Schnormeier Gardens, located in the gentle rolling hills of Gambier, Ohio, began in 1996. Over the years they have grown to include fifty acres of manicured lawns, ten lakes, a variety of discrete garden areas and several waterfalls.
The Gardens are rarely open to the public, and their annual Open House represents the only opportunity this year to visit and enjoy this remarkable site.
NOTE: Ted and Ann Schnormeier of Gambier, Ohio will open their spectacular private gardens to the public from Thursday, June 2 through Sunday, June 5, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Reservations are not required, however, advance notice of groups arriving by bus would be appreciated. The Gardens are not recommended for those with limited mobility.
Those attending the Open House should start at the Welcome Center, at 8701 Laymon Road. The Welcome Center features a DVD presentation, striking photographs of the Gardens, including aerial photograph, and full-color tour brochures with map. There is ample free parking adjacent to the Welcome Center. Restrooms are available at the Welcome Center and near the Hosta Garden. You are welcome to take photographs. Pets are not permitted.
Tours are self-guided. The property is hilly, and contains manicured lawns, woods, meadows, streams, lakes, footbridges and many beautiful vistas. There are no paved or designated pathways so visitors are encouraged to dress comfortably and to wear walking shores. Visitors are free to wander the entire 75 acres.
The focal point of the property is a spectacular Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home. This private residence was completed in 1994. The interior of the home is not part of the public tour. Other structures on the property include a Japanese teahouse, garden house, Chinese pavilion and arched bridge. Ever-growing collections of unique sculptures are also located on the grounds.
The gardens have a distinct Asian flavor and feature a variety of plantings rich in color and texture. Rare conifers are plentiful here. Large boulders and stonewalls add dimension and contrast to the landscape. Designed with a bold vision and attention to detail, the gardens offer delightful viewing in any season.