New things to see at Toledo Botanical Garden

Have you been to the Toledo Botanical Garden yet this summer? If not, you have some new projects to catch up on.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Toledo Botanical Garden is shaking things up this summer with its Zimbabwean sculptures installation.

Jonathan Milbrodt, the lead horticulturist with Metroparks Toledo at the Toledo Botanical Garden, said it was something he spotted at a conference and wanted to bring the art style to Toledo.

“What we did here is actually flip the tree trunks upside down, using this wide root flare gives it this branching effect. We have a lot more room and space to fill it with colorful annuals.” Milbrodt said.

No healthy trees were harmed in the making of these works of art.

“These were all trees that were already dead and removed from other Metroparks,” Milbrodt explained. “It’s kind of cool to give some new life to them and reuse them for something beautiful and kind of whimsical.”

Although the art is whimsical to see, it’s more than a notion to make.

“We have special equipment here with our tractors, so we were able to move these large, heavy tree trunks,” Milbrodt said.

You can find five of these at Toledo Botanical Garden: one near the Elmer Drive entrance and more near the Bancroft entrance.

Three Zimbabwean sculptures were just installed in the past few weeks. These three are just north of the Perennial Garden. Milbrodt said they were displayed back in 2017 during an exhibition.

A member of the community purchased them and donated them to Metroparks Toledo in honor of his late wife. Milbrodt said that person wanted the sculptures to stay permanently at Toledo Botanical Garden.

Milbrodt said “Blessing of Nature” is made of spring stone and represents several elements of nature. “Mother’s Love,” he said, is done in cobalt stone, and “Energy” is an abstract piece made of spring stone.

“Zimbabwe sculpture,” he explained, “they’re all hand-carved, no power tools are used, just hammers and chisels and other hand tools. And all the materials were also quarried and from Zimbabwe.”

The Zimbabwean sculptures are a permanent fixture, and Milbrodt said he hopes to bring in more upside-down tree installations to TBG in the future.

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