Saturday, March 6, 2004

20 gardens on display



By Beth Burwinkle
Enquirer contributor

[photo]
Jean Russo Gould designed an urban courtyard garden for the show.
The Cincinnati Enquirer/STEVEN M. HERPPICH
Visitors to the Fifth Third Cincinnati Home and Garden Show will get an early taste of spring.

The show, opening today at the Albert B. Sabin Cincinnati Convention Center, downtown, features 20 gardens, including designer Jean Russo Gould's urban courtyard garden she calls "In the Heart of the City."

The 20-by-24-foot space is framed by a mural of a city home, a lattice-topped privacy fence and two stone walls. Visitors follow a stone path through the garden and past a stone patio with chairs. Dwarf mondo grass grows in a ribbon design within the path.

Gould and her team planned for interest at several levels of the garden: a wall fountain, a bronze sculpture, a magnolia tree and a 'Snowdrift' crabapple grown along a wall in an espalier.

The fountain, magnolia and crabapple espalier are lighted.

Gould, a gardener since childhood, has operated JRG Landscape Co. for five years and Merrill's Nursery for the past year. It is her way of combining interests in arts and business.

Gould has a master's degree in international relations and an arts administration graduate certificate. She worked in marketing for an independent movie production and distribution company before moving to Cincinnati. With two young sons, now 11 and 7, Gould knew that she didn't want her career to require travel. So she began working for a Mount Carmel nursery and later started her own business.

This is Gould's first garden in the home and garden show. She assembled a team of seven for the project, which she says can be adapted for a larger landscape.

"I would do this design in Mason in a subdivision," Gould says. "I would do this design in Indian Hill. I could enlarge it, I could shrink it. I could adapt it to my surroundings."

E-mail GardenStories@cinci.rr.com




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