You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Governor’s gardens feature Ohio’s five eco-regions

Where can you go to see all five eco-regions that exist in Ohio, along with their associated plants, without traveling great distances? The answer is the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Gardens in Bexley, in the Columbus area.

The Heritage Gardens are the brainchild of former first lady Hope Taft, who is passionate about Ohio’s diverse natural history. She works diligently to preserve it as well as teach others about the value of our rich natural heritage.

In 2001 while living at the residence, Mrs. Taft and a small group of natural resource-minded people came up with a landscape design for the residence property that depicted each of the five eco-regions or physiographic areas.

Today, one can visit the Governor’s residence and tour the natural areas of Ohio in a little over an hour. One can also learn about the stories behind the plants and about other natural resources located in these regions.

Ohio’s landscape developed over a long period of glacial time. Each time the glaciers moved in and then back, they deposited materials that helped develop the parent soils and topography.

These deposited materials and the topography influenced the vegetation that developed in those areas. Following are the five areas and the associated features.

The Lake Plains is a narrow strip of land along the Lake Erie coast that broadens as you move towards northwest Ohio. Plants include prickly pear cactus, silverweed, blue lupines (absolutely exquisite when in bloom) and lakeside daisy (very few spots of these plants remain in the country).

The Glaciated Appalachian Plateau includes Mahoning county and much of the northeast Ohio. This area had one glacial event as opposed to four that occurred in the till plains. Plants include bayberry, striped maple, northern pitcher plant, and cranberry.

The Till Plains consists of most of western Ohio and since it was glaciated four times, it’s fairly flat with gentle rolls. Plants are typical prairie plants including compass plant, prairie dock, purple coneflower and Sullivant’s milkweed.

The Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau is the area of southeast Ohio that was untouched by glaciers. Plants in this area include great rhododendron, bigleaf magnolia, wild columbine and flame azalea.

The Interior Low Plateau is also called the Bluegrass Region and is a small area in southern Ohio along the Ohio River. This area was not impacted by glaciers and the plants are more like those found in the Kentucky Ozarks. Two very cool plants from the area are the native passion flower and the crossvine.

You can learn so much more about our five eco-regions by touring the Governor’s Residence and Heritage Gardens. For tour information go to the Friends of the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden website:

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Home Garden

Woman claims Fitbit burned her arm after it ‘exploded’
Woman claims Fitbit burned her arm after it ‘exploded’

A Wisconsin woman said she suffered second-degree burns on her arm after her Fitbit tracker “exploded” while she read a book, ABC News reported. >> Read more trending news  Dina Mitchell said she had owned her Fitbit Flex 2 for about two weeks when the fitness tracking device allegedly caught fire on her arm Tuesday night...
What’s under your feet at the playground?
What’s under your feet at the playground?

The playground: a universal source of fun for children. It’s also a place to burn calories, make new friends and develop skills like how to judge risks and make decisions. A good playground challenges and engages children but is also designed to keep them safe. One of the best ways to lower the chances of serious injuries is to make sure there...
Nurse midwives help women beyond childbirth
Nurse midwives help women beyond childbirth

Stacy Hudepohl hopes to expand the perception that certified nurse midwives simply exist to help women through natural childbirth. “A midwife is very similar to a nurse practitioner in that we care for women throughout their entire lifespan,” said Ms. Hudepohl, a certified nurse midwife, who practices with the Center for Women’s Health...
Biking, blading and boarding? Protect yourself
Biking, blading and boarding? Protect yourself

With spring in full swing, you’re probably heading outside with your friends and family to spend time bicycling, in-line skating or skateboarding. But before you head outside, make sure you take a few safety precautions to avoid common problems that will land you in the ER. “Each year we see injuries associated with biking, in-line skating...
New ‘oldest person in world’ is 117, explains secret to longevity
New ‘oldest person in world’ is 117, explains secret to longevity

Violet Mosse-Brown of Jamaica is officially the oldest living person in the world, at 117 years of age. Mosse-Brown earned the title after the death of Emma Morano of Italy, who died earlier this week at 117 years, 137 days old. Mosse-Brown has a simple secret to her longevity. “Really and truly, when people ask what me eat and drink to live...
More Stories