Indiana Botanic Gardens

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(December 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. It may require cleanup to comply with Wikipedia’s content policies, particularly neutral point of view. Please discuss further on the talk page. (December 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Indiana Botanic Gardens Location Hammond, Indiana The Indiana Botanic Gardens is the largest and oldest retailer of herbs in the United States. Founder Born in Wisconsin in 1878, Joseph Meyer acquired a curiosity about plants and nature at a young age. His father, who was a photographer, often took Meyer out on assignments into forests and fields. From here, he learned a great deal about various aspects of nature. Complications in Meyer’s family and financial life caused him to temporarily step aside from nature and take up a more practical career in printing. Meyer soon found himself in Chicago working for a large printer. Not long after, a strike shut down the printer and Meyer found himself at The Hammond Times. After settling in Hammond, Meyer desired to have a business of his own, preferably something in the printing industry. Giving consideration to his set of skills, Meyer realized that he knew a great deal about printing and even more about nature. A company that sold herbs through a catalog would be a profitable endeavor thanks to his possession of an old printing press and vast knowledge of natural remedies. It was with the blending of these two passions that gave birth to Indiana Botanic Gardens. The company The name Indiana Botanic Gardens is a privately owned, family run business that operates within the vitamin and herbal supplement industry. The Indiana Botanic Gardens has had a rich history within the Northwest Indiana region for nearly 100 years. Its history can be read about in botanical and herbal publications, as well as literature pertaining to the history of the Calumet Region. Indiana Botanic Gardens was founded in 1910 by horticulturalist/herbalist Joseph Meyer (1878–1950) in a small cottage in the rear of his home in Hammond, Indiana. Initially called the Indiana Herb Gardens, the business barely made living expenses for the large Meyer family which eventually consisted of seven sons and one daughter. Joseph Meyer’s elder sons helped their father to grow the business by gathering herbs from the nearby fields. The family diligently and untiringly packed boxes, filled orders, fed the printing press, and folded circulars during the day. The daily workload for the Meyer’s often bled into their evenings where they put catalogs together by binding them with needles and thread. The Herbalist Once the company began to sustain itself, it moved from Meyer’s cottage to a more formal and larger building off of Calumet Avenue in Hammond, Indiana. Due in part to his roots as a printer, Joseph E. Meyer published a 400-page book in 1918 entitled, The Herbalist. Seven years later The Herbalist Almanac, an annual publication, was produced in 1925. The Herbalist Almanac was an eclectic booklet that contained everything from listings of the herbs and roots that the company sold, recipes, Indian weather forecasts, treatments for common ailments, popular songs of the day, to advice on farming issues. In 1979, after fifty-four years of publication, The Herbalist Almanac was retired. Vintage copies of The Herbalist Almanac are still around, some dating back to the 1950s, and can be purchased online through book shops and Ebay. There are many collectors and agricultural, botanical, and gardening enthusiasts that have copies. Colleges and universities still study and use the almanac for educational reasons in many horticulture classes. The University of Florida has done their fair share of preserving these almanacs seeing that they have a vast collection ranging from 1929-1971 in their rare books collection. A copy of The Herbalist can even be found in the Smithsonian Institution Library. Later in 1925, Meyer purchased a wild tract of land on the Little Calumet River. The land held a profusion of medicinal plants, shrubbery, and virgin forest. One year later, in 1926, this fertile ground would become home to the newly named Indiana Botanic Gardens. The offices and warehouse were now housed in a 36,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) English gabled building. The grounds and gardens covered 10 acres (40,000 m2) and were filled with beautiful landscaping and architecture. The property also featured a mill where all of the botanicals were manufactured. During the next few years, Meyer traveled to all parts of North America to gather material and information on native plants and their uses. Mail poured in from all over the world including universities, libraries, botanists and people from all ranks of life. In 1932, he traveled to Europe to seek rare herbals. In Joseph Meyer’s time, self-treatment with herbs was commonly practiced and often necessary due to economic conditions or the scarcity of professional medical help. Meyer devoted his life to providing herbs to people, and many grateful customers sent letters and recipes extolling the benefits. The Old Herb Doctor was compiled from this information to let other customers know how other customers had used herbs and the good results they obtained from them. The business has been handed down from generation to generation on to his grandson David Meyer, who is still part of the organization, along with great-grandson Tim Cleland, current president of the company. In 1990, the company moved into a more modern facility in nearby Hobart, Indiana. Although no longer a grower of herbs, Indiana Botanic Gardens sells vitamins, essential oils, teas, beauty care products, and other nutritional supplements in addition to being a distributor of bulk herbals. The Hobart location has a retail store that contains the majority of the Botanic Choice line and also sells wholesale products. The bulk of the business continues to be derived from mail order catalog sales; however, with the re-launch of their website in May 2008, the Indiana Botanic Gardens have been focusing on expanding their online operations. The old IBG building is still standing in Hammond, IN off of I-80/94. For those individuals that are familiar with the area, Reaper’s Realm Haunted Mansion is housed in the building Joseph Meyer built in 1926. In 1998, the United States House of Representatives paid a tribute to Joseph Meyer for being an upstanding citizen within his community. The Indiana Botanic Gardens has a growing list of health articles covering a wide array of topics from exercise, to male concerns, to detoxification. References ^ Congressional Record of Rep. Peter Visclosky’s Tribute to Joseph Meyer Coordinates: 41°32′59″N 87°18′2″W / 41.54972°N 87.30056°W / 41.54972; -87.30056
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Indiana Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens Conservation International defines botanical gardens as “institutions holding documented collections of living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, display and education.” But not only are Indiana’s botanical gardens beautiful and educational, they are the perfect destinations for inspiration, serenity, and peace. And certainly worth the road trip. 300-acre Taltree Arboretum and Gardens in Valparaiso is a delight of wetlands, woodlands, prairies and gardens, including the Hitz Family Rose Garden. Crisscrossed with walking trails and brimming with wildflowers, cultivated blooms, and native grasses, it is home to wildlife such as herons, wild turkeys, purple finches, frogs, warblers, turtles, bobolinks and a beaver or two. Taltree’s collections include the Oak Islands exhibit with more than 40 different oak species from all over the globe, and the Welcome Garden with its vast plantings of viburnum and Native Plant Garden. The 106-acre International Gardens in Michigan City, just blocks away from the Blue Chip Casino but seemingly in a different world, are an oasis of tranquility and beauty. Located on land that was once the home of the Pottawatomi Indians, this heritage and traditions are showcased in the Native American garden here, one of six that highlight the gardening customs of the world. Shiojiri Niwa, a peaceful setting of bridges, flowers, waterways and trees comprising different vignettes, connect one to the other enticing visitors into the different landscapes that comprise this Japanese-style garden. Located in South Bend, Shiojiri Niwa is one of only a handful of Japanese gardens in Indiana. One of the unique highlights is a zigzag bridge. Japanese legends say that evil spirits can only move in straight lines. So if they’re ever in pursuit, head for such a bridge. The spirits, fortunately, unable to zig end up in the water. More prosaically, the design forces walkers to pay attention to where they’re going and thus enjoy their surroundings more. Take a stroll around the two lakes that dot the 1,250-acre Notre Dame campus, stopping at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, a one-seventh-sized replica of the famed shrine in Lourdes, France, where the Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Bernadette 18 times in 1858. A favorite of the University’s founder, Father Sorin, he vowed to reproduce it on the Notre Dame campus, a dream that became possible from a donation made by a former student. In 1896, boulders, some weighing two tons or more, were moved from nearby farms to construct the stone grotto with its niches for statuary and candles. Read the letter written by Dr. Tom Dooley, known as the Jungle Doctor of Laos, as he lay dying in a far-off land. His longing for the grotto will bring tears to your eyes. The Wellfield Botanic Gardens, just a few blocks north of Elkhart’s historic downtown, encompasses 36 acres which includes18 acres of water and is located where, since the mid 1800s, the city has drawn its water. The gardens (over 20 in all) include the Waterfall, English Cottage and Japanese and are arranged around a large pond and also near Christiana Creek. There are statues and walkways and seating areas for rest and contemplation. A part of Fort Wayne’s bustling downtown, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory is really three different gardens under glass–a Southwest desert garden filled with cacti, succulents, ironwood trees and yuccas, a showcase garden with a changing exhibit each quarter, and a tropical garden filled with palms and orchids with a pond and 2-story waterfall. Family friendly, the conservatory also features outdoor gardens, hands-on exhibits for children, and hosts events for children. The Hayes Arboretum in Richmond is 466 acres of woodlands, meadows, swamps and streams; unique plant, rock and fossil collections; as well as miles of hiking and running paths. Other features found on this property include 3% of Indiana’s old growth forest, as well as many acres of reforested woods. An 1833 dairy barn acts as their Nature Center and is filled with exhibits on regional flora and fauna. There’s an active beehive behind glass, bird viewing room, and the Hayes Museum. Interspersed with walking, biking (#6 in the Top 10 Indiana Best Trails) and even a driving trail, there are also several Adena and Hopewell Indian mounds Indianapolis is fortunate to have several wonderful botanical gardens including The White River Gardens at the Indianapolis Zoo, the first in the country to be accredited as a zoo, an aquarium, and a botanical garden by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Association of Museums. An urban oasis, the gardens are comprised of the indoor 5,000 square foot Hilbert Conservatory, the 65-foot ceiling and surrounding glass creates a tropical oasis. Outside, there’s the DeHaan Tiergarten (German for animal garden) with its ever changing design and blooming plants. The 10,000-square-foot Garfield Park Conservatory, designed by the world renowned German landscape architect George Kessler, brims with hundreds of tropical plants from around the world. Their Sunken Garden is a graceful paean to European classical formal gardens with three acres dotted with fountains, symmetrical flower beds, concrete urns and bowls, all maintained as Kessler would have in the 1910s. Bordered by the White River as it flows through downtown Indianapolis, 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, part of the Indianapolis Art Museum (IMA), is one of the largest museum art parks in the U.S. It’s a succession of landscape journeys leading from its entrance along paths to inaugural artworks and the Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion. 100 Acres features many natural features such as a lake, marsh, and meadow. The park abuts to the 54-acre grounds of the IMA, which also features lovely gardens such as the formal and historic gardens centered around the Oldfields-Lilly House & Gardens, a National Historic Landmark. The Oldfields gardens were designed in the 1920s by the wonderfully named Perceval Gallagher of Olmsted Brothers, the famed firm that created Central Park in New York. Located in tiny Hazelton in southwestern Indiana, Azalea Path Arboretum and Botanical Gardens may be somewhat off the beaten path, but this 60-acre park, where more than 3,000 colorful azaleas bloom each spring, is well worth the trip. Said to be one of the largest collections of azaleas in the Midwest, the botanical gardens, with its two spring-fed lakes, waterfall, koi pond, three miles of walking paths, chainsaw carvings and sculptures, also is home to native and imported trees and many unique plants.

Indiana Botanic Gardens

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