The gardens are a blend of heritage, native and other plants, supplemented with colorful annuals planted each year. From modern Knockout roses greeting you in the parking lot to heritage espaliered ‘Kieffer’pear trees on the grounds, there is something to admire in three of the four seasons.
Approaching the gate from the parking lot, historic daffodils courtesy of the Indiana Daffodil Society will greet you in the spring amid the green leaves of surprise lilies whose leafless blooms will “surprise” you in August. A brick path will lead you to a pergola arbor of heritage ‘New Dawn’ roses, a popular site for outdoor weddings. Beyond the arborvitae wall, ensconced among the very old trees is a shaded “Hosta Glade”, the progeny of Hoosier hybridizers and growers. Continuing on past the long flowering hibiscus there is a hill of drift roses below those pear trees. The roses were donated by Starr Roses to be used as a test garden. A turn around reveals a large patio flanked by tiered walls of cobbled rock, planted with color most of the year. Up the hillsides are masses of yellow yarrow, blackeyed susans, blue asters and goldenrod, among many others.
Across the front of The Ambassador House there is a wide expanse of lawn with perennials and annuals among the many boxwood plantings. In fact, the gardens are a test site for boxwoods from Saunders Bros. Nursery of Virginia. Directly in front of the house is a topiary created by world renowned topiary artist Pearl Fryer, who was a guest speaker in 2014.
Most of the permanent plants are identified with signage and there are benches provided on the outer perimeter flanking the showy hydrangeas. Many thanks to Hamilton and Marion County Master Gardeners, the gardening club, and our other volunteers who maintain this garden along with assistance from the City of Fishers parks & recreation and public works departments.