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Adventures of a Landless Gardener - A Star is Born

Don’t talk too fast, don’t talk too fast, don’t talk too fast… played in my mind as if on a loop as I sat on a wooden box and a producer from ThinkTV fed me questions. I wanted my enthusiasm for Ault Park to radiate not clobber viewers. But how could I not get excited? The station was here to film a television show on Ault Park , one of my favorite places in the city and my garden away from home.


A few years back the CET program Cincinnati’s Parks: Emeralds in the Crown won a 2009 Midwest Regional Emmy award in the category Documentary-Historical. Recently, funding made it possible for ThinkTV to produce two half hour programs; EdenPark: Cincinnati’s Garden of Eden and Ault Park: Emerald in the Crown. By some wonderful twist of fate my name was given to the producer. The producer and cameraman had already been to Ault Park many times to film park visitors who talked about why they love the park and what they see as the park’s contribution to our community. I was asked to share my experiences with the adopt-a-plot program.

Ault Park is unique in that one of the three formal lawn areas includes gardens that are adopted by members of the community. These are not community gardens for fruit and vegetable production, but rather gardens intended to educate park goers on plants that grow well in our area. The gardens also illustrate how diverse and lush a garden can be in a limited space. Each garden is designed, planted and maintained by volunteers such as myself. This is my third summer with the program, and over the years I have accumulated four gardens.

Gardening at the park is an experience I will always treasure. It is a privilege to be a part of this historic location. Not only do I get to garden, a huge bonus for this landless gardener, but I get to meet many interesting people. Most of all, Ault Park , the other parks, green spaces and community gardens contribute to our quality of life.

As I sat there, talking about Ault Park and her gardens as a proud mom would of her children, I knew that as soon as viewers caught a glimpse of this magnificent place and spent a day here, they too would see Ault Park as a park like no other, a star in the Cincinnati community.

Jenny Koester, AKA The Landless Gardener, is the Garden Blog Editor for Horticulture magazine and the author of The Garden Life.