Display and Test Garden Of The Great Lakes Chapter
Gordon Emerson, Rock Creek, Ohio
Fig. 55. Model of ravine site for proposed Rhododendron Display Garden
of the Great Lakes Chapter, Walnut Hollow, Secrest Arboretum, Wooster,
Ohio. Inspecting the model, left to right, M. Robert Fenton, Landscape
Architect, Pittsburgh, Pa.; David Leach, Brookville, Pa., Chairman of the
Chapter Display and Test Garden Committee; Richard A. Fenicchia,
Rochester Parks, Rochester, N.Y., immediate past President of the
Chapter; Peter Girard, Sr., Girard Bros. Nursery, Geneva, Ohio; Orlando
Pride, Pride Nursery, Butler Pa.; Oliver D. Diller, Curator, The Sercrest
Arboretum, Ohio Arg. Res. and Dev. Center, Wooster, Ohio.
"One of the great floral displays in America...
These are the words David G. Leach used in describing prospects of the Great Lakes Chapter display and test garden now being developed at the Secrest Arboretum, Ohio Dept. of Agricultural Research and Development, Wooster, Ohio.
When fully developed the garden is expected to draw a half million visitors a year. At nearby Mansfield, the Kingwood Center gardens drew 600,000 visitors last year.
First plants are already heeled in at the Wooster site, with permanent planting to begin in August. A seven acre site has been set aside for the display area. Robert Fenton, landscape designer at Pittsburgh, is preparing the master planting plan.
The site, known as Walnut Hollow, comprises a wooded ravine through which a small stream flows. The walnut trees from which the section of the arboretum gained its name are being removed. Some 50 plants displayed at the May chapter show by Peter Girard Sr. and Musser Forests are already at the site. Mr. Leach, Orlando Pride and A. M. Shammarello will also be represented in the initial planting.
O. D. Diller, present director, and member of the Chapter display garden committee, described the arboretum as follows in "Ohio Woodlands."
"Secrest Arboretum is a memorial to Edmund Secrest, former state forester and director of the research center (formerly the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station).
This museum of living trees and ornamentals was started in 1908 in order to test the growth and performance of woody plants from many parts of the world which might be used to heal eroded fields and beautify our homes and cities. The arboretum was dedicated to his memory on May 1, 1950.
During the 56 years since its beginning, this collection of forest and ornamental plants has been expanded to include well over 600 species and varieties of trees and shrubs. Actually more than twice this number have been tested for their performance under our local climate and soils. Many have failed to survive severe winters. Others have succumbed to drought and disease or were uprooted by wind storms.
The Secrest Arboretum is unique among the world's noted arboreta in that it has many block plantings of forest trees of single and mixed species in many combinations, spacing, and arrangements. Some of the finest collections of woody ornamentals to be found anywhere also occupy an important part of these plantings.
The combination of forestry plots with roadside borders of woody ornamentals makes this forest area an ideal laboratory which embodies utility, beauty and inspiration for the people of Wooster and all of Ohio."