Recently I joined a few fellow hikers on a trip to Dayton for an easy stroll about the gardens and trails around Aullwood Gardens. Usually our hikes are quite challenging, but this destination fit me just fine. I visited Aullwood last summer and was eager to see the grounds in the spring.
I was not disappointed. Some of the pictures are from areas protected by a fence and others are just along the park's trail system. The planting in Aullwood Gardens has spread to the surrounding area, offering a bit more to view than lesser celandine and honeysuckle.
There were a few places I would have liked to have gotten a better picture of a plant but I will not break trail, especially in the spring when wild flowers are emerging.
To my dismay, my practice of staying on the trail is not held by all. I was disappointed to see some hikers take a few steps off the trail and stand in the flowers while we took a break. Needless to say, I voiced my objections a few times.
I typically do not vent or soap box in my blogs, so please excuse this departure from the norm.
We have trails to minimize our impact on the woods. It is beyond my comprehension how an adult can see stands of wildflowers and decide that it is perfectly fine for them to break trail to get a photo. I am very disappointed that adults, when presented with a do not enter sign within a garden, breeze past it in complete indifference.
By the grace of private foundations, parks and other organizations, we have the privileged, not the right, to enter gardens and other habitats.
I expressed my displeasure. Scolding adults is not what I consider enjoyable.
As you can see, the gardens and surrounding trails offered ample opportunities to see wildflowers up close without having to wander off the path.
If I was alone or with my friend, I would have enjoyed a short rest on this bench. The show of flowers blooming this day was simply wonderful. It seems like no matter how many pictures I take, no matter how slowly I walk through a garden and try to soak it all in; the memory gets a bit hazy. Spring is so fleeting. I wish there was a way to capture the feeling I get when standing in a spring garden in bloom and carry it with me for a few days or weeks.
Their page on the Dayton Metro parks web site describes the garden beautifully.
Feast your eyes on a spectacular display of winter aconite, bulbs and bluebells on our hillsides. Some people wait all Spring for this sight! Tens of thousands of mertensia cover the hillsides in April. They are accompanied with a profusion of blue-eyed Mary's. Hepaticas, drifts of trillium, Dutchmen's britches, shooting stars, and violets are throughout the woods. Peak springtime bloom is mid-April. In May the lilacs are at their best, flowering shortly after the Korean spice Viburnum (wonderfully fragrant!) End of May the peonies flower. A carpet of pansies throughout April and May becomes a rose garden in June; nearby, a huge old climbing hydrangea finds it’s way up the side of the Aull house. Woodland trails are open for hiking, and returning birds abound in the woods, woods edge, stream-side and prairie habitats. Spring provides excellent chance to catch many migrants on their journey through the area, including the rarely seen Golden-winged, Connecticut, and Mourning Warblers.
If that doesn’t get you a bit giddy to get to the garden I do not know what would!