Travelogue: Lily Fest 2015
By Debra Knapke and Teresa Woodard
Undaunted, Teresa negotiated Little Cola Road, a narrow road that was purported to be a two lane road on the last leg of our trip to Lily Fest 2015 near Logan in Ohio’s scenic Appalachia country. Fortunately, most cars were going to Lily Fest, so we had few passing encounters. When we left, we had many more passing encounters. I’m not fond of tiny cars, but I would have greatly appreciated being in a Smart car!
After parking, we walked down the path with our guide Sheri Quick. Sheri not only led us to Lily Fest, but she introduced us to Bobbi Bishop. She and her late husband Bruce started Lily Fest in 1992 as a small event to show off their gardens. Bruce’s spirit still guides the festival, and his gardens are an inspiration to Midwest gardeners.
So, what did I find exciting?
Many of the artists represented in the gardens were present in the booths that lined several pathways. I recognized some crafts people from other shows, but was happy to discover new adornments and ideas for the garden.
At the end of our visit, we passed one of the ponds. Visitors were sitting on benches and listening to the soulful flute music of Mark Thunderwalker Camden while viewing this rhapsody in pink: lotus, flamingos and a dusky Japanese maple.
At Lily Fest, there’s a wonderful sense of community from the volunteers that helped us park cars to the greeters at the front gate to all the gardeners that volunteered for weeks prior to make the grounds so lovely.
Lily Fest is also filled with plenty of garden whimsy from these kitschy garden pants to this charming cottage.
And, of course, we came to see the lilies!
Visit Lily Fest this weekend or check out these other upcoming Midwestern flower festivals:
- Chicago Botanic Garden — The Wisconsin-Illinois Lily Society Show this weekend (July 11-12), and the group’s bulb sale (Oct. 17-18)
- Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MI — Chrysanthemums and More! (Sept. 18-Nov. 2)
- Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden — An exhibit featuring the “weird and wonderful world of Plants” (Now through Oct. 5)