It Takes a Village: Building a Haus und Garten Tour

Nestled just to south of the modern steel and glass skyscrapers of downtown Columbus, German Village is a quintessentially urban neighborhood in which private homes and local restaurants and shops sit in close proximity to each other on small parcels of land.  Tucked into the nooks and crannies of the neighborhood—often invisible from the street—are the gardens of German Village.  Because of their frequently hidden quality, there is something secretive and almost magical about these spaces with each garden having the feel of an urban oasis.  Every year, Haus und Garten Tour patrons can experience some of these enchanted gardens first-hand.  Since space is usually at such a premium, the gardens of German Village are often testaments to vision, ingenuity and creativity.  The garden of Melinda and Ed Sader, which was featured on the 2018 Haus und Garten Tour, is a perfect case in point.  While the days and weeks leading up to Tour Weekend are often hectic, the story of the Sader garden was actually over two years in the making.  It began in the autumn of 2016 when Melinda and Ed made the decision to remove the in-ground swimming pool they had inherited when they purchased the property.  The following spring saw the installation of a bluestone patio with a small fountain and stone seating walls.   Spring gave way to summer but the work continued with perennial plantings, stepping stones and a reconfigured brick pathway.  By June 2018 the transformation was complete–the garden had matured and was ready for visitors.  The Sader garden was truly a family affair as they enlisted the talents of their daughter who served as the landscape designer for the project.  On Tour Sunday, Melinda, Ed and their daughter were present in the garden to welcome visitors and answer questions about the planting and design.  For fifty-nine years the German Village Haus und Garten Tour has taken visitors through the garden gate for an unforgettable experience.  Join us on Sunday June 30th to explore this year’s enchanted gardens.


by Dan Kline