February 2018

Light drizzle accompanies IMA garden tour


Horticulture Manager Chad Franer led a tour April 19 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. (C)  Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Horticulture Manager Chad Franer discusses 'Cayuga' Korean spice Viburnums and native redbuds (Cercis) in bloom at the Indianapolis Museum of Art on April 19. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

There was only one visitor, but three guides-in-training on the tour April 19 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Horticulture Manager Chad Franer led the tour on this day of mist and the occasional light shower, nothing to keep a gardener indoors. Here are the highlights:

The viburnums were in bloom, perfuming the gardens almost everywhere we walked. Corydalis, trout lilies, dutchman’s breeches, Virginia bluebells, epimedium, hundreds of spring bulbs and the glorious redbuds were in bloom, too. There was something new at every step.

We started with the Ravine Garden, meandered into the Formal Garden, then onto border gardens. We saw the new gardens where apple trees, gooseberries and fresh produce have taken root in the museum’s horticultural staff’s on going effort to restore the grounds to their original purpose.

I was one of the guides-in-training on my first ‘shadow-tour.’ Chad was a great teacher, very knowledgeable about all of the plants and particularly enamored with the native redbuds species and cultivars. It’s easy to fall in love with the place, which right now is nearing the spring crescendo. The gardens and grounds are the IMA’s most visible pieces of art.

Free tours are offered at 1 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. Gather at the visitor’s center at Oldfields, which is a short walk from the parking lot by the IMA Greenhouse.

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