It’s open season on photography at the Evansville State Hospital grounds. On Sunday afternoon, when my dog Jed and I crossed Lincoln Avenue to walk the park that is now awash in red and gold, I counted five photo sessions in action. The most popular backdrop is along the duck pond that beautifully reflects the colorful canopy.
My favorite spot on the grounds has escaped attention of the family photographers, it seems, and I’m not sure why. The Southwestern Indiana Master Gardner Association display garden, located up the hill at the State Hospital near the Eykamp Boy Scout Center (another beautiful asset!), is a not-so-hidden hidden gem of our community. (The Lloyd Expressway is viewed with a glance to the north.)
The master gardeners began developing the site (their 1.2 acres) in 2006. The gardens feature a variety of plants in specific, named garden areas. It’s a place for education, demonstrations, and enjoyment by residents and visitors, open year round with ample parking and free admission.
Vegetables, too, are grown in the garden, and the results of the gardeners’ hard work are donated to the Evansville Food Pantry.
Nearly every time I visit the garden, master gardeners are working in some part of it. I also see familiar faces. A Hispanic family with young children often walks down my street, en route to the gardens. I’ve spoken to the family. Not long ago they knocked on my door to ask permission to cut flowers from our front yard to bring to church on the Holy Day of the Assumption of Mary. Watching the very young children carrying armloads of hydrangea home made me smile. So does seeing them play along the paths of the display garden, with mom resting a bit in the gazebo. Give yourself a treat and visit while we still can celebrate the glorious fall color.