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Artful Gardens
Distinctive gardens put visitors in the frame

Columbus, Ohio, is the home of two unusual and beautiful gardens, each of which takes well-known art from flat to three-dimensional in unique ways. At the Topiary Park on the grounds of the former Ohio School for the Deaf, sculptor James T. Mason designed, created and installed the metal frames and yew trees that are trimmed into a living representation of Georges Seurat’s famous Post-Impressionist painting, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte. The only topiary garden in existence based on a work of art, it includes 54 people, boats, dogs, a monkey, a cat and a pond reminiscent of the River Seine; the largest figure is 12 feet tall.

Less than two miles away from the Topiary Park is Thurber House, former residence of hometown favorite and New Yorker humorist James Thurber. Today, the house is a literary center and museum of Thurber materials. Thanks to a garden-loving benefactor, men, women, children and dogs can enjoy the Thurber Centennial Reading Garden, with its dogwoods, bayberries, vibernum and flowers—and larger-than-life-size Thurber dogs, created by sculptor Dale Johnston. Four of the dogs frolic amidst the greenery, while in the center of the garden, a fifth dog perches on top of a fountain .

Note: Both of these garden destinations are for people only.

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 44: Sep/Oct 2007
Susan Tasaki is a The Bark contributing editor.

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