A visit to Gardenview Horticultural Park in Strongsville is an experience of seeing the fruition of a life's work by Henry A. Ross, who is the Founder and Director of the Park.
Mr. Ross had a vision as a young man to create an "oasis of beauty". In 1949, when Mr. Ross was in his early 20's he purchased the 16 acre parcel of land which he figured was always going to be in the country, but which today, to his disappointment, is in the middle of thriving and growing Strongsville. Since he purchased the land in the winter when it was covered with snow he did not realize until spring came that what he actually purchased was acres of swampy blue and yellow clay, overgrown with blackberry brambles and weeds. The transformation of the land from then till now has taken a lifetime of hard work, dedication and determination to fulfill the dream of providing enjoyment to visitors, to demonstrate the art of English Cottage Gardening, of traditional perennial borders, and to give an opportunity to those wishing to do so, to adapt these ideas and planting combinations to their own gardens.
Mr. Ross developed and maintained the gardens by himself from the beginning to 1994. He brought in hundreds and hundreds of truckloads of soil to cover the grounds with a four feet deep level of good dirt to create the base in which to grow the plants. Now, at 86 years old, he still works the gardens everyday with the assistance of his only helper, Mark, a volunteer. Gardenview is the only facility of its kind in this country.
Gardenview has all kinds of extremely choice, rare and uncommon plants from all over the world that Mr. Ross has obtained throughout the years. There are various gardens of different shapes and sizes fitting together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle into one large picture 6 acres in size. There are many unusual trees including hundreds of varieties of flowering crab-apples. The water lilies were in full bloom in magnificent colors, with a few yellow ones popping their heads.
Gardenview is not tax supported in any way so any donations that are made are used for the ongoing maintenance of the gardens of which much is needed. These gardens have truly been a labor of love, the commitment of one man who has spent his lifetime to fulfill his dream of creating a place of beauty and enjoyment for others.