"Learning Garden" Teaches Landscaping Skills

May 1, 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Anyone seeking basic landscape garden design skills or wanting a new look to an existing layout can get hands-on experience at BioHio 2001. Ohio State University horticulture students are designing a "learning garden," an outdoor laboratory for learning about constructed landscapes commonly found in the urban Midwest, around Howlett Hall on the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences campus. Visitors to BioHio will have the opportunity to tour the "learning garden," view a model of the completed garden and design their own garden landscape with model trees, plants and turfgrass. Michael Knee, an OSU horticulturist who is collaborating with the students on the project along with OSU horticulturist Pablo Jourdan, said the purpose of the "learning garden" is for people to grasp a basic understanding of plant selection, design and maintenance in a residential setting. "The project is a spin-off of garden design at English universities," said Knee. "The students here wanted more hands-on experience in landscape design and used the designs they had seen in study- abroad programs as a basis for this project." BioHio will be held on the Columbus campus of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 10-12. The three-day event will feature hands-on demonstrations, exhibits and tours covering agriculture, the environment, gardening, managing wildlife, fish farming, native plants, plant diseases and more. The "learning garden," part of Chadwick Arboretum, will become a permanent fixture on the college campus once it is completed. Knee said much of the garden will still be under construction come BioHio, but visitors will have the opportunity to tour a wildflower garden that students planted in 2000, as well as view trial gardens around the area that are used for research and demonstration of new selections of annuals, perennials and grasses. Knee hopes that the public will walk away from the visit with an idea of the wide array of plant arrangements that are available. "Getting a structure into a landscape is important," he said. "Sometimes people go out to a garden center and buy all kinds of plants, get home and then realize that they really don't know how to arrange them. Through the 'learning garden'people can find out what kinds of plants to use and ways to lay them out." BioHio is sponsored by the college's components - OSU Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, OSU Agricultural Technical Institute, and Academic Affairs. Admission and parking are free. Parking for BioHio will be north of the Schottenstein Center off of Fred Taylor Drive in the Schott Special Events Parking Lot. Access to the lot will be from Ackerman Road via state route 315. Signs will be posted on state route 315, Ackerman Road and Lane Avenue to direct visitors to event parking. Buses will shuttle visitors to the event from the parking area. For more information about BioHio 2001, call (614) 292-3897 or visit the BioHio 2001 Web site at http://biohio.osu.edu. More information on the "learning garden" can be obtained by visiting the Chadwick Arboretum web site at http://chadwickarboretum.osu.edu/LG/.

Author(s): 
Candace Pollock
Source(s): 
Michael Knee