04 October 2011

Day 10 / 101 - The Holden Arboretum

The Holden Arboretum, in Kirtland, Ohio, is one of the largest arboretums and botanical gardens in the United States.  It hosts 3500 acres, and a wide variety of activities and tours to help you discover all that nature has to offer.  We received passes to the arboretum last year for Christmas, and we have been truly appreciative of this gift.

The educational opportunities are endless, and many change depending on the season.  Right now you can enjoy the Leaf Trail.  Each fall, a trail is set up through mostly native trees to provide an opportunity for students to practice identification skills using a simple key that is provided in the leaf trail brochure. Over the summer, and early fall, there was a Gnomes and Gardens exhibit.  The gardens homed 20 larger than life gnomes made by local artists.  The last official day of the exhibit was September 25, but we were there over the weekend and there were still a few gnomes hidden throughout the gardens, as well as great photo opportunities like above.

Our favorite aspect of the arboretum is the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron garden.  It contains over 1200 rhododendron plants and over 100 mountain laurel plants set in a mature oak, beech, and maple forest.  All that to say, it reminds us dearly of our former life in the Pacific Northwest.

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