What could be better than a garden party? How about adding some live music? And a food truck? Perhaps an assortment of home-made cakes? And, to top it off, some dogs? That's right -- dogs. And these dogs will show off their coolest moves in an agility competition.
All this and more can be yours if you head to Schiller Park from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Aug. 5 for the Huntington Garden's 25th Anniversary Celebration.
Village resident and gardener extraordinaire, Alberta "Bert" Stevens, is happy to fill in some of the party details. Music will be provided by the Hip Replacements. "They assure me that, although chronologically challenged, they are musically sound," Bert said.
Local food truck Captain Gyro, familiar to downtown's Franklin County Courthouse workers, will help satisfy the munchies with hot dogs and Greek cuisine items. The Captain's motto: "I'm good at cooking."
Party-goers with a sweet tooth will have a chance to participate in a cake walk -- a musical chairs-like event where landing on a specific brick can win the contestant a homemade treat created by one of the Village's talented bakers.
The first 125 attendees will also receive a special gift from Dill's Greenhouse, one of the growers who supply plants for the garden.
And there will be dogs. Trained dogs, that is, who would never dare tramp on or otherwise defile the garden's flowerbeds. Presented by Columbus All-Breed Training Club, the dogs will perform in an enclosed area to do tricks and compete in an obstacle course.
The much-loved and well-walked dogs of German Village are advised to stay clear of the fenced area for the time being for disability insurance reasons.
Visitors can wander off the brick path to visit the Maus Dorf (Mouse Village) tucked between two walnut trees north of the Garden. Designed and built by Villagers Doug Alfred and Mike Vorbroker, the delightful "dorf" is a tiny replica of German Village, including such landmarks as Schmidt's, St. Mary's and the Book Loft.
The celebration will be the chance to give well-deserved thanks to Huntington Garden's intrepid band of Deadheaders. These 40-some volunteers work tirelessly from April through October to groom and maintain the garden's 12,000 plants. According to Bert, "they have chlorophyll in their veins and the green thumbs to prove it!"
Who would have thought more than a quarter of a century ago that a somewhat disreputable parking lot on the edge of Schiller Park would eventually bloom into a magnificent showpiece?
Thanks to the vision and determination of some dedicated Villagers who sat around longtime resident Janet Druen's dining-room table brainstorming ways to transform the unsightly space -- and the cooperative efforts of The Huntington National Bank, the German Village Society and the City of Columbus -- the Huntington Garden was finally established in 1993.
Today, the garden is funded through private donations (gratefully accepted) and the corporate sponsorship of Dummen Orange, a global plant breeder and producer with North American headquarters in Columbus.
German Village resident Villager Melinda Sadar submitted the Village Notebook column .