I am stretching the boundaries of a garden column here just a bit, but it is a subject I feel very strongly about and it does, after all, involve a square plot of grass.
I read in The A-T this morning Judges Shuff and Kelbley have asked county commissioners to ban the use of Courthouse Square for three months, except for already scheduled events, while a review panel makes decisions about the future of the space.
Obviously, long-term plans depend on decisions yet to be made about sites for the courts, but for the moment, the green space in the heart of the downtown has been a wonderful facility for a number of programs, meetings and performances.
A long tradition of village greens as community meeting places seems to show their appeal to residents, and the great turnouts for events in our town in past months speaks to the popularity and convenience of the site.
It should not be necessary to book events during scheduled jury trials, but if the annex building's windows are not soundproof, maybe that should be attended to. Regarding the plans for programs conducted by The Ritz Theatre, I was involved for many years with the summer camps, the Discovery Series and other Ritz activities, and never have I heard the "screaming kids" Judge Shuff fears.
Great things have been happening in downtown Tiffin in recent months. The new planters, benches and bike racks have spruced up the area, and a spring clean-up by members of the Tiffin Tree Commission and students and staff from Calvert Catholic School gave things a fine start.
The hanging baskets look beautiful this summer, with several varieties of mini-wave petunias, faithfully watered by a couple of stalwart volunteers. The sidewalk planters, small park areas, parking lot borders and other spaces have been adopted by individuals who keep them weeded, watered and otherwise cared for as summer goes along.
The hibiscus with their braided trunks are lovely centerpieces to many of the planters.
The harsh winter interfered somewhat with the blooming season of the French silk lilac trees along Washington Street, but the white flowers did draw attention and will be a spectacle in future years.
With many new businesses opening downtown, drawing additional people to the area is nothing but good. I hope the review board will consider every aspect of the question as they deliberate, and will come to see the advantages of a common green space in the heart of downtown that can be used responsibly and at the proper time for many events.
Janet Del Turco is a local gardener and a graduate of the Ohio State University Master Gardener program.
Contact her at