It is always a pleasure to visit a garden, and here is an opportunity to spend time in a local nature preserve and see some flower gardens at the same time.
Jim Bailey, secretary of the Friends of the Seneca County Park District, has planted a butterfly garden and flower beds at Garlo Nature Preserve over the last several years and Linda Rose, program director for the district and Out and About pre-School founder and teacher, has developed a rain garden for the enjoyment and education of her students in the same area.
Jim has a display of fall flowers including the bright-colored daisy-petaled gaillardia, cone flowers, asters, some lovely Freedom Hedge roses, Autumn Joy sedum and lavender. Montauk daisies and late hollyhocks are getting ready to bloom, and purple and white clematis is climbing a trellis and some rusty antique farm machinery, while several butterfly bushes attract insects. Monarch butterflies are being provided with their favorite milkweed.
Linda has a display of sunflowers that are as attractive to her students as they are to the birds that feast on the seeds, and her rain garden is planned to use the water that runs off the roof of the nature center. Hardy perennial native plants that do not mind periodic "wet feet" enjoy the water that is filtered along the ground surface, and provide shelter and food for the abundant wildlife at Garlo.
Additional flowers in the area include turtle-head flowers (chelone), liatris, coreopsis, coneflowers and rudbeckia.
If you need additional reasons to visit Garlo Preserve this fall, plan to go there Oct. 7 and enjoy Oktober Fest. Authentic German food will be featured, including leberkaese (a type of German bologna) sandwiches, hot and cold German potato salad, sauerkraut, red cabbage, creamy cucumber salad and hot potato soup. Desserts complete the menu.
The park district is fortunate to have two skilled German cooks in our group. Gabi Felter is chairwoman of the food committee and Karin Brown is Oktober Fest chairwoman. Under their direction, a group of us cook and bake to prepare authentic dishes for the festival.
New this year is a German baekerie (bake shop), to be located in the restored Miller log cabin, which will be specially decorated for the occasion. Some of the goodies on sale there will include pretzels imported from Munich, red wine cake, linzer torte, Black Forest cookies, homebaked breads, nut cake and more.
There will be plenty of things to keep the whole family busy, with special hands-on activities for the children, a petting zoo, a Black Swamp raptor exhibit, a rock-cutting demo, narrated wagon tours, a 25-piece German band and more.
Admission to Garlo is free, although donations to the Friends of the Park are much appreciated. This is our major fundraiser for the year and, of course, we are hoping for good weather.
There is a detour on SR 19 between Bloomville and the nature preserve due to a bridge replacement in progress. Those like me with limited navigational skills can use CR 6, which intersects with SR just south of Garlo Preserve. Signs will be posted.
Janet Del Turco is a local gardener and a graduate of the Ohio State University Master Gardener program.
Contact her at email@example.com