While balcony container gardeners enjoy their small-space urban gardens, sometimes a few container plants on an apartment balcony above a busy street just isn’t peaceful enough. Balcony gardeners might not be able to have a peaceful, large garden, but there are public gardens and arboretums near every major city. Don’t just fawn over pictures of luxurious gardens, get out there and enjoy a day at a public garden! You may even bring some gardening inspiration home to your own balcony container garden.
If you live in or are visiting the Columbus, Ohio, area, why not visit the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens?
- The history of the 88-acre botanical gardens begins in 1852 when the Franklin County Agriculture Society purchased land to host the first Franklin County Fair. Years later it became the site of the Ohio State Fair. In 1884, the State Fair was moved to another location and the area became a public park.
- The Franklin Park Conservatory opened in 1895 and houses more than 400 species of plants.
- Make sure to check out the more than 3,000 pieces of glass that makes up the artwork by glass artist Dale Chihuly. Chihuly has artwork at many other botanical gardens in the United States, including the Atlanta Botanical Garden, New York Botanical Garden, the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, the Missouri Botanical Garden and more. The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens offers 25-minute glassblowing demonstrations on Saturdays and Sundays to augment the Chihuly artwork.
- Docent-led tours and group tours are available if you make advance reservations.
- Each year there are special events, including Orchids!, Blooms & Butterflies and holiday displays (with a gingerbread house display, seasonal foliage, lights, music and entertainment).
- The Blooms & Butterflies annual event began in 1994. Hundreds of butterflies are released into the Pacific Island Water Garden every day at 1pm during the event.
- Check the website for special events, plant sales, and classes and demos.
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Quick Info
1777 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio
Admission $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and students and $6 for children (children under 2 are free)
Open daily from 10am-5pm and Wednesdays from 10am-8pm
Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day