GPOD on the Road: O’Neil House in Akron, Ohio

Garden Design

Today Carolyn Hirning is taking us along on a trip to a beautiful garden she visited in June.

I thought you might like to see photos from a visit to Akron, Ohio, in June 2021. This was my first trip since the start of the pandemic, so that in itself was pretty exciting.

Our first night away from home was at the beautiful O’Neil House B&B. We planned to visit the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens the following day, and to our delight, we discovered that the O’Neil House was a mini version of Stan Hywet.

The owner of the O’Neil House is Gayle Johnson, a lovely woman who is now in her mid-80s. Forty years ago, she bought the decrepit mansion and renovated it almost entirely by herself—no husband, no children, just her patience and persistence. (Well, yes, she did hire help for the big projects, such as a new roof.)

I wish I had taken more photos of Gayle’s house, but I was in love with the serene garden areas.

Hundreds of thousands of people have visited the well-known Stan Hywet, but if you want to avoid the crowds and even live in a beautifully renovated Tudor mansion, then the O’Neil House is the place to go!

formal gardenThe beautiful formal garden design fits with the age of the historic building. Everything is lush and beautifully maintained.

water feature, dotted with the leaves of water liliesA look at the water feature, dotted with the leaves of water lilies (Nymphaea sp., Zones 5–9)

“blue” hostasBig, “blue” hostas (Hosta hybrids, Zones 4–9) add a contrasting note to many shades of green in the garden.

garden walk behind pondThe statue at the edge of the water features an inviting garden walk behind it.

shrubs surround stone pathwayThis path begs to be explored. The shrubs block the view of what comes next, making the garden feel bigger.

Tudor mansionLooking back at the classic architecture of the Tudor mansion, garden, and house in perfect harmony

steps leading into gardenThere is something magical about these steps leading on to another part of the garden.

stone paversStone pavers add a touch of formality to a woodland walk.

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