Friday, July 3, 2009

Crosby Art Festival & The Toledo Botanical Garden

Overlooking pond from a hill at Toledo Botanical Garden

Under Ohio blue skies rows of tents stood side by side. Beneath the white awnings, art from every medium imaginable, awaited browsers and buyers searching for the silly to the sublime. The Toledo Botanical Garden presented the 44th Annual Crosby Art Festival amidst its 60 acres of living art, natural and contrived, on Saturday and Sunday. Over 240 artists displayed their talents at the juried art show and sale. Mary Jo and I wandered up and down the aisles. “Oooing and ahhing” at each delight. From delicate earrings that captured the light with a small crystal to the painting by Doug Fiely of a line of red poppies, there was something for everyone. The art was the main course of the day, but I went to take in the beauty of the gardens in June, too.

MJ and I parted ways after an hour or so. She went to view more art and I took out my camera, ready to breathe in the fragrance of a heritage rose, capture a tin man on film, and discover the gardens that make The Toledo Botanical Garden an inspiration and a serene oasis in the middle of the city.

I was pleasantly surprised at the permanent art that adds structural beauty and permanence to the ethereal splendor of gardens. A familiar site greets visitors to the vegetable garden. Just inside the entrance stands a silver man, surely made of tin with a bright red heart. The Tin Man from the world of L. Frank Baum’s Oz holds court over the growing edibles.
Sculpture of the Tin Man in vegetable garden at Toledo Botanical Garden
A statue of a plump woman, dressed in a coat and hat, holding out her arms as a perch for birds struck me as amusing and beautiful. Created by the late artist and sculptor, Joe Ann Cousino, The Woman with the Birds stands six feet tall atop a raised bed of large leafed plants and smaller annuals. I like to think there is a wonderful story behind the woman in bronze that has become an icon of Toledo, Ohio.

If you want to know the gardens well and appreciate the beauty, visit several times during each season. I didn’t make it to every garden, but I plan to go back soon to capture more garden moments and find even more inspiration.

Gardens at the Toledo Botanical Garden
Aquatic Garden
Azalea Rhododendron Garden
Color Garden
Cottage Garden
Dahlia Garden
Daylily Garden
English Border Garden
Green Garden
Herb Garden
Hosta Collection
Perennial Garden
Pioneer Garden
Rose Garden
Shade Garden
Vegetable Garden
The Grande Allee

The Toledo Botanical Garden
5403 Elmer Drive
Toledo, Ohio 43615
Open 7 days a week during daylight hours
Admission and Parking Free except for special events
Enjoy the slide show of the Toledo Botanical Gardens

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