Cox Arboretum and Gardens - The-Hypertufa-Gardener

A Hypertufa Lover’s Heaven – Cox Arboretum

It’s got a huge Rock Garden with lots of Hypertufa!

What more could I ask ?  Cox Arboretum and Gardens is part of the Five Rivers MetroPark system in Dayton Ohio and it is a flower and tree and butterfly and hypertufa lover’s dream. It has almost 190 acres of park and trails and naturalized areas to walk and explore. Of course, I love to go there and look at all the huge rocks, large pond with bridges and flowing water. And then there is the Rock Garden. Hypertufa troughs and pots of all sizes lining the paths and all kinds of sedum and succulents.

Cox Arboretum - Dayton Ohio - The Hypertufa Gardener

I wanted to write about the Cox Arboretum and take some photos of the hypertufa in the snow and included views of the bridges and rolling hills and rocks. But the weather didn’t cooperate and bring snow, so I went out and walked and took a few photos.  ( Define few? ) It was in the 30s but windy and I was so cold, but the hypertufa pots and bowls and troughs, Oh my! They seduced me to keep on walking.

It is a wonderful place to stroll for hours on the nearly four miles of trails, checking out all the beautiful plants, trees, animals, and even the wonderful views. A new red tower was built in 2012 and it’s here where you can climb up and see a 360° view of the surrounding countryside. This wooden tower seems to soar into the mists and light of the day. It is about 65 feet tall, but not too tall for me to climb, but the wood is lovely and the steps are swirled so beautifully.

Update: Due to fungal disease found in the 3 supporting wooden posts ( info says built from a Douglass Fir tree), the tower closed in September of 2016 and was rebuilt. It re-opened in May of 2018.

Observation Tower at Cox Arboretum - The Hypertufa Gardener

We spend several hours there in the arboretum and come back often. There is always something new to see. Quite a few of the trees and plants are identified by signage, so it helps me to learn new ones. The rock garden is awesome. It winds up a hill with huge slabs of rock as the stepping stones. So many plants are just blanketing the beds and running across the stones. Huge hypertufa troughs are there, and that is why I dream of a huge one.

And that dream WILL come true for me this year! Just wait and see. I plan to make another rectangular one and also an oval. I will post it when I make it.

Rock Garden at Cox Arboretum Dayton Ohio - The Hypertufa Gardener

This is a view of the Rock Garden and the Allee behind it lined with Kousa dogwood.  In the distance , there is the Tree Tower/Observation tower.  I must take another set of photos in the spring.

Cox Arboretum Dayton Ohio in Winter - The Hypertufa Gardener

This view is from the Rock Garden and back across the edge of the pond toward the Meeting Place and office buildings.

Winter January 2016 Cox Arboretum Rock Garden - The Hypertufa Gardener

Now that is a Rock Garden, right?

Some of the Many Hypertufa at Cox Arboretum - The Hypertufa Gardener
More Hypertufa at Cox Arboretum - The Hypertufa Gardener

If you are ever in the area, stop in to see these gardens freely open to the public. It is truly a gorgeous place to visit and be inspired. I should have waited and posed/published as a celebration of National Public Gardens Day, but I just couldn’t wait that long.

Be sure to plan early and visit a public garden in your area . It always occurs near Mother’s Day each year. Be sure to plan to take your Mother to a public garden if she enjoys gardening. It would be a great experience together.

Rock Garden with Hypertufa - The Hypertufa Gardener

My grandson enjoys walking through here because there are animals to be seen, geese and ducks (not to be fed), and a large butterfly house. You can walk through and see all the butterflies, caterpillars, cocoons, etc among all the flowers which support their existence.

Huge Rocks Near The Rock Garden Area - The Hypertufa Gardener

As you can see, these gardens are beautiful and breathtaking on a cold winter day. Just imagine what they look like in spring or in the beauty of summer. Get out there and visit one!


  1. Sarah V Kendrick says:

    Thanks Kim for the beautiful tour!! It makes me anxious for Spring! I hope to make some Hypertufa this
    Spring, also. I think I have everything I need for it…..Maybe, I need more containers!
    Sarah from Oklahoma

    1. I am also anxious for spring. Wish you luck on your new hypertufa adventures and I know you will love it. It’s fun!

  2. Vicki Zwiebel says:

    Our mothers would have enjoyed this place very much!

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