Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for the ‘Gardens’ Category

Painters Hollow Overflows with Creativity

Jorgensen Greenhouse

Since they raise most of their own food, their greenhouse was the first thing Maggi and Gene wished to discuss.

Teamwork best describes the lifestyle of Gene and Maggi Jorgensen, the artistic couple from Painters Hollow near Salt Fork State Park. Working together, they have accomplished more than the average couple because they love what they do. “If we can’t have fun, we’re not going to do it.”

Farming runs in Gene’s blood as his dad farmed in New York and white-washed barns to help with expenses. For many years Gene worked as a sheet metal worker, which led him on varied adventures all over the United States and beyond. Once he even climbed a mountain in Peru.

Jorgensen Maggi

Maggi wears the first necklace Gene made using five quarters and trimmed in brass.

Maggi worked in the engineering department at NCR until its closing. Not wanting to transfer, she trained to become an RN. We’ll talk more about those necklaces she wore to work later.

Stopping by on a warm spring day, the first thing they’re eager to talk about is their garden, “We live out of our garden.” They even pick fresh lettuce from their basement all winter long.

Jorgensen Bales

Certain crops, like tomatoes and eggplant, grow best for them in bales of straw. The red ball rests on a decorative iron holder made by Gene.

Their small greenhouse provides the perfect place to start plants for transfer to their garden and straw bales, which produce a bumper crop of tomatoes and eggplant. Their newest experiment this year was starting strawberry plants from seed. It worked! Now they have a small strawberry patch as well.

Jorgensen Home

Their home is very important since they built it themselves with pine logs from their own woods.

The lumber for their home came out of their own woods. In 2000, they decided to build using square-cut, white pine logs with foam log tape in between to seal all cracks. This resulted in a beautiful home in the country.

Jorgensen Blacksmith

Gene’s dream of a blacksmith shop has become a reality.

Gene had always wanted a blacksmith shop. In 2005 when he bought a knife at the Salt Fork Festival, the gentleman told Gene about a blacksmith class being offered. Maggi thought it seemed like the perfect Christmas present. If someone took the class with Gene, they could do it for half price. The artistic Maggi took the class with him.

Jorgensen Library

Evidence for Gene’s skill at blacksmithing can be seen in the railings of their library.

Maggi made her first nail, a towel bar and towel rack in that class. Gene has metal creations all over the house inside and out. One of his favorites is making a cross out of a railroad tie. Now Gene has his own magnificent blacksmith shop containing a coal forge and filled with power tools such as: power hack saw, rod shear, punches, and stake plate.

This class has led them on an exciting new adventure. Gene had already been making jewelry for Maggi to wear to work. They were so popular that she sold almost everyone she wore.  Making copper jewelry became a favorite pastime with the blacksmith skills being used to make and repair needed tools.

Wishing to improve her natural creative talents, Maggi took watercolor and acrylic classes. They both want to make themselves the best they can be.

Jorgensen Necklaces

This is a sampling of the jewelry that will be on display at the Salt Fork Festival.

Their favorite metals for jewelry remains copper, which is always covered with a clear shellac. Recently, they’ve added sterling with brass and bronze for special touches.

Jorgensen Rings

Rings were a new item in 2017. Gene’s workbench shows the finished rings on the pliers’ handle.

In 2017, Gene began making rings. Five unique patterns come in various sizes. Watching Gene follow the steps for making a ring, it makes you realize how time consuming it is to get that perfect product. This work requires great patience.

Jorgensen Ice Box

Iceboxes are used for storage throughout the house. This one used for bathroom storagem originally served as icebox for Plainfield Store.

Their first show happened in 2011 at Octoberfest in downtown Cambridge. The following year they started sharing their products at the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival. Maggi enjoyed coming to the festivals for years, but never expected to be showing at one. Now Painters Hollow Products have become a popular exhibit. Visit them in August at the Salt Fork Festival.

Jorgensen Gene

Gene enjoys his workshop where he can shape metal however he wishes.

Gene and Maggi are perfectly content on their farm. For them, it’s a good life and they never want to leave. They don’t even want to travel, except to craft shows, and their idea of a perfect evening would be sitting on their porch with a glass of wine.

I’ve got a blacksmith shop and the best partner anyone could have,” explained Gene. As for Maggi, “Life here is fun: the jewelry, garden and everyday life.”

Imagine everyone would wish for that kind of contentment.

 

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Pat Graven Stays Close to Nature

 

Pat Graven 001

These wave petunias bloomed during the week of Christmas.

Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.

~Albert Einstein

Take time to smell the roses. Pat Graven takes time to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside and wants her garden to blend in. The area around her home flourishes with plants that are natural to the area. It’s her place to relax as she works with her plants, and leaves the cares of the world behind for a little while at least.

     But Pat didn’t always live in the country. In fact, she was a city girl from the Cleveland area. There, her grandmothers influenced her life at an early age. One grandmother had a passion for roses and would gather rose petals in the morning to make a facial. The other grandmother would only eat things that were grown on the farm. You can see how Pat came to love nature.

Pat played the shopkeeper

This talented lady even played the shopkeeper in “The Magical World of Dickens”.

     Before coming to this area, Pat worked with the police department in Cleveland as a dispatcher. But once she saw the hills and streams of Guernsey and Muskingum counties, she was hooked.

Pat lime tree 001

Her lime tree needs a lot of sunlight.

     Here she quickly learned to enjoy the tranquility of the countryside. Her love for animals makes living here extra special as her yard is filled with deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, squirrels and many, many birds.

     She seems to have a special attraction for birds as when she finds a dead bird along the road, she’ll stop and carefully pick it up with plastic gloves. Then she buries the bird with a plant, to let it continue to have value.

Pat Sphere Collection

Springtime daffodils are surrounded by a few samples of her special sphere collection.

     Over the years, Pat has picked up spheres of various metals and glass, making an outstanding collection..many from around the world. A special one she picked up on one of her trips to Ireland, a land she enjoyed “just because it feels good there”. She also has treasures from her trips to Mexico and Hawaii. But now, she is content to enjoy her home and surroundings.

Pat Paintings

Galway Bay in Ireland on a moonlit night inspired Pat to paint the picture she is holding.

     This very unique lady also has a talent for painting. Pat didn’t even realize she had this ability until she went to a class taught by Sue Dodd, who was an inspiration. Pat said, “I never would have painted if it weren’t for Sue.” Pat also works with Dickens Victorian Village to create heads for their mannequins.

Pat flower garden 001

Flower gardens such as this can be seen all over the hilltop where Pat lives.

     When Pat decided to begin planting flowers around her home, her first thought was to find plants that would attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. When Pat does decide to take a short trip these days, Baker’s Acres – a favorite greenhouse – is her destination.

Pat aloe

Throughout the year, Pat enjoys her rose geranium, citronella and aloe plants.

     In 2006, Pat decided to join the OSU Extension Master Gardener program in Guernsey County. This group of gardeners gives many volunteer hours to the community to make it a more beautiful place to live.

Pat favorite orchid

When Pat grew orchids, this one was her favorite.

     Pat’s goal in joining was “to learn to manage the land properly” since she lives on a farm. Her yard is like none other. In Pat’s eye, “A flower is no more than a weed in disguise.” She loves weeds and has created an unusual and interesting setting by using native plants in a most eye-catching way.

Monarch Butterfly

Pat’s grandson, Joseph, captured this Monarch butterfly having a nectar taste treat.

     Most of what she has learned has been by trial and error. Every year she experiments with a few new plants just to see how they will thrive in our local climate. But you’ll still find many traditional coneflowers, salvia, primrose and lilies surrounding her many artistic garden statues and yard art.

Pat Bathroom Greenhouse

This large bathroom greenhouse is a great place for her jasmine and other plants to thrive.

     Her eyes light up and her face breaks into a smile as she tells you about her latest projects. Just recently her jasmine plant has blossomed for the second time this year. According to Pat, “My whole house smells heavenly.”

Pat Master Gardener

In 2017, Pat was named Master Gardener of the Year.

     In 2017, Pat was named the Guernsey County Master Gardener of the Year. Working with the elementary school children and young ag students to teach gardening skills gives her real pleasure. Often she even has gardening classes at her home on the hill.

Pat and Garden Club friends sharing their straw bale garden.

Kathleen, Vi and Pat, all Master Gardeners, share information about using straw bales as containers for plants.

     Her easy going manner and cheerful smile open the door to many conversations with friends and even strangers. If Pat happens to be stuck in a long line at the store, she doesn’t complain. Her first thought is, “Who can I strike up a conversation with?” Her words of advice to everyone would be, “Happiness is in your destiny. You need not be in a hurry.”

Pat's flowers 001     Would she consider going back to Cleveland and leave this peaceful countryside? “People are so nice down here, why would I ever go back to the city.” The community certainly hopes she will continue to spread her joy of volunteering in so many ways for many years to come.

Spring Has Sprung at The Dawes Arboretum

Dawes Entrance

This sign greets you at the entrance. You have arrived!

Sunshine beckons nature enthusiasts to venture outside for fresh air, a walk or a drive. The Dawes Arboretum near Newark provides the perfect escape. Here you can walk the paths or slowly drive through their four mile auto trail without hurrying as speed limit is 15 mph.

Dawes Daffodil setting

Expect to find flowers, like daffodils in the spring, in their All Seasons Garden.

     Azaleas and magnolias bloomed around every bend, it seemed, on a recent spring trip there. Daffodils flourished in their gardens and banks were covered in a blanket of violets.

     The Dawes Arboretum began through the efforts of Beman and Bertie Dawes back in 1929. Due to their love of trees and shrubs, they wanted to create a place where a large variety of trees would have a home. This nature haven is dedicated to increasing the knowledge of trees, history and the natural world.

Dawes Visitors Center

Begin your visit at the Visitors Center under a century old beech tree. Here you will find  a Discovery Center and Bird Watching Garden.

     Their Visitors Center is a great place to start your visit and pick up a map to guide you through the 1800 acres. It includes a nice Discovery Center to learn more about the plants and animals in this part of Ohio. A viewing window overlooks the Certified Wildlife Habitat outside so you can watch birds and small animals as they live in their natural world.

Dawes Azaleas

Enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Azalea Glen.

     All-Seasons Garden right behind the Visitors Center features seasonal flowers throughout the year from daffodils to mums. Name plates are found near the flowers and trees for easy identification. There are many places to sit, relax and enjoy the peacefulness as you take time to smell the roses.

Dawes Summer Home

Daweswood House Museum gives a glimpse of life in the summertime with the original Dawes family.

     Their summer home, Daweswood House, can still be toured on weekends. The garden at the home maintains the flowers that Bertie planted long ago. They’re accurate as Bertie kept a journal describing what she was planting.

Dawes Education Center

The newest addition is the Zand Education Center for special horticultural programs.

     A new addition near the home expands their educational ability. The Zand Center provides a learning garden to hold classes for students mainly, but can also be used for adults. Many field trips stop here to learn about the bonsai trees or give children an opportunity to create their own planter.

Dawes Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden creates a peaceful scene with its rocks, pond and flowering trees.

     One of my favorite places to wander here is the Japanese Garden. The peacefulness surrounds you as you walk around the lake with blossoming trees and stone paths.

Dawes Hedge

The trail passes the six foot high hedge spelling DAWES ARBORETUM.

Dawes Tower

The Observation Tower gives a great view of the grounds and the hedge lettering.

     A highlight of the arboretum is their 2,040 foot long, six foot high hedge forming the letters DAWES ARBORETUM. Beman had this designed for the enjoyment of planes flying into the Columbus Airport. An observation tower close by gives a great view of the hedge letters.

Dawes Cypress Swamp

Bald Cypress Swamp is the northernmost cypress swamp in North America.

     A surprise waits in the form of Bald Cypress Swamp, not something you would expect to find in Ohio. This is thought to be the most northern cypress swamp in North America. The bumps you see coming out of the water have given these trees a special nickname – Trees with Knees. A boardwalk gives guests a chance to get an up close look at the bald cypress trees as well as the creatures in the water.

Dawes Picnic

A picnic under the blossoming cherry trees makes for a perfect family outing.

     Families were enjoying the day as children played on the banks. Picnics were popular. The most popular activity here is walking, with over twelve miles of hiking trails. People were walking their dogs, pushing their little ones in strollers, or listening to their headsets while they did some power walking. The paths are easy with most being paved.

Dawes Magnolia Drive

Magnolia blossoms presented a pleasant surprise around one bend in the Auto Trail.

     Meander through the grounds any time of the year surrounded by the beauties of nature at Dawes Arboretum with over 16,000 living plants. It’s open 362 days a year and admission is free. You’ll want to come back each season!

Dawes Arboretum is located off I-70 at exit 132, OH-13 North. After about five miles north, the arboretum can be found on the left side of the road at 7770 Jacksontown Road. If you enjoy nature, you are certain to enjoy a visit here.

Secluded Mission Oaks Gardens

A garden must combine the poetic and the mysterious

with a feeling of serenity and joy.

~Luis Barragan

mission-oaks

The entrance at Mission Oaks leads you down a path of tranquility surrounded by blossoms.

“The Secret Garden” describes this hidden-away place of relaxation in the midst of an older  residential area of Zanesville. Mission Oaks Gardens has over seven acres to keep you in the arms of Mother Nature.

Pink Tulips

Beds of colorful pink tulips brighten the pathway in the spring.

The setting acquired its name because the home had the appearance of a mission-house surrounded by oaks. Today that name acquires a double meaning as they definitely have a mission: to provide and protect a little piece of nature for all to enjoy.

Tiger Lilies

Tiger Lilies brighten the pathway in this peaceful garden.

Here you will find everything from waterfalls to conifer forests at no cost to you or your friends. Seven days a week from dawn until dusk, you are invited to relax surrounded by flowers, or explore these seven peaceful acres for free.

pathway-to-beauty

This beautiful stone pathway always has flowers along its edge.

From springtime until fall, flowers of the season flow along the stone path…from tulips to mums. The porch makes a pleasant place to sit and enjoy the aroma of the fragrant blossoms.

mission-oaks-home-surrounded-by-flowers

The Hendley’s home is surrounded by flowers from spring through fall.

Established in 1925, legend has it this charming mission style home was built by a local businessman for his mistress, a party dress designer during the roaring 20s. But for the last twenty-five years, the home has been owned by Albert “Bert” and Susan Hendley.

When Bert first saw the abandoned mansion in 1988, he told his wife, “You’ve got to be crazy. This place is a dump.” Now, Bert’s developed a masterpiece of beauty and he takes great pleasure in finding unique and rare plants for visitors to view.

Flowers around every corner

Flowers appeared throughout the property.

The Perennial Garden surrounds the charming home. From early spring until fall, you’ll find something blooming from hyacinths and peonies to chrysanthemums and sunflowers. Relax in the gazebo being surrounded by the sight and scent of nature. New blossoms open every week.

Woods

Flower strewn paths meander through the forest setting.

After you have had a leisurely walk through the upper gardens, then it’s time to explore the rest of the acreage. Head down a steep flight of stairs, or enter the garden from the rear entrance, which is marked with stone pillars.  The sight before you, right in the middle of Zanesville, will amaze you.

rustic-gazebo-in-the-middle-of-the-woods

This rustic gazebo in the middle of the woods provides a respite from the cares of the day.

Once into the forested section of the garden, the paths go two separate directions. One path leads to the Woodland Garden, while the other descends to the Conifer Garden.

Paths meander throughout the wooded areas with surprises around every bend. While no overall plan was ever made for the gardens, unusual rare trees and flowers greet you at surprising places along the pathways.

Waterfall

Relax while watching the smooth flow of the waterfall.

The wooded section includes two small waterfalls, which flow over rocky hillsides into a small pond at one end, and a small stream on the other. At the small pond, elegant water lilies and lotuses bloom along the water’s edge. Comfortable wooden benches provide a great spot to relax while soaking up the ambiance of the scenic view.

small-lake-in-conifer-forest

This small lake in Conifer Forest offers calm waters to soothe the soul.

Over 300 trees give plenty of shade to the home and wooded areas. This includes original white oaks as well as many unusual trees Bert has discovered in his travels. In addition there are nearly 200 conifers, making Mission Oaks acknowledged for having one of the most renowned conifer gardens in Ohio.

Spring in bloom

Azaleas burst into bloom to welcome springtime.

Mission Oaks provides the perfect place to avoid the maddening crowds, relax in meditation, take a walk with Mother Nature, or just run away from home for the day. Many find it the perfect place for wedding or prom pictures.

All this is kept beautiful by the Muskingum Valley Park Department with assistance of Mission Oaks Foundation staff and many volunteers. Be sure to stop in Zanesville at 1864 Euclid Avenue – not far from Maple Avenue – and visit this hidden gem…if you can find it!

 

Take a Country Drive to Explore Coshocton Quilt Barn Trails

 

Garden of Eden

Quilt patterns on the sides of barns gave a purpose for a country drive.

A Sunday drive has always been one of my favorite things. Dad would travel the back roads exploring places we’d never been. That same feeling occurred while wandering along the Coshocton Quilt Barn Trails. It was a peaceful, old-fashioned road trip on those narrow, two-lane country roads, where you could actually take time to look at the scenery.

While Quilt Barns have become a nationwide movement, they got their beginning fairly recently. In 2001, Donna Sue Groves wanted to honor her mother’s passion for quilting, so painted her mother’s favorite quilt square on their old tobacco barn in Adams County.

Ohio Quilt Barns

These counties in Ohio have Quilt Barn Trails.

From there, the Quilt Barns arose to reflect the spirit of the community. In Miami County, quilts were hand-painted on the barn’s surface replicating the look of fabric, while in Harrison County emphasis was on the Underground Railroad.

Coshocton County Heritage Quilt Barns feature family quilt patterns. Each quilt has a story to tell. The Pomerene Center for the Arts is responsible for creating this historic drive to view our nation’s agricultural landscape. They have three possible routes: Tiverton Trail, SR 643 Trail and Progressive Valley Trail.

It is important to either print off a map from the computer, open one on your phone or tablet, or pick one up at Coshocton Visitors’ Bureau in Roscoe Village. Directions are essential.

Mother Setzer's Quilt

Mother Setzer Quilt Barn appeared in a natural rock setting.

Several of the Quilt Barns have online connections to stories about the colorful quilts and who originally designed the quilt squares. Mother Setzer Quilt Barn appeared first on our adventure, and had a lovely setting with a firm foundation of large rocks around the barn. Their grandmother made this quilt pattern from scraps of her clothing and black silk dresses.

While SR 643 became the trail of choice, meandering from that path became frequent. The desire to see more Quilt Barns eventually included parts of all three Coshocton trails.

Sweet Pea

The lane back to Sweet Pea Quilt Barn featured a picturesque white fence.

Many of the Quilt Barns sat on back roads. Some became a challenge, and a four wheel drive vehicle would have been helpful on this rainy day as roads were steep and muddy. But beautiful, scenic farms throughout this Amish countryside made the day enjoyable. Corn shocks were a sight not seen since childhood.

Chalice

A barn near a lovely stone home featured Chalice pattern.

Chalice was the name given to the quilt pattern made by Catherine Stubbs on a barn near a lovely stone house. It appears that Catherine stayed very busy with quilting and life in general. One day when her husband was at work in the coal mines, she moved them to another house closer to his work. It’s said when she cooked Sunday chicken dinner, she could stretch one chicken to feed twelve people.

Butterfly with Raindrops

Butterfly Quilt Barn received raindrops during this trip.

The Butterfly Quilt Barn near Fresno showcases a quilt made and designed by Oneita Hahn. Family members remember her quilting frame being up in the dining room quite often. Quilt patterns frequently were created by the quilters themselves and then drawn on newspaper.

Snowball

In downtown Coshocton, you’ll find Snowball pattern on the side of a former quilt shop.

Not all barns were in the country. One actually was found in downtown Coshocton on the side of an old IOOF building, which formerly housed Mercantile on Main. Snowball, a black and white quilt, decorated the front of this one-time quilt supply shop.

Canal Era Applique

Blacksmith shop in Roscoe Village displays an attractive quilt pattern.

In Roscoe Village on the side of the Blacksmith Shop, Canal Era Applique could be seen upon entering the village on North Whitewoman Street. The quilt square on display appeared on a quilt made by Hannah Hays, whose family arrived in the area by canal boat.

Ohio Rose & Star

Ohio Rose & Star can be found in Clary Garden in Coshocton.

The end of SR 643 Trail came in classy Clary Garden. Ohio Rose & Star has graced the side of their barn since 2003. Made by Coshocton Canal Quilter Helen Moody, this pattern was chosen to hang at the gardens in honor of the family’s rose business.

But this artistic project doesn’t stop here. All over the United States, Quilt Barn Trails have been created. Presently, over 6000 quilt patterns have been placed on barns in 33 Ohio counties, 45 states, and even some in Canada. It’s a wonderful excuse to get in the car and take a road trip.

Tractor Quilt

A clever tractor pattern on one barn added variety to the day.

This country adventure through scenic back roads will take you back to a less stressful time. The Quilt Barns provide a variety of attractive patterns in excellent condition. You can take this drive any time of the year and enjoy this grassroots art movement. Watch for Quilt Barns wherever you travel.

While on the Coshocton Quilt Barn Trails, you’ll find not only creative quilt patterns but Amish farms, meandering streams, beautiful stone houses, and unique shops along the way. Don’t forget your camera!

Greenhouses Cultivate Spring Gardening Fever

Greenhouse Catalogs

Looking through seed catalogs creates dreams of spring.

This article was written for the March Now & Then Magazine, so pictures were taken in late February.

Spring Fever hits many adults this time of year. Thoughts of vegetable and flower gardens have some gardeners starting seeds of their favorite plants indoors. But not everyone has the time or patience to carry out this slow process.

Greenhouse Snow

This snow-covered greenhouse anxiously awaits spring planting at Old Stone House Nursery near Norwich.

That’s where greenhouses come into the picture. After visiting several greenhouses of all sizes, it makes a person ready to plan what flowers they want for their gardens. My favorite hanging basket, a pink and purple fuchsia, has already been ordered.

The first order of business for greenhouses consists of ordering various sizes of containers for planting and lots of good soil, often by the truckload.

Green Mc

Jeaneen McDaniel and grandson, Jack, check cuttings they did months back at McDaniel’s Greenhouse in Rix Mills.

Some begin in February sowing seeds in good loose soil filled with air that plant roots need. This type of soil also holds moisture well, but drains easily so as not to over-water. Extra care is also taken not to give the plants too much fertilizer as then they will grow tall and spindly. Others wait until March to start their seeds.

Greenhouse Mc

Bryce and Rachael McDaniel are proud of their succulent plants at McDaniel’s Greenhouse.

Surprisingly, many of the plants are started in the fall of the year from cuttings of healthy mother plants. Succulents, ornamental begonias, and coleus are examples of plants started from cuttings. While the greenhouse owners make it appear easy, it may not be that easy for everyone. They cut the branches from a mother plant, and simply stick it in good soil, while keeping the correct moisture in the soil. Soon small roots appear!

Some plants, however, have patents and greenhouses are not permitted to grow new plants from cuttings. These they have to purchase in trays from a supplier, such as Proven Winner . When they arrive they are very small plants, but with a little tender care, they will be ready to re-pot for use in hanging baskets, custom orders, or for sale as individual plants.

Greenhouse Containers

Unusual containers make for interesting plant displays.

One greenhouse just recently installed heated floors in the section where they were doing the seeding and cuttings. By use of a wood burner, it keeps the floor at about 70 degrees, the perfect temperature for these young plants.

Not every place has economical heating available, so they delay potting things until later in March. That is one reason that more greenhouses are now purchasing their small plants in trays of plugs. It just isn’t cost effective to heat their greenhouses while they start plants from seed.

Of great importance is getting the plants at their peak at just the right time. That takes perfect timing especially when you are selling the plants. Requests for custom orders in special containers or hanging baskets is one special service of the greenhouses. So each greenhouse has their weekly schedule for planting so their plants peak at the correct time.

Geenhouse trees and shrubs

Young shrubs, bushes and trees are protected from winter weather at Schoenbrunn Nursery in Dover, Ohio.

Flowers aren’t the only thing you’ll find at the greenhouse. Right now specialty trees that are high risk reside inside a covered, yet cool, greenhouse to keep them in their dormant state. Fruit trees, magnolias and small shrubs and pines still need extra protection.

Greenhouse Jodi

Jodi Gotschall’s favorite plants seem to be succulents. Her personal greenhouse is filled with healthy looking plants in clever containers.

For those with a passion for gardening, a few are fortunate enough to have their own greenhouse. These are often filled with plants from their garden that they want to save from year to year, along with some they want to experiment with. Often they take cuts of their favorites for expansion of a certain flower bed, or perhaps to give to their friends.

Greenhouse Jodi 2

While Jodi will use many of these in her own yard, she also shares them with friends.

Greenhouse of bottles

This unusual greenhouse is made of plastic pop bottles. It is used by the folks living in Earthship at Blue Rock Station.

When talking about greenhouses, a unique one visited a couple years ago keeps coming to mind. This greenhouse is made of over 1000 plastic pop bottles, which will never need replaced as they don’t decompose. This is used year round to start plants and grow food for the family. Solar panels provide heat for this plant haven.

People who work with plants enjoy “watching things grow”. When you place a seed or a cutting into the soil, it’s a miracle to see them develop into a beautiful plant. The fascination never stops.

 

 

Goodbye Summer! Hello Fall!

This giant ear of corn welcomes you to McDonald's Corn Maze.

This giant ear of corn welcomes you to McDonald’s Corn Maze.

Pumpkins + Corn Maze = Thoughts of Fall

McDonald’s Corn Maze provides the perfect spot for families to discover the spirit of the fall season. In 2006, the corn maze was created with hopes that a few children might be able to enjoy it. Never did they expect that over 3,000 would make their way through the maze that very first year.

The theme each year differs. This year the five-acre corn maze features a cowboy with a lasso standing by a saguaro. Wonder if he’s going to lasso a pumpkin?

A play area along side the corn maze offers many possibilities to explore.

A play area along side the corn maze offers many possibilities to explore.

This is indeed a family affair involving three generations. Jim and Susan McDonald built their home between their parents’ farms on Adamsville Road in Muskingum County. This makes for close family ties and grandparents have opportunity to watch their two grandsons grow up.

Agriculture is their main interest and they want to teach youngsters and adults more about the process of getting food from the farm to the table. Jim lived on a farm all of his life so it was no surprise when he graduated from Ohio State University at their Agricultural Technical Institute with a degree in greenhouse and management production. He opened his first greenhouse the year after he graduated.

All kinds of pumpkins are waiting to be taken home for decorations.

All kinds of pumpkins are waiting to be taken home for decorations. Those in the front are called “Witches Warts”.

There’s no shortage of pumpkins here as McDonald’s has fifteen acres of pumpkins with choices of different sizes, shapes, and colors. Choose from Buckskin, White Pumpkins, or Witches Warts to name a few. They expect to have over 10,000 pumpkins this year as well as a large supply of mums, gourds, and cornstalks. Everything you need for a fantastic fall scene.

Pictures is an overview of the 2015 maze.

Pictured is an overview of the 2015 maze.

They cut the maze in June when the corn was about a foot high. The drawing of the maze scene was placed on a grid, then Susan carefully directed Jim on his mower foot by foot to make it perfect. That’s no small feat in a five acre maze.

Educating students and adults about honey bees is one of Jim's enjoyments.

Educating students and adults about honey bees is one of Jim’s enjoyments.

Affectionately called Old McDonald, Jim has farming in his blood. School groups, 4-H clubs, scout troops and even seniors enjoy his stories about the farm. As you would expect, it’s not unusual for a verse or two of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” to be part of the day’s events.

Maggie the Milk Cow even goes to the county fair for demonstrations on how to milk a cow.

Maggie the Milk Cow goes to the county fair for demonstrations on how to milk a cow.

Today’s children don’t have much opportunity for up-close contact with real farm life. Jim wants them to understand where their food comes from. His enthusiasm about farm life is almost tangible. Even though it’s hard work, it obviously has its rewards as he enjoys telling children about pollination by honey bees, milking a cow, growing pumpkins and why it’s always earth day for a farmer.

This goat stands on top of a large bale of round ray and peers into the plastic pipe used as a slide. Should he or shouldn't he?

This goat stands on top of a large round bale of hay and peers into the plastic pipe used as a slide. Should he or shouldn’t he?

A petting zoo gives everyone a chance to be in contact with different baby animals such as a lamb, goat, duck, pig, or rabbit. Nearby a small playground contains a unique “sandbox” – a round watering tank filled with fifty bushels of shelled corn. There’s also stones to play hopscotch, and a slide made of plastic pipe atop bales of hay.

Take a walk in the Enchanted Forest and discover how early farmers lived.

Take a walk in the Enchanted Forest and discover how Ohio’s first farmers lived.

Then take a leisurely walk through Enchanted Forest and surround yourself with nature. Listen for the special sounds of the woods and learn about the plants that grow there as many have markers with names and uses. Deep in the woods is a teepee, home of Ohio’s first farmers.

McDonald's Greenhouse also has a large assortment of mums to brighten your fall.

McDonald’s Greenhouse also has a large assortment of mums to brighten your fall.

Sometime during your visit, be sure and climb on the hay wagon for a ride through the beautiful countryside filled with autumn leaves. Sit on bales of hay while the tractor pulls you down a path to see the fall season in beautiful Ohio. There’s a small admission price of only $6 per person for the day, but unlimited fun as it includes all activities.

A visit here adds up to a perfect fall experience filled with learning and fun…no ghosts or witches allowed, except for Witches Wart Pumpkins.

McDonald’s Corn Maze is located east of Zanesville, Ohio off I-70. Take Exit 157 (State Route 93) north to 3220 Adamsville Road. It’s only about two and a half miles from the interstate.

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