By Rick Palsgrove
This year’s Groveport Home and Garden Tour is a mix of historic homes, colorful gardens, and a church.
“I think the Home and Garden Tour allows Groveport to share its diverse neighborhoods and showcase the beauty of the city,” said Carla Cramer, president of the Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society. “Different eras and styles of residences are showcased which illustrate a small capsule of our history. The tour acts as a community event, uniting both visitors and neighbors.”
The tour, now in its fifth year, will be held June 26 from noon to 5 p.m. The tour includes seven gardens, four homes, and the St. Mary Church sanctuary and garden. Tickets are $5 prior to the event and $8 the day of the event. Tickets may be purchased at Groveport Town Hall, 648 Main St. The tour will be held rain or shine. For information call (614) 836-3333.
A highlight of the tour is the historic brick house at 576 Main St. owned by Marylee Bendig. Built around 1830, this federal style, 10 room home was constructed of bricks that were made in Groveport. A distinctive feature of the structure is its second floor balcony/porch. During the 19th century Ohio and Erie Canal era, the first floor had four units that were used for businesses while the upper floors were where the businesses’ families lived. The building also served as a boarding house in the early 20th century.
Another historic home on the tour, owned by Athena and Allen Sanders, is the former Holton family farmhouse located at West and Holton streets. The home, built in 1885, was remodeled in 2000 but still has the original brick foundation of the common area and two brick fireplaces. A horse barn once stood where the garage now stands.
Besides these two historic homes, there are also two more modern homes that show how residential architecture in Groveport has evolved over time – a 1953 Cape Cod style home and a home built in 1999 that features a modern open floor plan and 17 foot high ceilings.
A church and its gardens
St. Mary Church, 5684 Groveport Road, was built in 1977 and features a large sanctuary and pipe organ. Highlights of the church’s outdoor garden area are the 14 Stations of the Cross as well as the 125 hostas donated by parishioners.
Terry Weaver, a member of St. Mary Church, said the Stations of the Cross in the church’s garden is a place for reflection that promotes a sense of calm and serenity.
“While in the garden I can still hear a little traffic on Groveport Road, but the songs of the birds overshadow the traffic,” said Weaver. “When I’m there I feel like I’m in an area that feels free – not overly controlled. It feels like being in a natural setting that was gently groomed with simple areas to stop and reflect and pray. I feel refreshed after leaving the stations.”
One of the several residential gardens on the tour belongs to Dan and Carol Knode. The Knodes’ diversified garden includes a variety of flowers and also both unusual and common vegetables.
“It’s good to get out and work in the yard and then see the end results of your work,” said Dan Knode. “We also enjoy going to auctions to buy garden art that compliments the garden.”
One such piece of garden art in the Knode yard is an old antique iron fence.
“We have three big sections of iron fence,” said Dan Knode. “We use it as a perimeter and to divide the garden. We like the look of it.”
Other residential gardens on the tour include features such as a Koi pond, a multi-level patio, fountains, roses, lillies, Japanese maple trees, vegetable gardens, lilacs, bushes, a large weeping Norway spruce, perennials, annuals, hybrid tea roses, other unique trees, garden art, and more.
The Groveport Home and Garden Tour is sponsored by the city of Groveport, the Groveport Garden Club, and the Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society.