Have you ever taken the time to find out about the Botanical Gardens at the Cincinnati Zoo? Well the Deer Creek Daisies did just that for the June meeting. And they were not disappointed!
The Daisies were greeted by Scott Buerlein, who is part of the Botanical Garden staff. There are actually 12 full-time staff members and lots of volunteers who help out in the busy time, which is spring, summer and fall.
The Daisies learned some history about the zoo. The Cincinnati Zoo was founded by Andrew Erkenbrecher, who was president of Cincinnati’s first telephone company, on Sept. 18,1875, thus making it the second zoo in existence in the country. Philadelphia had opened the first zoo 14 months earlier. There is a bust of Erkenbrecher, who died in 1885, in front of the reptile house.
The Botanical Gardens are filled with an outstanding plant collection and unique blend of gardens and landscapes. What could be more glorious than the planting of 100,000 tulip bulbs for display every spring? Each year the arrival of spring is celebrated with just such a welcome. Then they are dug up and replaced with 25,000 annuals for display for the rest of the summer. A pollinator garden that largely consists of high nectar, long blooming perennials, sub shrubs and butterfly host plants exists also. There is a total of 75 acres of flowers. The tulips are replanted each fall with new bulbs.
Conifers are an important component of nature and in gardens. There is an outstanding collection planted throughout the zoo. Other unusual trees seen were “Weeping Redbud” and “Gingerbread Maple” with multiple fall colors in the leaves all year round. The Daisies also saw a very large Sequoia tree. They were beautiful trees that most of the group had never seen. There are actually 100 species of trees in the gardens from all over the world.
Scott shared the future site for a “Bald Eagle” display that should be finished and ready to be seen in the next few months. He said that things are ever changing at the zoo. The Cincinnati Zoo Botanical gardens is one of only two in the state.
The Daisies had brunch at the Wild Eggs Restaurant, and Marty Cook and Julie Schwartz were door prize winners.