thanks for sharing.

  12. user-4691082 01/18/2018

    At first, I thought these photos were from a private garden. I was ready to throw in the towel! I would love to see this garden in person. Thanks Joseph!

  13. cheryl_c 01/18/2018

    Beautiful photographs! Beautiful gardens! What a gift from the two sisters, Grace and Mary Innis who had the generosity and foresight to donate this property, and for the citizens of the Franklin County who have over the years supported the area with their taxes and with protective civic action! What a great volunteer group who over several decades has put in the time, talent and treasure to produce this gem. I especially like the effect of (is it aruncus?) the white shrub in the first photo - the cascading of the flowers so mimics the cascade of the water over the falls. Thanks, Joseph, for some wonderful evocative photos.

    1. mariebulgin 01/18/2018

      So well said. Beautiful pictures of an obviously wonderful place.

      1. kenthpenter 01/18/2018

        If only it was My back yard. lol

  14. sheila_schultz 01/18/2018

    The waterfall garden is stunning. I love the layers upon layers of interest that when seen as a whole seem so comforting. Beautiful design... And that secret garden is downright magical!

  15. chelleisdiggin 01/18/2018

    Oh! to sit on the bridge and watch the water fall or stroll along the edge of the pool, off with shoes and socks, dipping my feet. It's all so lovely. Thanks for the glimpse, Joseph.

  16. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/18/2018

    Twenty minutes from my house and I barely get there once a year. It's a great public park and garden and has a great kids area for families.

    1. NCYarden 01/18/2018

      Well, you get to take me next time I'm there....right?

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/18/2018

        Sure thing!

  17. joanneniekamp 01/18/2018

    Inniswood is a lovely and peaceful garden. I fell in love with the round trellis years ago and borrowed the idea for my own garden to frame the view from my deck. I thought you might be interested in them.

    1. greengenes 01/18/2018

      Very nice, Joanne! I have always like the feeling of a framed in area. I try to do this with plants or arbors. Yours is beautiful. Are you going to put a vine on it?

      1. joanneniekamp 01/18/2018

        We thought about it, but we like being able to see more of the garden this way. Our back yard is very private, so it feels cozy as it is.

    2. cheryl_c 01/18/2018

      Joanne, what a wonderful interpretation for your own space - now you have me thinking as to whether there is a place in our gardens where this would be able to be done. I love how the screen makes you feel enclosed but is still open. Thanks for taking the time to upload these photos. Do you live near Inniswood?

      1. joanneniekamp 01/18/2018

        We live 2 hours away, but several of my family live in the vicinity. We meet there for our "girls day out."

        1. cheryl_c 01/18/2018

          What fun!

    3. User avater
      cindijacobs 01/18/2018

      Love these photos & how it gives the glimpse into the beauty...

    4. user-6536305 01/18/2018

      Very very nice! Thanks for sharing!

    5. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/18/2018

      That's a great adaptation. Love the planting in the last photo.

      1. joanneniekamp 01/18/2018

        Thank you. This is my peaceful area.

      2. user-7008735 01/18/2018

        Me, too!

    6. user-7008735 01/18/2018

      What a lovely spot to sit a spell, Joanne!

    7. sheila_schultz 01/19/2018

      Joanne, you have created your own nirvana. It is quietly special.

  18. greengenes 01/18/2018

    Wow! What a beautiful place! These two sisters were so fortunate to live amongst the beauty here! I like how there isnt too much flowery design. It is so stately yet natural in design and plant pics. Great foundation for placement of a little bit of color here and there. So now to plan on building a "ruins" area in our gardens! Thanks for sharing this Joseph.

  19. User avater
    PKKing 01/18/2018

    Le Jardin D'eau at Giverny comes to mind when looking at the first picture. A simply beautiful water garden. Monet would have been impressed enough to paint it I'm sure.

  20. NCYarden 01/18/2018

    What a wonderful garden gift. I will need to make sure I visit next time I'm in Columbus. That waterfall shot in the first pic is sublime.Thanks for sharing.

  21. schatzi 01/18/2018

    Hi everyone. That waterfall pic is gorgeous!!! I want it! It looks like a lovely garden to visit. I enjoy all the photos people send in, especially you, Frank. Thank you for showing us the beautiful flora of Oz. And I love your new "handle"! Yvonne, good to hear from you but so sorry about your old garden. That sort of thing happens so often, unfortunately. I remember meeting you at the PNWF&GS 3 years ago, I think. Glad to hear you have a bigger, clear slate to play with. Have fun.

    1. rosemamainva 01/18/2018

      Hi Shirley, Great to hear from you! It was three years ago indeed. Thinking of doing the Nashville show this year as I have a daughter there. Take care.

    2. frankgreenhalgh 01/18/2018

      Hi Shirley - Great to hear from you. Glad you are enjoying the virtual tour of Oz flora. Cheers from Oz

  22. kimberlyweigner 01/18/2018

    I've got to go here!

  23. user-7008735 01/18/2018

    While I don't know if I'll ever visit Ohio, I'm delighted that this garden has been preserved and maintained so well. I love the round window in the gazebo and the strong horizontal of the stone bridge and rock work contrasting with the spill of water and plants down the slope.

  24. jeffgoodearth 01/20/2018

    Now this is a garden I could live in.

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