COLUMBUS, Ohio –
Dawes Arboretum appears to be a local favorite – an attraction on many local resident’s bucket lists – located in Newark, Ohio. What began as a farm and then became the land’s second owner’s dream fulfillment started as a 140-acre farm and has grown today to be a 2,000-acre rolling hill arboretum. Today, more than 5,300 types of trees are present with more than three times that number of types of ground coverings. The buckeye trees – notable in this state – were interesting to learn about for the first time. The magnolias were in bloom and shared their vibrant spring color.
The park does have an entrance fee and is open to dogs on leashes, foot and car traffic. The area that I mostly saw was near the farmhouse itself which includes many copper wind sculptures (I’d like to figure out how to make one…), small gardens, and some hewn log small buildings. One of the log buildings is fully enclosed and had a chimney – maybe a smoke house, it’s an unlikely 19th century man-cave or she-shed, but the construction details are magnificent!
In all I was there for about 3 hours and walked the well curated trails through the pasture, woodland and farm-residence areas. Along the way there was a Japanese garden. This garden is laid out in a way to mimic features present macroscopically – there is at first a dry gravel bed area to indicate the land, there are valleys and mounds to mimic mountain ranges, and there is a lake that represents the oceans. The lake has two breathtaking bridges that span small islands within the lake.
The arboretum marks its location with nearly 8-foot-tall hedges that spell out Dawes Arboretum. I enjoyed walking in among them and was glad I did when I saw the first and only wild animal of the day – a juvenile bobcat which cleverly darted into the “B” when it saw me. The view of the letters from the observation tower was worth the short climb. For more information visit www.dawesarb.org.
Defense Supply Center Columbus is also home to some magnificent trees. In early April they were in full and glorious bloom making a nice accompaniment to the static displays representing Land and Maritime. I hope you’ll enjoy the pictures of these visits and find some place to see as you get out and enjoy Columbus.