Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Landscape Gardening and Native Landscape Design

It is no secret that Lakeside on Lake Erie has one of the most beautiful lakefronts in Ohio, if not the entire United States. They have officially declared the one mile stretch of walking paths "Ohio's Most Beautiful Mile." Against the back drop of idyllic lake scenes and sailboats, lie the parks and the shoreline of landscape plantings. It is easy to understand why we love Lakeside and why artists and photographers are compelled to capture its beauty.

Lakeside's Beautiful Mile- Photo provided by Lakeside website.
It is no wonder people came from all across Ohio to the gardening symposium, Painting Ohio in Broad Brush Strokes.  Lakeside was the ideal location to study landscape design and the new movement toward a new Naturalism, as seen in Europe.

Dewey Hollister, Hope Taft and Guy Denny
The program kicked off with three people who have made real strides in adding native plants into the landscape at the Ohio Governors Heritage Garden.

Former Ohio First Lady Hope Taft came up with a marvelous idea to show case the best of Ohio's floristic bounty into sectional gardens at the Governor's residence.  She enlisted landscape designer Dewey Hollister and native plant expert Guy Denny to create a Heritage Garden.  It is open for tour- just tap on this link http://www.governorsresidence.ohio.gov/home.aspx for details.  Hope is an amazing force for nature and still remains active in the development of the landscape gardens at the historic Ohio Governor's Residence.

Amanda Patton Garden designer from the United Kingdom
Lakeside, in conjunction with the Ohio Governors' Residence, hosted a tour which allowed Amanda Patton to travel with this special event.  Amanda gave four educational programs in all, entitled Towards a New Naturalism: All Gardening is Landscape Painting. She described the parallels between art and landscape design.  One should develop a landscape using the principles of good art design and the elements which guide those principles. Art based landscapes have balance and are pleasing to the eye.  The Fibonacci Sequence, the Golden Ratio and focal points matter. Artist Luca Pacioli said, "Without mathematics there is no art."

The second day of lectures focused on creating natural gardens and illustrated many examples of contemporary works in Europe.  It was interesting to see our prairie landscape being utilized in landscape design an ocean away. I highly recommend browsing Amanda's website  for more examples of this exciting trend http://www.amandapatton.co.uk/portfolio/.

 Coral Hairstreak nectars on Butterfly-weed.
There are many benefits to this new naturalism and native plants in landscape.  Nature make us feel good.  Native plants are more sustainable and they sustain the fauna which we enjoy. They are environmentally beneficial and require less labor to maintain. 

Part of the event include field trips to natural areas like Lakeside Daisy preserve, Castalia's Prairie and Sheldon's Marsh.  These places are all wonderful examples of of Ohio's best Natural Areas and Preserves.

Lakeside boasts of many flowering hydrangeas.
During the course of our many walks we admired the landscapes and plants found within Lakeside. At one point,  Dewey Hollister had a realization about the lovely hydrangea species growing within the gated community, and perhaps unknowingly, how the good people of Lakeside have preserved them for prosperity.  We'll discuss these hydrangeas in a future blog. For now, let's just admire one of the many pollinators that was gathering sustenance at its fertile blooms.


  1. It really is incredible that there is a place that is so iconic when it comes to landscape and landscape designs. I personally have never been to Lake Erie, and all the beauty that it offers, but it sounds like a place that was designed off of inspiration. My wife and I might end up taking a trip to experience this beauty and the festivities that can come from it. Thank you for sharing. http://www.patiobuildersva.com

  2. I liked how you took us through a walk in the garden with, "Ohio's Most Beautiful Mile." The landscaping is neat, orderly, and beautiful. I had been there many times with my wife and it is absolutely the most breathtaking mile-long stretch of flowers that I have ever, ever seen.

    Gregory Snyder @ Executive Image