In the greater Northeast Ohio are, we’re blessed with a wealth of natural beauty. Our air isn’t terribly polluted, and you don’t have to drive too far from anywhere to find trees and fields. But natural beauty isn’t the only thing we have: Northeast Ohio also boasts some incredible landscaping!
Here at the Sagamore Companies, we’re passionate about natural beauty that’s designed and maintained with care. We decided to gather up all our favorite examples of awesome landscaping in NE Ohio. We present, for the very first time—THE SOILIES! These are our favorite parks, public spaces, golf courses–basically anywhere that displays great landscaping.
Now, to be clear, these aren’t listed in any kind of order. Each of these locations has its own charm and beauty. In fact, no two are alike!
1. Cleveland Botanical Gardens
The Cleveland Botanical Gardens are an incredible place to learn about different kinds of gardens all around the world and see gorgeous landscaping all in one place. Their indoor greenhouse lets them house plants that wouldn’t otherwise survive Cleveland’s changing weather conditions. While looking at the landscapes created by the master gardeners on staff, you can learn about different areas and imagine yourself in a completely different part of the world. You can also host many different events at the gardens, including even your wedding. With their elegant backdrops, you know your event will be a success.
The Cleveland Botanical Gardens has over eleven gardens you can explore during the sunny season. With everything from herb gardens to themed gardens to go with specific countries and cultures, these gardens offer something for everyone. The gardens are also spaced out along a wide path, giving you the opportunity to explore as you walk along a pre-existing path.
2. Preston’s H.O.P.E.
Preston’s H.O.P.E. is a community park with a special purpose: it is completely accessible to anyone with a disability so that all children can play together. The park is free and open to the public, and encourages children with special needs to grow their self-esteem and feel that they are included and important members of the community. The structures in the park are specially designed to make them accessible to every child who might try to use them. This means that all children can be free to play, and even parents get to watch their children prosper and grow.
Partnered with The March of Dimes, Youth Challenge, United Cerebral Palsy, and the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center, Preston’s H.O.P.E. makes accessible a playground for all children, no matter their differences or abilities. With the enormous population of disabled children in the Cleveland community this park is a wonderful escape for them.
3. Squire’s Castle
Did you know there was a castle in Cleveland that you could visit for free anytime you want? Squire’s Castle is a part of the North Chagrin Reservation, and originally was built as a part of the estate of Feargus B. Squire, the VP of Standard Oil Company in the 1800s. It was a unique part of his estate, he wanted to ensure it would remain protected. In 1922, the Metroparks purchased it, and it remains a protected gem on the reservation. Around the castle is a huge picnic area, allowing you to enjoy the scene from all around.
The Cleveland Metroparks has much more than Squire’s Castle, though. The Metroparks have countless acres of property all through the Northeast Ohio region, preserving huge areas of forest and wildlife. Some other notable areas on their reservations include Squaw Rock, The Chalet, and the USS Maine and American Legion Memorial.
4. Cleveland Cultural Gardens
The Cleveland Cultural Gardens are one of the most unique parts of the city. Showing off the cultural melting pot of Cleveland, each major ethnic group of Cleveland is represented with a personal garden as a tribute to that group’s cultural heritage. Ending off with Rockefeller Greenhouse, these gardens are a perfect way to spend an afternoon exploring the city.
There are currently about thirty gardens, but there is much more space to be curated into gardens representing different cultures. The valley that surrounds Martin Luther King Blvd. is utilized with many of the gardens, which have steps up to different levels. Each summer, there is even a festival called One World Day that celebrates each
5. Public Square
Even though Cleveland’s Public Square at Tower City isn’t completely renovated yet, we’re so excited about the renovation that we couldn’t help keeping it off our list. Public Square will be expanded to include more green space, a water feature, and tons of new trees. This will give lots of open and green space that the community will be able to use for years to come.
It’ll be a fantastic community space in the years following the renovation, and we can’t wait to see the results of the project. It will be done just in time for the Republican National Convention, which will be a fantastic way to market the city we all love. We know for sure that the remodel of Public Square will enhance our city more than ever.
6. John Carroll University
John Carroll University campus has many different gardens, like most college campuses. However, the unique thing about this campus’ gardens is the dedication to sustainability. Aside from creating more green spaces on campus, the campus also has green methods for de-icing, pesticides, and much more.
Especially today, it’s is imperative to make a commitment to sustainability. With programs like the one at John Carroll, students will learn more about sustainable practices that will be applicable to daily life. With initiatives like these and hands-on opportunities for students to learn, we will grow our understanding of nature and the environmental impacts of our actions as a whole.
7. Hathaway Brown Community Garden
In 2012, Hathaway Brown School created a community garden to help bring together the families of the girls who attend their school. Families can rent the garden for a week during the summer months and in exchange for keeping up the garden, use the produce the garden produces. The garden is one of the best ways for families to bond and get to know each other. It proves that landscaping can be used as a means to bring people together via hard work and commitment to success.
Hathaway Brown is one of the premier women’s high schools in the Cleveland area. Things like the community garden distinguish the school as unique, proving that the schools dedicated to giving girls hands-on experience and also places importance on relationships.
8. Cleveland State University
Cleveland State University has a similar initiative to that of John Carroll, but a different implementation. Cleveland State successfully installed a rooftop garden in Cleveland in 2009 through fundraising. The project took research to know which buildings would work, which plants could go on the buildings, and ultimately how to keep the project from dying.
Cleveland State University clearly gives its students a platform for exploring what they want to do. Placing emphasis on innovation, Cleveland State allowed its students to do the necessary research to find the ideal conditions for building a rooftop garden in our community. This is much harder than it might seem, especially considering that weather can change drastically in just a few hours. This garden is a great way to encourage students to explore their own community and also find interesting and practical ways to apply research.
9. The Holden Arboretum
The Holden Arboretum in Kirkland, Ohio is dedicated to preserving trees in Northeast Ohio. As an educational institution, it also encourages research of plants and trees protected by the arboretum. Exploring the arboretum will definitely give you a new appreciation for the magnificent trees in our area. With all kinds programs and speakers that come to the Holden Arboretum, you will be sure to find some new and exciting way to experience Northeast Ohio nature.
The Holden Arboretum has been named an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society. Numerous species of birds call the Arboretum home, and they draw birders from all over the world. The Holden Arboretum is truly a Northeast Ohio treasure.
10. The Quarry Golf Club
Golf courses feature some of the most beautiful landscaping in the city, and the Quarry Golf Club is no exception. Between the gorgeous waterfall landscape scenes at the entrance of the golf club to the meticulously kept grounds for golfers to practice their craft, the entire course is a gorgeous manmade landscape.
One of the best ways to explore this golf course’s landscape is by taking some lessons at Quarry. The club is only minutes from downtown Canton. Its restaurant, the Granite Grille, is open to the public, offering spectacular views of the 18th hole.
11. City of Akron Golf
The City of Akron Golf Courses actually encompasses two separate golf courses; however, these two golf courses are both beautifully landscaped. The wide-open green spaces are a great escape from the city that’s so close by. And, the courses both also incorporate the natural foliage of the area, which makes it appear like an almost natural space. Because these courses so skillfully create space where nature meets the golf course in a cohesive way, we had to include both of them.
Not only are these two courses absolutely beautiful, but you can even book tee times on Facebook. Be sure to book ahead of time, as slots fill up fast.
12. Wade Oval at University Circle
Wade Oval is one of the best open-air public spaces in the Cleveland Area. Simple but still elegant, this park hosts a ton of different events over both the summer and winter months. From ice skating to summer concerts, you’ll be sure to find something interesting at Wade Oval.
The park offers modern conveniences in addition to natural beauty. There is on-site access to water and electricity, making this stunning location perfect for your next event. Contact Sheila Obrycki at 216-707-5035 for details.
13. Let’s Grow Akron
Let’s Grow Akron is an urban garden that provides the Akron community with healthy food in a sustainable way. From educating the community about their food sources to finding teaching about the ways in which you can prepare food, this urban garden is one of the best in the Akron Metro area.
Let’s Grow Akron is really doing something special. This urban renewal program is poised to have a great impact on the health of underserved residents in the Akron area. Here’s to a healthier, more sustainable future in food.
14. The Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art’s garden next to Wade Park Lagoon is one of the most gorgeous landscapes you can find in the area. Combining the historic architecture of the Museum, the marble of the steps, and beds of flowers to add a splash of color, it offers one of the prettiest scenes in Cleveland.
The Cleveland Art Museum is one of our great treasures in Northeast Ohio. The collection contains numerous original masterworks, and the Museum is also a stopping-place for international collections on tour. Landscaping isn’t only found outside the building: across all the ages of art history, you can study the way landscapes have been represented in numerous art traditions.
15. Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens
The gardens at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens were designed between 1912 and 1915 by the famous landscape architect Warren Manning. The gardens are an excellent example of his work and attract thousands of visitors each year. With over ten gardens to explore and see, you won’t be short of jaw-dropping landscape and design opportunities here.
Readers of USA Today named Stan Hywet the #1 Historic Home Tour in America. Stan Hywet is the 6th-largest historic home tour in the US that is open to the public. With 8 historic gardens on 70 acres, Stan Hywet offers the landscape lover an incredible variety of cultivation.
16. Cleveland Food Coalition Urban Gardens
The Cleveland Food Coalition’s Urban Gardens, partnered with The Ohio State University and Case Western Reserve University, builds gardens in strategic areas around the Cleveland area to provide healthy food to locals. Searching for locations with a lack of grocery stores, the gardens are meant to offer the community a way of getting healthy food to their families.
The Cleveland Food Coalition has worked closely with City Council and the Cleveland Planning Commission to adjust zoning areas to allow urban farming efforts. Advocates claim that 18,000 vacant lots in the city could be turned into for-profit urban farms.
17. Waterloo Sculpture Garden
The Waterloo Sculpture Garden is a gorgeous community garden on Cleveland’s east side. Between the beautiful sculptures in the garden and the community involvement, it’s become a staple in the emerging Waterloo arts scene.
The Waterloo Sculpture Garden often holds events during the Waterloo Arts Festival. It’s a great place to escape the sun and enjoy some beautiful, shady greenery during this fantastic summer event. You might even catch some bands performing there.
18. Progressive Field
Progressive Field is home to the Cleveland Indians, our baseball team. Even if you aren’t a baseball fan, you should definitely check out this field. From the awesome landscape design on the field to the many different bars and food venues on the inside of the stadium, you won’t run short of things to do at Progressive Field.
19. The James A. Garfield Monument
The James A. Garfield Monument at Lakeview Cemetery is one of the most beautiful hidden gems in the Cleveland area. It honors President Garfield, who was assassinated during his presidency and is now buried in Lakeview Cemetery. The natural wildlife around the actual structure and the ability for visitors to go up inside the building and get a Birdseye view of the whole city makes it a perfect way to see the landscape of Lakeview Cemetery.
The building displays a beautiful combination of Byzantine, Gothic, and Romanesque architectural styles. The 64 steps up to the outdoor balcony offer an incredible view of the Lake Eerie shoreline. Inside, you’ll find President Garfield’s casket, draped in an American flag. This is the only casket of a US President which is on full display to the public. The James A. Garfield Monument is truly one of our great historical treasures in Northeast Ohio.
20. Buckeye Shaker Square
The Buckeye Shaker Square Park has an outdoor mosaic and stage, making it a not only visually interesting park, but also a perfect concert or outdoor theater venue.
The Buckeye Shaker Square Development Corporation is one of the largest CDCs (community development corporations) in the city. The area is easily accessible by multiple transit routes, and it offers affordable historic homes, neighborhood groups, and many thriving restaurants and businesses.
21. Dunham Tavern Museum
Dunham Tavern and Museum adds a much needed area of green space in an industrial part of the Cleveland. With wide open green spaces mixed with natural trees and the historic home, it offers a little historical touch in a modern neighborhood.
Dunham Tavern and Museum is the oldest building still standing in its original location in Cleveland. The gardens and well-preserved museum offer a welcome contrast to the modern urban landscape all around.
22. Oberlin Inn
The Oberlin Inn in Oberlin, Ohio has some of the most beautiful landscaping in Lorain County. The lush flower beds and outdoor spaces make it a gorgeous addition to the local college campus. If you’re visiting Oberlin, make sure you walk around the Oberlin Inn grounds to get a first rate nature tour.
While you’re there, be sure to dine at the Inn, where the menu and service are top-notch. After your visit, take a walk around downtown Oberlin, where you’ll find a unique mix of old and new. In particular, you’ll want to check out the historic Ben Franklin Five and Dime for affordable used books, games, art supplies, and more.
23. Willard Park
Willard Park in Cleveland is home to one of the biggest Cleveland icons: the FREE Stamp sculpture. This enormous sculpture sits in the center of a vast green open area. At Willard Park, you can picnic, enjoy art, and play in the open space.
Creator Claes Oldenburg said of the FREE Stamp, “We wanted art to become part of the city and not something specialized that sits in a museum.” He and his late wife Coosje van Bruggen accomplished just that: the FREE Stamp is one of Cleveland’s most famous icons.
24. Boulder Creek Golf Club
Even just an aerial view of the Boulder Creek Golf Club will give you an idea of how unique this golf course is. Incorporating natural elements into the crafted landscape makes it a perfect addition to our list. As you can see from the picture, the fall colors at this course are incredible, and if you golf here, it’s sure to be visually stunning while you’re on the course.
Boulder Creek Golf Club was named the #3 Public Golf Course in Ohio by Golfweek. The club boasts a fantastic restaurant, incredible natural beauty, and an expertly-crafted course. What’s not to love?