Friday, February 12, 2010
Nestled just east of the Columbus Metropolitan Library in downtown Columbus is the one of a kind, unique interpretation of Georges Seurat’s post impressionist painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grand Jatte, located in the Topiary Park in Old Deaf School Park. This unique park boasts the only known topiary garden that is based on a work of art. As you stroll through the park, you will find yourself stepping directly into a beautiful landscape that is comprised of meticulously cared for living sculptures that consist of 54 people, eight boats, three dogs, a cat and even a monkey.
The quaint gift shop/visitors center offers special items for the garden lover as well as the usual brochures and postcards. The visitors center also offers a short introductory movie that you can watch that gives background information about Georges Seurat, the creator of the painting while explaining the creation of the park. Use caution, unfortunately, as with many art resources they are not always appropriate for kids and this movie does have nudity. You can remedy this by learning about the topiary park before your visit. You will find detailed lesson plans here.
In the midst of the metropolitan city, this is a great getaway to stop for a picnic and enjoy the squirrels scampering up the trees. You should find plenty of on street, metered parking so save your quarters! The park also has nice, clean restrooms and drinking fountains.
The Topiary Park is located in Columbus at the corner of East Town St. and Washington Avenue. The park is open free of charge year round, although the best time to view it is April thru November. The museum gift shop is open Apr. 1 through the end of December. For information you can call 614-645-0197 or check out their website.
The Columbus Museum of Art, The Ohio Statehouse, COSI, The Santa Maria and The Franklin Park Conservatory & Chihully Collection are located within minutes of The Topiary Garden. If you love books, you'll find the German Village boasts a unique 32 room bookstore called The Book Loft. I certainly wouldn’t allow my children to run loose here for fear they may get lost, but you won't want to miss the opportunity to find some great bargains, much of the selection is discounted! Finally, if you enjoy unique sculptures, you won’t want to miss The Field of Corn located off Frantz Rd in Dublin. My kids thought it was hilarious!
A great follow-up to this outing is to create your own topiary. Usborne has a great book that will help you get started, so check out your local library for Usborne Starting Gardening.