Civic Garden Center Grounds

Civic Garden Center Grounds and Cornelius J. Hauck Botanic Garden

The grounds of the Civic Garden Center and Hauck Botanic Gardens are free to the public so explore as Mr. Hauck intended or follow some of our guided maps.  Multiple attraction gardens can be found on our guides, including:

The Peggy MacNeale Daffodil Collection includes many Narcissus selections, both heirloom and new.  It is named in honor of the original director of the Civic Garden Center.  All cultivars are labeled with both name and year of selection.  The garden has been relocated to the site of the hydrangea collection near the Serenity Garden.

The Pat Kipp Memorial Shade Garden showcases a vast collection of hostas, at least 500 cultivars and species at completion, and other perennials, shrubs, and trees that thrive in the shade.  All is nestled under the shade of one of the last remaining European beeches planted by Cornelius Hauck.

The Serenity Garden surrounds a dramatic stone waterfall and pond and bordered by Japanese garden-inspired features such as a red cedar fence and traditional Torii gate.  The area includes a dwarf conifer collection planted in the 1970s and a growing collection of native shrubs, perennials, trees, and grasses.

The Butterfly and Vegetable Garden rests on the highest point of the property in the location where the Haucks’ tennis court was located.  This garden, an example of many of the CGC’s community and school gardens, is a blend of edibles, ornamentals, and important pollinator plants. The Georgian-style Gibson House acts as a stunning backdrop to the garden. This is also the location of the Stout Award-winning daylilies from 1950 to the 2000s.

The Hauck Legacy Trail, finalized in 2011-12, is a self-guided tour of some of the significant trees planted by Cornelius Hauck.  Signage, placed at important sites, contains information about the trees, their estimated age, and their relation to Mr. Hauck.  Some of these trees are very rare in cultivation and important to local horticultural history.

The Herb Garden at the entry to the Civic Garden Center is a semi-formal space for culinary and medicinal herbs in sun and shade.  Planted in 1983 and updated over the years, it has been tended by the Herb Society and volunteers for over twenty years.  Centered around an antique iron urn and terraced with native stone walls, it is a showpiece of herb gardening in the region.

The Wildflower Garden, planted by Cornelius Hauck on the downslope from his home, is a wooded glade in which many native wildflowers, shrubs, and understory trees thrive.  The Wildflower Garden leads to a rustic gazebo inspired by the 1937 World’s Fair.  This garden is currently being restored by the Cincinnati chapter of the native plants’ association Wild Ones in cooperation with the CGC.

The Green Learning Station has multiple gardens of interest, both on the ground and in the air. The old stone cottage supports the first sloped green roof in the region. The Green Learning Station building has several types of green roof gardens, including a new roof prairie. Surrounding the GLS are a network of rain gardens and bioswales for the collection and filtration of water runoff as well as education about native trees, shrubs, grasses and perennials.

Horticulture at the CGC

The Civic Garden Center was founded in 1942 as a resource for gardeners in the region, specifically related to the Victory Garden movement.  Horticulture plays a key role in all we do, from numerous educational opportunities to the regionally renowned annual Plant Sale each May.  The grounds of the Civic Garden Center and the Hauck Botanic Garden are likewise a space for education, whether it be found in the herb or vegetable gardens, the diverse shade and sun plantings, and the growing palette of native options interspersed among the heritage collection of ornamentals and exotics accrued by Mr. Hauck.  Our horticulture program has only grown richer with a focus on stormwater collection in rain gardens and an extensive bioswale, as well as green roofs planted with ornamentals, edibles, and native prairie species.

An extensive series of lectures, presentations, and classes disperse information throughout the year, as well as opportunities for tours and field trips on the grounds. Of course, education goes both ways, and the horticultural mission of the CGC is richer from the knowledge of its volunteers such as the Dirt Crew, its student interns, and the tireless work of library volunteers to maintain and grow our library.

For every gardener, there is an opportunity to learn and share knowledge at the CGC, and the grounds and resources are always available to fulfill the original passions of Mr. Hauck and the mission set forward at the founding of the Civic Garden Center in 1942.  Check out our volunteer, library, and education tabs to find your place at the CGC

Looking for a gardening related program for your class? Check out what we have to offer and get in touch with one of our education team to learn more and register.