The Eastern Region Conference tour will take place Sunday September 27th, 2015. You are in for a real treat in seeing the best horticulture Cincinnati has to offer.
Smale Riverfront Park
The tour will start just minutes away from the hotel at the new, 120 million dollar Smale Riverfront Park. The park sits between the Cincinnati Reds Great American Ballpark and the Cincinnati Bengals Paul Brown Stadiums. The park includes features such as fountains, a carousel, the Moerlein Lager House restaurant and many planted and open spaces for beautiful views of the Ohio River.
Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum
The next stop will feature one of the nation’s largest private cemeteries, Spring Grove. Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum was started by the Cincinnati Men’s Horticulture society back in 1845. The site for Spring Grove Cemetery was carefully selected to provide the ability to grow a wide variety of plants. Lakes were created in the low wet areas and the rolling hills provided great opportunity for vistas throughout the 733 acres. Adolph Strauch sculpted the grounds, added lakes, and brought in trees from all over the world to enhance the beauty of the place. Many of the Cilician fir, Oriental spruce and Cedar of Lebanon still stand today. Several plants have been selected from Spring Grove’s great Horticultural collection including the Spring Grove Arborvitae, the Spring Grove Flowering Dogwood and Taxus ‘Runyan’. Spring Grove is home to 19 State Champion Trees.
William Natorp started his landscape business in Cincinnati in 1916. Now four generations later Natorp’s has grown into a 400 acre nursery, Natorp’s Nursery Outlet, and a thriving landscape and maintenance business. The Natorp’s family name is all about plants. This rich tradition is now being led by President Wm. Kyle Natorp and his brother Craig. Natorp’s grows a wide variety of plants from annuals, perennials, to shrubs and trees. Pot in Pot trees as well as field grown trees are available to the public through the Nursery Outlet Center as well as wholesale through their wholesale nursery division. The Natorp name is the most recognized nursery name in the Cincinnati area. The Nursery has built an incredible Nursery Outlet Center that features all the plants that are grown in the nursery that surrounds it.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
The final stop of the day will be at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. The CZBG opened in 1875 not only as a Zoo but as an Experimental Garden as well. It was built in the same tradition of Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum in the sense that adding horticulture would enhance the value of the place which was an important component in Cincinnati at that time. The Botanical Garden blends in with the entire Zoo experience. The Plant trials program hosts over 250 types of annuals yearly in displays throughout the Zoo. Perennials, bamboo, vines and ornamental grasses are also a part of the Zoo’s extensive plant trialing program. These plants combine with many types of trees and shrubs to finish off the diverse plant collection. Many of the plants are labeled for the education of the Zoo’s 1.5 million visitors a year. The Plant Research division of the Zoo is led by Dr. Valerie Pence. The lab specializes in Tissue Culture and Cryopreservation of endangered plant species.
Dinner and Live Auction
Dinner and the live auction will be at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Many of the area’s top nurseries and horticultural institutions that we were not able to visit will be featured at the Zoo for a meet and greet. We look forward to showing off the best horticulture that Cincinnati has to offer!